25 (Wed) November 2020
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Les Crâniés Aquatique Culinaire à la Corée (3)
Inspired by the fish counter at our local supermarket (see 11.229 Gwangeo Hoe), this is part of a recurring series on Give Me This Day to explore food fishes that are available in Korea and how they are prepared.
(For other posts in the series, see CULINARY AQUATIC CRANIATES A COREE)
Samchi (삼치) is a type of mackerel. Linnaean classification: family Scombridae, genus Scomberomorus, species S. koreanus or S. niphonius – varying sources don’t agree. If S. koreanus, it’d be known in English as “Korean seerfish” – which seems more likely, for obvious reasons. If S. niphonius, “Japanese Spanish mackerel.” Very similar to, yet entirely distinct from, godeungeo, as described in a prior post.
According to my mother – who can be wildly unreliable on general matters, though I still seek her advice on Korean culinary issues – she can’t recall eating samchi growing up, only becoming available sometime post-1970s.
The Korean term “gui” (구이) refers broadly to dry cooking techniques, such as grilling or searing. In the modern Korean kitchen, roasting, broiling, baking, or microwaving might also apply.
For samchi, the most common method of preparation is gui: pan-frying in oil.
The fish turned out quite nicely. With a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, the flesh was sweet and succulent. The texture was juicy and fluffy, almost like a white fish. Up to now, I had never given much thought to samchi as anything beyond a bigger, cheaper form of godeungeo, but the closer scrutiny of this exercise has suddenly given me a deeper appreciation.
(For more details re food, see WHAT)
(For more details re venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)