Acorn Jelly


A Korean jelly made from acorn starch. It has no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, and a bonus 1 gram of dietary fiber. It’s also considered a health food that’s good for stomach ailments.


Other names: dotori muk, Dotorimuk
Translations: Acorn Želeja, Βελανίδι Jelly, البلوط جيلي, エイコーンゼリー, 도토리 젤리, צנובר ג 'לי, Акорн Желе, Bunga ng oak halaya, बलूत का फल जेली, Акорн Желе, 橡子凉粉, Želod Jelly, Жир Желе, Acorn желе

Physical Description

The texture is reminiscent of silken firm tofu, with a faint but pleasant nuttiness and a hint of bitter at the end.

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Bitter
Wine complements: Soju, Pomegranate wine
Beverage complements: Korean beer
Substitutes: Red pepper jelly

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Buy the jelly from Korean sources, or buy the starch and make it at home.
Buying: It can be hard to find. Look for it at Asian markets. May be able to order on line.
Procuring: To make the jelly, acorns are collected, opened, and their nuts inside are ground into a fine paste. The paste is then stirred into vats of water so that the fiber can be separated from the starch by sieving and settling. Once the tannins are diffused out of the paste, it is allowed to completely settle on the bottom of the vat. The water is drained and the paste is collected to dry.

Preparation and Use

The jelly is traditionally topped with spicy, garlicky kimchi and served as a salad along with a sesame-soy dipping sauce.

Conserving and Storing

Store in a glass bottle with a tightly sealed lid in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.


Traditionally considered a Korean food.

History: Acorn nuts cannot be eaten out of hand because their high tannin content makes them bitter, unpalatable, and toxic when consumed in large quantities. The Native Americans pulverized the nuts and leached them of their tannins in water, turning them into acorn meal or, as the Spaniards call it, harina de bellota. It was then eaten as a nutritious mush (like oatmeal), or baked into breads and griddlecakes. The Koreans take it one step further and refine the acorn meal into a starch and then the jelly. The Jelly originated in ancient Korea, in mountainous areas where oak trees were abundant. It became associated with poverty in the Korean war, when starving people relied on the jelly to survive.



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