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LifestyleFood and Drink
Momguk: A classic Jeju celebratory dishEnjoy the rich flavors of gulfweed and pork broth
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승인 2011.10.13  17:45:05
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1 kg pig spine or any pork bones
500g raw (sargassum) “mom” seaweed
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 chili pepper or powder (add according to your taste)
1 large green onion

1. To make broth add pork bones and boil for as long as you can (minimum of one hour). This is the most important step of the process as it will give the broth its flavor. The longer it boils the richer the broth.

2. Once boiling is complete, let the broth cool and put in fridge until next day. Skim the fat off the top and separate the meat from the bones. Save the meat because it will be added to the soup. Discard bones and fat.

3. Heat the broth and meat until boiling and then add the seaweed.

4. Continue to boil for one hour.

5. Add the buckwheat flour to the soup. This helps remove the smell of the seaweed and also thickens the soup. Try not to add any more water as this will dilute the flavor of the broth.

6. Add garlic, salt, onion, and pepper and continue to boil for about 30 minutes.

Serves 4

Gulfweed soup

“Mom” is Jeju dialect for the seaweed used in this dish. Korean mainlanders call it Mojaban. Mom’s scientific name is Sargassum fulvellum, also known as gulfweed.

Traditionally, momguk was made from leftover pork bones. When a celebration like a wedding took place, the whole pig was roasted and anything that was leftover from the pig would be thrown into a pot and boiled — sometimes for days. Jeju people did not like to waste anything.

Sargassum fulvellum is a type of edible brown seaweed that is a source of minerals, vitamins, and non-caloric dietary fibers. The dietary fibers are considered to be important treatments for constipation, and help prevent colon cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. In addition, S. fulvellum contains a carotene called fucoxanthin, that has been shown to have an array of health benefits such as antioxidants, anti-carcinogenic, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Breakdown of health benefits of momguk

Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage may lead to cancer and other degenerative diseases. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals might otherwise cause. Marine algae like Sargassum fullvellum, has been shown to contain antioxidants that may prevent oxidative stress that has been linked to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidants may have a positive effect on the central nervous system and seems to be a promising approach of neuroprotection therapy, as they can protect the central nervous system against free radical mediated oxidative damage (1).

Fucoxanthin has been reported to demonstrate an anti-carcinogenesis effect in various cancer cells, but the anti-cancer mode of action is still unknown. There have recently been several reports that fucoxanthin-induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in several cancer cell lines, but the mechanism is still unclear.

The carotene, fucoxanthin, found in brown seaweed, has been shown to reduce white adipose tissue in the abdomen. The mechanism of the anti-obesity properties may be related to the up-regulation of the expression of the fat burning protein UCP1 (uncoupling protein 1 or thermogenin in white adipose tissue around the internal organs). Fucoxanthin-induced expression of UCP1 in white adipose tissue results in the oxidation of fatty acids and heat generation, which directly reduce abdominal fat (2).

Fucoxanthin improves insulin resistance and decreases blood glucose levels by regulating cytokine secretions in both abdominal adipose cells and macrophage cells infiltrated into adipose tissue (3).

Fucoxanthin has shown to be beneficial in the treatment of inflammation related symptoms such as antipyretic (fever reducer), and analgestic (pain reliever) (4).

1. Ratih Pangestuti; Se-Kwon Kim. Neuroprotective Effects of Marine Algae. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 803-818.

2. Cesarettin Alasalvar. Handbook of Seafood Quality, Safety and Health Applications. August 5, 2010. P 516

3. K. Miyashita, S. Nishikawa, F. Beppu, T. Tsukui, M. Abe, M. Hosokawa, The allenic carotenoid fucoxanthin, a novel marine nutraceutical from brown seaweeds, J. Sci. Food. Agric. 2011, 19, 1166–1174.

4. Kang JY, Khan MN, Park NH, Cho JY, Lee MC, Fujii H, Hong YK. Antipyretic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory activities of the seaweed Sargassum fulvellum and Sargassum thunbergii in mice. Department of Biotechnology, Pukyong National University, Namku, Busan 608-737, Republic of Korea.

Yamamoto I, Nagumo T, Fujihara M, Takahashi M, Ando Y. Antitumor effect of seaweeds. II. Fractionation and partial characterization of the polysaccharide with antitumor activity from Sargassum fulvellum. Jpn J Exp Med. 1977 Jun;47(3):133-40.

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