Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Ethnic Herald: How to make the daddy of all sausages

Over the next five days, the Herald will introduce some of the dishes that are considered to be delicacies in New Zealand's many ethnic communities and provide tips on how you can cook them at home.

David Cho of Tulbo Restaurant, here with Susan Lee, says it will be a challenge to cook abai soondae sausages at home.  Photo / Dean Purcell
David Cho of Tulbo Restaurant, here with Susan Lee, says it will be a challenge to cook abai soondae sausages at home. Photo / Dean Purcell

Holding up a 30cm pig intestine stuffed with coagulated pig's blood and nine other ingredients, chef David Cho describes it as "the most traditional Korean sausage".

Called abai soondae, this Korean blood sausage is believed to have originated in North Korea and was a favourite in the North and South.

Once a luxury food for the rich, when ground meats and vegetables were stuffed into intestines, it was re-invented as a famine food during the Korean War of the early 1950s when rice and dangmyeon noodles replaced expensive meat fillings.

Today it is a popular street fare back in Korea, but despite high migration numbers of Koreans to New Zealand - with many in the food business - soondae is still quite a rare commodity in Auckland, with only a few restaurants selling it here.

Mr Cho said the word "abai" loosely translates as "father", so abai soondae can be translated to "father's sausage".

"It will be a challenge to cook it at home, because abai soondae is not easy to make," he said. "Even back in Korea, people would rather head out to eat than attempt it at home."

At Mr Cho's restaurant, Tulbo, the blood sausage is also made with normal sausage casing in a dish called soondae guk, where the sausage is boiled in soup with pig's stomach, ears, liver and other organ parts.

"The Koreans are specialists in making sure no part of an animal goes to waste, I think it's because we have experienced so much hardship and hunger in the war."


Abai soondae (Korean blood sausage)


What's needed:
• Mortar and pestle, cotton string and funnel
• Sausage: 1m large pig intestine
• Stuffing: 2 cups sweet rice, pkt dangmyeon (glass noodles), 2 garlic cloves, fresh ginger, bunch of spring onion, 1 tsp salt, tsp pepper, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sesame seeds, 1 cup pork blood


Method:
1. Boil to cook rice, fluff with fork and leave to cool.
2. Clean intestine with warm water, rinse with cold water and soak in salt water for about an hour.
3. Cut into 30cm sections and tie one end tightly with cotton string.
4. Prepare stuffing by soaking noodles in lukewarm water until soft, then chop. Finely chop the spring onion and dry toast the sesame seeds over medium-high heat until slightly brown. Crush garlic, ginger with mortar and pestle and mix stuffing together in a large mixing bowl.
5. Add rice and stuffing into the intestine using the funnel but do not pack it too tightly, and tie the open ends with cotton string.
6. Add one teaspoon of salt into a pot of water, place sausage in and bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
7. Leave to cool, slice and serve with gochujang (Korean spicy) sauce.

Where to try:
Tulbo Restaurant, 243 Rosedale Rd, Albany. Ph: 415 6557.


Changing what's food

About 40 per cent of people in Auckland are born outside New Zealand, and nearly one in four is Asian.

Migrants from "non-traditional" source countries brought with them cuisine and recipes from home, and also a demand for animal organs and parts considered to be delicacies back in their home countries.

Bits of animals and fish - from heads, tongues, blood, skin and intestines - once destined for the trash or as food for pets, are now served as speciality dishes in many ethnic homes and restaurants.

Cuts and parts, unheard of for human consumption in New Zealand once, such as pig's blood, cow tendon and duck heads, are now being sold along side prime meat cuts at many Asian supermarkets and butcheries.

Manying Ip, a professor of Asian studies at the University of Auckland, said although recent migrants had increased the "diversity of food" they were not regarded as "mainstream".

"What New Zealanders eat have been influenced greatly by the British, and it can be quite a big leap from roast and baked potatoes to having a meal of beef tendon noodles," Professor Ip said. "More non-Asian Kiwis may be going out for meals like yum char, but they tend to still stick to ordering dumplings and pork buns."


Tomorrow: Sisig (Filipino sizzling pig's head and liver)

- NZ Herald

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