Cycle 4 – Item 231
24 (Sat) August 2013
at HSE/HCY’s home
-Yeonhui, Seodaemun, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family, AHY + KIT + J, CJH + KKH, HSE + HCY, YYH
Yesterday, I had lunch in Okcheon on my way to the cabin, so I had lunch in Okcheon on the way back to Seoul this afternoon. That’s food freedom available only in modus solus. Today, I went to my favorite place Goeup. Confirmed, it still kicks ass in every dish, from the signature mul naeng myeon to the wanja, as well as the spicy pickled radish on the side. And so generous, not only is the wanja portion double what other restaurants serve, when I asked for extra radish to go, the owner gave me heaps. Anticipating the quasi-potluck arrangement for dinner, I got some takeout wanja.
The occasion was an impromptu gathering of the camping crew at SE/CY’s new apartment.
Mineo (민어) is a type of fish. Miichthys miiuy. Whatever the nomenclature, it’s a scaly fish with soft pinkish flesh, about between half/full meter in length. Cooked, the flesh turns white in color and chunky in texture and buttery in flavor, similar to cod. In Korea, mineo is quite popular, especially when served raw as hoe. It’s one of the most expensive fishes on market: current prices for whole mineo ranging from 140,000 won for a 4-kg fish to 385,000 won for a 7-kg fish.
A few years back, I was discussing dinner plans with colleagues from work, when two of them simultaneously received the same text message from a nearby sashimi restaurant announcing the acquisition of fresh mineo, first come first serve; we arrived 10 minutes later. I can’t think of another fish that incites so much passion when it’s season, as mineo is now through the fall.
Although I’ve never considered myself a huge fan, tonight’s experience may be a starting point in that direction. Using other raw fishes as frames of reference, the mineo was sweet/savory like shrimp, fatty/juicy like yellow tail, and yet light/delicate like fluke, all combined into one. And this was from a relatively cheap takeout platter that’d been sitting in the fridge for hours. I can’t wait to try it again under better circumstances.
(See also BOOZE)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)