Friday, October 11, 2019

[Food] Gulbi (굴비, Dried Yellow Corvina)


[Food] Gulbi (굴비, Dried Yellow Corvina)

A corvina / croaker {It's called Jogi (조기) in Korean}

Once upon a time in the 12th century of Korea when Goryeo dynasty ruled the Korean peninsula. Mr. Ja-kyum Lee, who was father-in-law of King Injo of Goryeo dynasty, was exiled to Bubsungpo, Younggwang of Jeonnam province for committing a treason against the king.

At Bubsungpo of Younggwang, he tasted a jogi (corvina / croaker) that was dried by sea breeze and salt and it was so nice. Therefore Mr. Lee devoted Bubsungpo's jogi to King Injo with a name 'Gul-Bi' on it which means 'I never give in'. Since then, see breeze and salt dried jogi was named 'Gul-Bi' and this name is still used in today's Korea :)

Bubsungpo, Younggwang, Jeonnam (South-western province of Korea) where famous for Gulbi

Jogi (조기, it means 'give energy' in Korean) had been caught in the Korean peninsula long time ago and it is still very popular and typical fish of Korean dish. Jogi is very expensive fish now, but it was cheap and common fish in 1960~1970 of Korea. The young of Jogi is used for ingredient of fish juice, which is luxurious ingredient for kimchi.


Gulbi is a salt-marinated Jogi, it is usually dipped into salt water and dried by see breeze. However Bubsungpo (where famous for Younggwang gulbi) Gulbi uses different method. They marinate jogi by making layers of sea salt and jogi more than a year.

There is another way of making Gulbi which is Bori (Barley) Gulbi, it marinates corvina in sea salt more than 2 years and put sea salt marinated fish into heap of barley. Then these barley absorbs moisture and oil from fish to be dried. Bori gulbi is tastier then normal gulbi because it is less salty and less fishy with scent of barley.

Corvnias are being dried by see breeze to be gulbi
Corvinas are marinated, well dried and ready to go as good gulbi
Well-made gulbis are sold at small and big fish stores, department store and even exported to China and Japan. Gulbi's flesh is very firm, savory, little salty but very soft when it is crushed in mouth. So it is really good side or main dish for meal of Eastern culture with plain rice. Gulbi is usually grilled, roasted and also used in spicy stew in the southwest region of Korea.

'Golden' roasted gulbi
Premium gulbi gift set, it's price tag shows '$700' on it.
In the next article, I will be back with a story about gulbi and Jogijjigae (Spicy Corvina Stew) :)

Bon Appétit!

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