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What Is Gotgam?
Throughout East Asia, dried persimmons are a type of traditional snack made by air-drying fresh Oriental persimmon fruits. In China, this traditional snack is known as shìbǐng (柿餅). In Japan, people refer to this as hoshigaki (干し柿). Finally, in South Korea, the term for dried persimmons is ‘gotgam’ (곶감).
Traditionally, people harvest under-ripe persimmons to use when drying this fruit. While ripe persimmons are thin-skinned, soft, and sweet like honey, the under-ripe fruit has thicker skin and firmer fruit. When hung to dry, ripe fruit would fall apart and rot. Under-ripe fruit slowly sweetens and gains a jelly candy-like texture.
Note: If you would like to learn about this fresh fruit in Korean cuisine, look at my ingredient article on the subject. You can also learn more about fruit in South Korea! To do so, look at my article listing fruits used in Korean cuisine.
Dried Persimmon in Korean Cuisine:
As stated above, in South Korea, people refer to dried persimmon as ‘gotgam’ (곶감). In Korean cuisine, people either consume these dried persimmons as a snack or use them as an ingredient in other foods.
Below, I list two popular ways people use dried persimmons as an ingredient:
- Gotgam-ssam (곶감쌈): In English, we can translate this traditional Korean dish to ‘walnuts wrapped in persimmons.’
- Sujeonggwa (수정과): This Korean dessert punch is known as ‘cinnamon punch’ in English. Often, dried persimmons are an ingredient in this traditional punch.
Dried Persimmon Frequently Asked Questions:
Now that we learned about gotgam in Korean cuisine, I want to answer some questions you may have about this ingredient! If I do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email me at [email protected].
What Does a Dried Persimmon Taste Like?
When ripe, the fresh persimmon fruit is incredibly juicy, soft, and sweet.
Instead of using ripe fruit, people use under-ripe persimmons to make this dried snack. Once dried, the persimmons gain a chewy texture, similar to jelly candies. Like when fresh and ripe, these dried fruits taste rich. Many people describe the flavor as honey-like, similar to an apricot!
Where Can I Buy This Ingredient?
You can buy Korean dried persimmons at your local Korean grocery store. If they do not sell the dried fruits, you can learn how to dry the fruits on your own!
To sun dry persimmons, tie the fresh fruit on a string and hang it outside or in your window to dry. Eventually, a white-colored bloom appears on the surface. This bloom indicates that the fruits are fully dry.
How Do I Properly Store Dried Persimmons?
I recommend eating dried persimmons within 1-2 days after purchase. If you do not plan to eat this fruit right away, refrigerate or freeze them. They will keep for a week or two in the fridge or a few months in the freezer.
What Is a Good Dried Persimmon Substitute?
While cooking, if you need finely chopped dried persimmon for a dish, I recommend using a dried apricot, date, or date plum as a substitute if you cannot find the necessary dried ingredient. These dried fruits will add the sweetness needed for your dish.
That being said, if you need large pieces of dried persimmon, it may be difficult to find a good substitute that has the same size, flavor, and texture.
I Hope You Enjoyed Learning About Gotgam (Dried Persimmon)!
In the end, I hope you enjoyed learning about the uses of dried persimmon in Korean cuisine. If so, let me know in the comment section!
If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find recipes as well as further Korean ingredient articles on my blog. I listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by my family’s blended Korean and Southern heritage.
Korean Ingredient Articles:
- Korean Pepper (Gochu)
- Garlic Chives (Buchu)
- Korean Radish (Mu)
- Abalone (Jeonbok)
- Hot Mustard in Korean Cooking (Gyeoja); And
- Korean Green Plum Extract (Maesil Cheong)
Further Carving A Journey Recipes:
- Korean Acorn Jelly Salad (Dotorimuk-Muchim)
- Korean Acorn Jelly (Dotorimuk)
- Korean Plum Tea (Maesil Cha)
- Korean Sausage Stir fry (Sausage Yachae Bokkeum); And
- Korean Watercress Salad (Minari Muchim)
If you have any questions or comments, you can also email me at [email protected]. And, finally, I would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow me at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also started a vlog Youtube channel! Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to the blog by joining the mailing list. Let me know if you try dried persimmon! Thank you so much for stopping by!
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