16 (Wed) December 2020
Taste Test: Cyclina v Orient
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with DJ and IZ
As a spin-off to GMTD’s on-going series on fish varieties in Korea (see CULINARY AQUATIC CRANIATES A COREE), I’m tempted to cover clam varieties. But I won’t. For now.
Mosi Jogae (모시조개) is a cyclina clam, aka Chinese venus clam, black clam, iron clam. Linnaean classification: family Veneridae, genus Cyclina, species C. sinensis.
Baekhab (백합) is an orient clam, aka hamaguri. Linnaean classification: family Veneridae, genus Meretrix, species M. lusoria. In Korean, the term “baek (white) hab (clam)” refers to the white flesh.
At E-Mart, the clams were purged, cleaned, and packaged in salt water, each pack 7,980 won for 600 grams. They both looked great, so I bought both. I cooked them together in the same dish to do a side-by-side comparison.
The cyclina clam (mosi jogae) was the unanimous winner, marginally. The orients were fleshier, but the cyclinas were tastier, by a bare tad. Overall, both were disappointingly bland; even the sauce, with 1.2 kg of clams, only had a hint of clam flavor. I’m wondering if it was because the clams were sourced from China; maybe they’d lost something in transit.
(For more details re foods, see WHAT)
(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)