Soondae Never Comes

The intention behind this project was simple – make sausages out of life before life makes sausages out of you. Decided to try my hand at the Korean blood sausage, Soondae. Hoping to employ a bit of ancient fusion I used barley instead of sweet rice. The remainder of the ingredients were easy to source at my friendly district superstore, even the pork blood. Speaking of pork blood, this post gets a little nasty, so if you are my 5 year old niece reading this on her Mother’s iPhone I hope an adult intervenes.

barley in the cooker

Sweet potato starch vermicelli noodles are texturally superior to most other vermicelli. I would know, I have leftovers.

a simple soak

Next step in the prep is to toast some sesame seeds in a dry cast iron, who could refuse? I’m sure this smells great, it kills me.

sesame toast

Time to hand grind the sesame seeds with ginger and garlic:

aroma mortar

My end game was party-of-one Bossam, so I picked up a napa cabbage, oysters, some smoked jellyfish banchan, and decided to tea some quail eggs. I added soy sauce and shioxing wine to the soak because that stuff has been taking up space in my cabinet forever.

tiny things of beauty

One of my greatest joys in this short life is new old stock kitchen appliances, the kind that some fated couple received in the 70s on their Big Day and never used. You can find them cast away at thrift stores, they are usually in battered boxes.

you’re a strong one, you’re a lion

This particular Ouster has a very retro on-off switch that basically requires you to stick your finger into the interior of the machine, that’s a thrill.

Combine all of the aromatics with the barley and vermicelli.

the raw mix

Now it is time to tussle with the 3 feet of pig intestines you’ve purchased:

i know, i know. don’t look at me.

I’ve always credited Anosmia as the gift that allows me to be grossed out by very few things. In fact, most things that really make me gag: glitter, substances that change the color of my tongue, haphazard political discussions, are things that I’m told others enjoy. I was surprised to feel very…tested…when the act of running water through this bovine tract made my stomach curdle. These need to sit in salt water for an hour so after The Handling I took a much needed breather and left my apartment, expecting to return to the task with renewed enthusiasm.

A few hours later:

I’ve got this?

The opening of the pork blood container marked the beginning of the undoing. There is a potent life force involved when dealing with blood and once I ladled into the blood all I could think about was D.H. Lawrence and his “blood philosophy” – this thought sent me tumbling to my bookshelf where I convalesced for a few.

Back on track, the blood needs to combine with the prepped raw mix, run through the grinder and find solace in the intestines of the animal from which it came.

“what our blood feels and believes and says,                           is always true.” – DHL

This, my wise vegetarian friends, is a snapshot just before I Bailed. Something about the way the blood oozed from the rest of the ingredients and  puddled at the base of the casings, well, I couldn’t take it. I wrapped the whole bloody mess in a 5-ply trash bag and walked it up to the compacter at the McDonald’s on Powell. I returned to hose my kitchen down with bleach solution and enjoyed a dinner of napa cabbage, tea eggs, oysters, and jellyfish – sans blood.


One response to “Soondae Never Comes

  1. Danielle Pruett

    This is absolutely hysterical! At least you scored with the sweet potato pasta leftovers.

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