How about something straight from Korean Royal Court cuisine? Sinseollo – also called yeolguja tang – is a symbolic dish of royal cuisine of Korea. It mainly consists of meatballs, round jeonyueo(전유어), mushrooms and several vegetables, all cooked in a rich broth. It is a very popular form of Jeongol(stews and cassaroles of Korean cuisine, made using more than one ingredient.) As you can see in the photo above, it is served in a vessel that has a hole in it’s center, in which hot embers are placed so the dish remains hot during the meal. Actually, sinseollo is the name of this vessel used for serving the dish.
The meaning and history of the dish is quite interesting. The word sinseollo is a composite of the words sinseon, meaning “taoist immortal spirit”, and ro, which means brazier. Legend has it that a scholar in the court of King Yeonsan(Joseon Dynasty) was exiled and then turned into a hermit-like life in the mountains. He made a brazier to be able to cook various vegetables in a single pot. Then he disappeared in the mountains and became a sinseon and the brazier was named “brazier for a sinseon”. Another word for sinseollo is yeolguja tang. It means “a tang(soup) which makes a mouth happy”.
You can find this dish in various restaurants, but generally on special occasions, as there are a lot of ingredients in it, making it a rather pricy meal to prepare. Up to 25 ingredients can be used to make sinseollo; like beef, pork, pheasant, fish, chicken, sea cucumbers and other vegetables.
It is a food for the royals, so if you find a chance to try it one day, do not miss it!
Photo of the dish by Veronica – CC BY-SA 3.0