Dotorimuk (also spelled tot'orimuk) or acorn jelly is a Korean food which is a jelly made from acorn starch. Although "muk" means "jelly", when used without qualifiers, it usually refers to dotorimuk. The practice of making dotorimuk originated in mountainous areas of ancient Korea, when abundant oak trees produced enough acorns each autumn to become a viable source of food. Like other muk, dotorimuk is most commonly eaten in the form of dotorimuk muchim (도토리묵무침), a side dish in which small chunks of dotorimuk are seasoned and mixed with other ingredients such as slivered carrots and scallions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili pepper powder, and sesame seeds.
Despite being a rich source of starch and proteins, acorns contain large amounts of tannins and other polyphenols, which prevent the human body from digesting food properly. Therefore, the harvested acorns must be properly leached of the tannins prior to consumption. Acorns are either collected directly from the ground or knocked off the branches of trees. The harvested acorns are then opened and their nuts inside are ground into a fine orange-brown paste. The paste is then stirred into vats of water so that the fibre in the acorn can be separated from the starch through sieving and settling.
The starch suspending liquid is collected from the fibre and allowed to sit so that the tannins in the starch will diffuse out of the acorn paste. The soaking time depends on the amount of tannins in the paste, but the process usually requires several changes of water to properly purge it of all noxious substances.
The now tannin-free acorn starch paste should have an off-white colour. This paste is allowed to completely settle to the bottom of the vat. The water is drained away, and the paste is then collected in trays to dry. The dried starch cake is then pulverized and packaged for sale. Dotorimuk is also commercially available in powdered form, which must be mixed with water, boiled until pudding-like in consistency, then poured into a flat dish to set. Corn starch can be added to acorn starch to modify the texture and translucency of the produced dotorimuk.
- Nokdumuk - made from mung beans
- Hwangpomuk - a yellow-colored jelly made from mung beans
- Memilmuk - made from buckwheat
- Konjac - a Japanese jelly
- Bainbridge, D. A. (November 12–14, 1986), Use of acorns for food in California: past, present and future,, San Luis Obispo, CA.: Symposium on Multiple-use Management of California’s Hardwoods
- Pemberton, Robert W.; Lee, Nam Sook (1996), "Wild food plants in South Korea; market presence, new crops, and exports to the United States", Journal of Economic Botany (New York: Springer) 50 (1): 57–70
- Park, S.O.; Kim, K.O. (1988), "Effects of added corn starches on sensory characteristics of acorn mooks (Starch gels)", Korean Journal of Food Science and Technology 20 (4): 613–617
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dotorimuk.|
- Muk page
- "Dotorimuk muchim recipe". Visitkorea :The Official Korea Tourism Guide Site. Korea Tourism Organization. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- Seasoned Acorn Jelly (Dotori Muk Muchim) recipe
- Blog showing the commercial process for grinding, detoxifying, straining starch to make dotorimuk
- Blog showing the process at home for grinding, detoxifying, straining starch to make dotorimuk
- Another blog showing the process at home for grinding, detoxifying, straining starch to make dotorimuk
- Blog showing cleaned acorn starch being dried