14 (Mon) December 2020
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Chogochujang (초고추장) is a Korean condiment. Chili paste (gochujang) with sugar and vinegar (cho). Spicy, tangy. It’s the default sauce for most seafoods, especially raw fish and grilled shellfish. Sold in bottles or made from scratch. One of Korea’s national condiments.
Hoe Deopbab is a great dish to make at home. It only requires 5 essential components: (1) steamed rice, (2) sesame oil, (3) chogochujang, (4) mixed salad of any combination, and (5) raw fish of any combination (more on this below). No cooking required. Can be prepared well in advance, then assembled quickly before serving. Just as easy to make 1 bowl as 10 bowls. Impressive in presentation. Super healthy. Super tasty. Easy clean up.
The biggest challenge is sourcing the fish. Fortunately, many larger supermarkets in Korea these days offer pre-packaged hoe (회) (raw fish). Otherwise, hoe can be purchased as takeaway from a restaurant. In either case, the fish can be quite pricey, comprising premium cuts intended to be eaten as is. Also, purchasing fine slices of fish and chopping it up for hoe deopbab is kinda crazy, like mincing an aged ribeye steak to make meatloaf. By comparison, hoe deopbab in a restaurant is typically made from bits of trim set aside in making the main hoe platters, so the dish can be sold quite cheap and reduces waste (see for example 11.247 Hoe Deopbab).
The recent discovery of a place that delivers tuna sashimi (see most recently 11.327 Premium Tuna Sashimi) inspired me to make hoe deopbab for the first time on GMTD – during the 11-year history of the blog, I’ve made the dish a few times for lunch but never, until now, as a featured item for dinner.
It turned out very well. As with any hoe deopbab, the chogochujang dominated the flavor profile, so the tuna felt like a wasted extravagance. The avocado was nice, providing occasional bites of creaminess, maybe I’ll add a bit more next time. Otherwise, it was as good as it usually is.
After taking great care to document the construction of the dish, I forgot to shoot a photo of the final product, with the chogochujang drizzled on top, before everything was mixed together.
(For more details re foods, see WHAT)
(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)