9 (Sat) January 2021
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Les Crâniés Aquatique Culinaire à la Corée (6)
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)
Gajami (가자미) is a type of flatfish. It may be related to the flounder and/or to the sole, as the labeling on frozen gajami packages would suggest (see 8.144 Pan-Fried Flounder/Sole) but isn’t confirmed through secondary sources. Whereas determining precise names of species across languages is generally difficult, this fish is particularly tricky because of so many local variations, which might not even exist in other regions. In Korea, at home, gajami are most commonly pan-fried (gui), sometimes braised (jorim). Alternatively, they can also be fermented as gajami sikhae, though this specialized process is usually not undertaken at home. Although generally popular, it’s not highly regarded – say, if a Korean person were asked to name 5 fish to eat, gajami probably wouldn’t be 1 of them.
My favorite method of preparing gajami is to season the skin on both sides with salt and pepper, dust in flour, and pan-fry in canola + sesame oil (see also 11.085 Pan-Fried Flounder in Chili Sauce).
It turned out great, as usual. The skins were savory and crispy. The flesh was sweet and flaky. Bonus roe, which didn’t taste like much, but provided a bit of contrast in texture. Also quite easy to eat, with the spine bones and bones along the edges easily removed. W declared this to be her favorite fish from now on.
(For more details re food, see WHAT)
(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)