Here on Jeju we’re feeling the evening really cooling down, and the sun sets around dinner time.
For a seasonal dish out Hallim-way (along the northwest coast of Jeju), we’ve recently tried a fall food which, if you’re even slightly interested in fish dishes, is something you shouldn’t miss!
In Jeju and Korea, mackerel is mainly grilled or stewed. These are great, but as it turns out, another method to eat this fresh fish is, really, really good.
We’re talking about mackerel sashimi.
One reason to serve up the mackerel raw at this time of year is that its flesh is particularly plump and tender. Keep in mind we’re talking about the fresh fish itself, not a frozen import.
As with a lot of Korean cuisine, there’s no rigid ceremony to the meal. You can opt for or opt out of the following instructions, but this is how we chose to eat our sashimi, based on advice from the restaurant owner.
With the ingredients laid out in front of us, we were instructed to first dip a piece of the mackerel in the vinegar, onion sauce, then wrap it in a small piece of seaweed laver. Cut garlic and spicy chili peppers were available, as was rice, which you can add to the wrap.
Did you know? There are about 10 varieties of laver served in Korea. While it's known in the west as "nori", in Korea it is called "gim" and has a variety of tastes, textures, and uses. In this case, the mackerel sashimi was wrapped in Jangheung Dolgim. "Dol" refers to the holes in the laver.
The plate we ordered (at 50,000 won) was just enough for 3 people, and when paired with all the vegetable side dishes, grilled fish, boiled pork, kimchi, and more, it was a filling adventure in tastes.
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