Salts of the World
Part 4 of 8
Korean Bamboo Salt or “Jukyeom” is also a sun dried salt, but the authentic process that happens after harvest is what gives this salt it’s unique qualities. First, sun dried salt from the western coast of Korea is packed into bamboo stalks that are at least 3 years old or more and sealed with the yellow clay soil of the region. Then the canes are heated in a metal oven over pine wood or pine needles until the bamboo is burned to ash and the salt is solid in one firm piece. The salt is then broken down and re-packed and heated this same way for eight more times. On the ninth time, the heat is intensified by sprinkling pine resin and other extreme heating elements over the pine wood in the furnace.
The combination of the different reactions from the enzymes in the bamboo flesh to the minerals in the clay being heated over high temperatures transforms the salt, which removes toxins, neutralizes the salt and increases the volume in several minerals. This also imparts a “gamrojung” flavor to the salt. The reaction process can produce salts of many different colors such as blue, white, yellow, red and black or a mix of these colors. When the process is done correctly using authentic Korean ingredients, the finished product should be purple, which indicates the best quality.
Jukyeom was originally created as a holistic treatment for many diseases and personal care purposes. It has been known to fight cancer, treat kidney and bladder issues, calm digestive upset, used as a safe tooth powder, and can be made into a saline solution for cuts and scrapes or to cleanse the eyes when made into a very weak dilution. Because it is so high in mineral content, it has also made its way into the kitchen as an all purpose salt/seasoning which is used in many types of Korean cooking as well as a simple table salt.