2.021 Pan-Fried Tilapia with Oyster Mushroom Risotto


26 (Wed) January 2011

Kal Guksu with Clams & Kimchi


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-

with the Family

The risotto was made with left-over broth from the mussel dish a couple days earlier (see 2.019 Mussels and Oyster Mushrooms in Saffron Broth with Spaghetti), which I couldn’t bear to let go to waste.

While the tilapia fillet wasn’t remarkable per se, it is an unusual fish to find here in Korea. I found it frozen and shrink-wrapped in one of the markets catering to foreigners.

Koreans eat a lot of fish.  Traditionally more so than the beef or pork featured in the table-side barbecue that the nation’s cuisine has become internationally famous for in recent years. Living on a relatively small land mass, the majority of which is mountainous, a peninsula with close access to the Pacific Ocean, the people were naturally inclined towards a seafood diet. However, the fish sold in mainstream markets are surprisingly limited to a handful of smaller species, such as mackerel, cutlass fish, yellow croaker, and certain varieties of flatfish. I have never in my life seen any kind of deep-sea fish available for sale, except maybe tuna, which is almost exclusively sold as sashimi, not for steaks or other cooking purposes. Even salmon is relatively new and rarely accessible outside of Costco.


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