4 (Fri) December 2020
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Les Crâniés Aquatique Culinaire à la Corée (4)
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)
Jogi (조기) is a type of croaker, specifically yellow corvina. Linnaean classification: family Sciaenidae, genus Larimichthys, species L. polyactis. In Korea, unsalted jogi are very common as part of a typical home-style spread (see for example 1.015 A Typical Korean At-Home Meal), always pan-fried or broiled, served with a sprinkle of salt or soy sauce dip.
The best, largest specimens are reserved and then salted and dried, which are then referred to as “gulbi (굴비).” To be covered in a future post, gulbi is arguably the most prized, certainly the most expensive, local fish in Korean cuisine.
Not a fan of jogi. Something about the flavor, which is lean with a trace of fishiness, never appealed to me. For the first few years of our marriage, MIL kept bringing us frozen jogi, even though I insisted that I didn’t like them – she couldn’t seem to comprehend why anyone wouldn’t like jogi, why anyone shouldn’t keep a supply of them in the freezer. One such MIL-sourced jogi was featured on GMTD (see 2.107 Steamed Yellow Corvina in Soy-Ginger Sauce). Tonight was the second time in my life cooking a jogi, the first time purchasing one.
It turned out better than expected. Brushed with sesame oil and broiled in the oven, the skins were nicely crisp. The meat was firm yet tender. Sprinkled with sea salt, the flavor was a tad fishy but not too bad, actually pretty good with kimchi and rice – essentially, it tastes Korean. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but I was happy this time.
(For more details re food, see WHAT)
(For more details re venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)