Cycle 12 – Item 293
25 (Mon) October 2021
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Chojangjib is a Korean restaurant. Specializes in makhoe, as well as other seafood dishes. The name of the restaurant is in reference to choguchujang, vinegaired (cho) chili paste (gochujang), which is the standard condiment for Korean seafoods.
W and I were running an errand nearby, when we passed by and noticed the sign. Immediately recognizing it to be a silly marketing ploy, we fell for it nevertheless and walked over to take a closer look.
The decor was clearly intended to convey that the owners weren’t wasting any money on frills, all substance over style. Another marketing ploy, and we bought it.
Although I haven’t been making a concerted effort to reduce meat consumption, October has largely been meat free, including 8 posts featuring vegetable-only dishes. I’m finding it easier to follow a pescatarian diet in Kore these days. So, I was happy to try the restaurant.
Makhoe (막회) is a Korean dish. As far as I’m aware, it’s the same dish as sekkosi (see generally 8.299 Sekkosi), but with a Korean name, which means “chopped (mak) raw fish (hoe),” another example of the modern trend to eliminate Japanese words from everyday usage. The dish arose in fish markets along the coast, with smaller fish that otherwise couldn’t be sold.
At this restaurant, makhoe comes with three types of fish. The manager claimed that the fish is delivered daily, whatever is freshest and cheapest, so that the fish selections rotate randomly.
Today, the fish included gajami (sole) + cheongeo (herring) + mijuguri (another type of sole).
At first, we tried to play it cool by carefully constructing wraps with individual components.
Soon into it, we dumped the condiments into the platter and mixed everything up, as had been suggested by the manager.
The food was awesome. Perfectly fresh fish and vegetables, perfectly matched sides and wraps, perfectly seasoned condiments. Every bite was an explosion of harmonious flavors and textures.
At last, we have a favorite local restaurant.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)