11.325 Samchi Gui


25 (Wed) November 2020

Samchi Gui


by me

at home

-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)

Regular sized ones at 10,000 won each, negotiable down to 18,000 won for a pair.
Large at 15,000 won each, negotiable down to 13,000 won.

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.

I opted for half of a large, trimmed and pre-packaged at 6,900 won.

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.

I used a combination of canola oil and sesame oil.
In the final minute of cooking, I added a dash of yeondu to the oil to season the crusts.

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.

Due to the big size and uneven surface, the filet was a bit difficult to cook in the pan, some bits scorching before the rest was cooked through, the whole thing beginning to break apart at the end.  Next time, I will try broiling.

(For more details re food, see WHAT)

(For more details re venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)

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