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Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mackerel from Andong (안동고등어)

I cooked Andong Mackerel or Kodong-au (고등어) this week. It was my first time to cook it myself, usually I go out in a restaurant to eat seafood. It turned out great. Nevertheless, my room was smelling like a fish for a few hours - gosh!

Andong is famous for many things such as its centuries old traditions that are still well kept in many ways, Hahoe Maeul(UNESCO: World Cultural Heritage site), Mask dance festival, Food : Andong jjimdak and Andong Soju. I spent 3 days in Andong for the famous Mask Dance Festival (2002) and it was my first trip outside Seoul. It is indeed one of the most memorable and exciting ones in Korea thus far .

Now back to the fish, Andong's Mackerel is also very famous ...and compared to the fish in other countries, here fish smells a little too fishy/it's smell is quite strong but it tastes great too...somebody told me that maybe, I am used to freshwater fish rather than the seawater fish...so I feel that way, anyhow!

The pic. below is of 고등어 (Mackerel)
Salted Mackerel is washed thoroughly in vinegar water ( add 2-3 table spoons of vinegar in bowl of water).

My recipe was simple (see pictures) and tasted very good. Entire preparation and cooking time took 20 minutes. I have to say that I don't have a kitchen and most of the things I cook either go into the microwave, toaster oven or a small hotplate that is solar powered, hence, I have limitations but I only cook what I really crave for, thank God!

Pieces on the right side were fried whereas, on the left, used in a soup!
Here, I have to thank my neighborhood farmer friends - who have always provided me with fresh supplies of their farms -picked up just before cooking - totally free of cost, have no words to express my thanks to them. These farmers and their families are a fantastic company - a much needed change, I really want in my life and also a window to Korean farming communities of Unjeong Dong - a 300 years old small village which is now nestled between hightech Pangyo(a solar-powered neighborhood with the first wi-fi neighborhood in Korea from 2012) and Bundang, why I mentioned here coz, I used their redleaf lettace!

1. Sprinkle salt, red chillie flakes (or Tandoori masala: if available), cumin and rub it with garlic paste (more the better) and fry in olive oil.

2. Add in a few slices of onion and garlic along with fish, so they fry together.

3.Fry both the sides and serve with a bowl of rice or bread (pita etc.)

4. Wrap a piece of fish, a spoon of rice and squeeze lemon and fold it in a lettace leaf and eat!


- Wrapping fried meat,(chicken, fish), rice and red pepper paste or with lemon juice in a combination of lettuce and sesame leaves gives a very nice taste to the dish ~ it can be called lettuce wraps or ssam.

- Korean Lettuce wraps: a very traditional way of eating Korean BBQ by folding it in assorted lettuces/sesame leaves and kimchi + side dishes(반찬), the process is called ssam and this is a good way of eating meat of any sort!

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