Maesil Cherry Tomatoes. We were blown away when we tried it at a local dining bar here in Seoul. It was served as a simple, unassuming appetizer. But one bite and our eyes got real big. It was juicy – like a ripe grape – but the tomato had a sweet, tart and tangy flavor. It woke up our taste buds and our curiosity as well. After a few minutes of debating – I had to ask the chef how they made it – he smiled and said maesil!
This is a simple recipe – so I don’t have any cooking notes to add. The only potential mistake would be blanching the tomatoes for too long. So count to exactly 10-seconds aloud – “One, One thousand… Two, One thousand…”
The other question that people ask is if they can re-use the maesil syrup? Yes you can. But make sure to sterilize your glass jars well before making the initial batch. After you finish the first batch, blanche more tomatoes and add them to the remaining maesil. My guess is that this can be done 2-3x – depending on how fast you eat each batch.
Enjoy neighbors – this is one of those must-try recipes! It’ll have you saying ‘wow’ in korean, 와우!
P.S. If you would like to try one of Korea’s best maesil, we recommend Hong Ssang Ri Maesil.
- 10-15 Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 cup of Maesil
- 3 slices of Lemon
- 2 sprigs of Rosemary
- Place two paper towels into the bottom of a pot. Then carefully place your mason jar upside down into the pot. Pour 1-2 inches of water in. Place on a high heat. When you start to see bubbles form on the bottom of the pot - reduce the heat to a low. Let the jar boil in the pot for 10 minutes. Afterwards, carefully grab the jar with a towel and place it right-side up on a wire-rack.
- Remove the paper towel from the pot. Then throw the lid into the water for 5 minutes. Remove and place on wire-rack.
- Give the cherry tomatoes a good rinse. Take off the stems. Use your knife and make a X mark at the bottom of each tomato. (Be careful not to cut into the flesh too much).
- Now cut 3 slices of fresh lemon. And set aside two sprigs of rosemary.
- Bring a pot of water up to boil. While you wait, fill a mixing bowl with (ice) cold water and set it aside. Once the pot is boiling, add-in the tomatoes. Then count to 10 seconds - aloud! Once 10 seconds hit, immediately take the tomatoes out and place into the cold water.
- Once its cooled, drain the water. Now turn on some music and peel the skin off each tomato 🙂
- Now, place each peeled tomato into the sterilized jar. Half-way in, add a few slices of lemon and rosemary. Then add the rest of the tomatoes and top-it off with the remaining lemon slice and rosemary. Fill the jar with maesil. Close the lid.
- Place in the refrigerator and allow it to ferment for 2 days. Serve chilled - bon appetit!