Seafood is Korea’s best kept secrets. Being a peninsular state, South Korea is eternally kissed by the sea and with all its fresh and plentiful seafood. It is a surprise why Korean seafood isn’t much more popular than it is right now, at least in comparison to its neighbours.
Gyeonji fishing – a traditional method to fish by the river, was introduced about 300 years ago but still is popular today among weekend anglers. The practice allows for one with the help of a special apparatus to catch a large fish in a rapid downstream current. This apparatus function as a rod and reel simultaneously. The invention of this rod, Koreans in the past were to enjoy the bountiful fish in their rivers.
While meat was reserved for the upper class in the past, fish and shellfish was embraced by commoners. Grilled fish, especially shrimp, mackerel and herring being a frequently featured on the table at most meals. Anchovies, seaweed and kelp being a fan favorite in the stock recipes handed down. Dried, pickled and fermented seafood was used as a seasoning agent to impart flavor to kimchi. Octopus, squid and cuttlefish; all very popular both past and present.
Jjigae (찌개) and Seafood Stews
A long simmered Korean stew. Somewhat different from the stews most Western palettes are familiar with. Jjigae such as Dongtae jjigae is prepared with pollack. Meat can be subbed in when your favorite seafood is not available, but seafood cuts through strong flavored stews bringing a sort of delectable subtlety. For those with epicurean tendencies, you might find a lovely crab kkotgetang (꽃게탕) be a fanciful main. Similar to the jjigae, the kkotgetang is a main flourished with fresh, earthy vegetables.
You have heard of sashimi, but wait till you try its Korean cousin. Saengseon-hoe, specially referred to filleted raw fish lets the textures and flavors of the fish speak for itself. Eel, carp, crabs, oysters, abalone, sea bass and flounder, we can list them out till the cows come home. A slight variation on the theme is when the fish are lightly blanched (sukhoe). You might have stumbled upon the “live octopus dish” or san-nakji in some travel documentary about Korea, this is a quite popular type of hoe. But fret not, the octopus is always humanely butchered before consumption, the complex neural system makes the tentacles still move even after the octopus has been killed. Regardless, this dish is not for the faint of heart.
Seafood Pajeon (해물파전)
Jeon is a savory Korean pancake. Take it to the next level by adding seafood into the mix and you’ve got a winner. Pajeon is simply a play on the humble jeon with tons of scallions in a lighter crispier airy batter. Shellfish, oysters, clams and squid are a crowd favorite in the concoction known as Haemul Pajeon.
“Braised spicy angler”, now that is a name that will put hair on your chest. This specialty brought to you by the lovely people down in the coastal city of Masan was initially something that was considered to be “ugly”. But with scarcity of the blackmouth angler, this dish has become a delicacy. A dish with enough heat to make you breathe fire, this one is for those who can’t resist their addiction for chilli peppers. By the way, its an anju hence it goes with drinks!
Chueotang is famous in the city of Namwon, in North Jeolla province. It is a soup made from pond loaches, a freshwater fish with an unparalleled depth of flavor. Traditionally, after the autumnal equinox, the rice paddies where these fish are found are drained and then the fish are easily harvested. The fish is boiled until fork tender then added back into a stock with other accoutrements such as bean sprouts, mustard greens, scallions and napa cabbage.
At Miss Korea Kitchen 288, we like to put our best foot forward and embrace our rich Korean seafood cuisine. In Australia, we are spoiled for choice with the world’s best produce hence our seafood is a Korean play on Oz’s best catch. Our spread encompasses an assortment of seasonal, fresh seafood ranging from to grilled shrimps to mussels to calamari.
Please note that due to availability we cannot guarantee that all our offerings may be available at any one time. Our purveyors and our chefs do their absolute best in sourcing whatever is fresh, responsibly sourced and in season. Please accept our apologies if your favorite seafood isn’t available during your visit.
Please get in touch with our staff if you are allergic to any seafood. We will try our best to accommodate.