Friday, November 8, 2019

[Food] Myeongtae, Fish with Countless Names 1 (명태, Pollack)


[Food] Myeongtae, Fish with Countless Names 1 (명태, Pollack)

Pollack, 명태(Myeongtae)

Once upon a time during the Chosun dynasty in Korea, there lived a fisherman named Mr. Tae in Myeongchun (northernmost tip of the Korean peninsula, which is in North Korea today) who caught fish that he had never seen before. He presented his catch to a public officer who worked in the kitchen of Myeongchun city hall. He cooked this fish and served it to the mayor. The mayor, who loved the taste, asked for the name of the fish. Obviously no one knew its name, so the mayor said:

"Let's call this fish 'Myeongtae' because Mr. 'Tae' of 'Myeong'chun caught it."

Therefore, from then on, people called the fish 'Myeongtae (Pollack)', and it has become among the most popular and common fish in Korea. Today, pollack has numerous names according to its method of preparation.

In today's article, I want to introduce you to the many names Koreans have given to pollack :) I can't name all of them because there are more than 30 in Korea but these are the most common ones :)

1. Saengtae (Raw pollack), 생태

Raw pollacks
2. Boog-uh (Full-dried pollack), 북어

Boog-uh guk, Full-dried pollack soup

3. Dongtae (Full-dried pollack that was caught in the winter), 동태

Dongtae-jjigae (Frozen pollack soup), 동태찌개

4. Hwangtae (Frozen and Dried pollack), 황태

Mass pollack drying rack in Gangwon province. Pollacks go through a freezing and drying process many times over to become good hwangtae :) After this repeated process, their flesh becomes soft and chewy like sponge.

Seasoned and roasted hwangtae (황태구이)
Muktae-gooi (먹태구이), roasted black pollack. When pollack turns
black during the freezing and drying process for hwangtae, it is called 'Muktae', which means 'Black pollack'
5. Kodari (Semi-dried pollack), 코다리

Kodari-jjim (코다리찜), Spicy braised semi-dried pollack

6. Nogari (Full dried juvenile pollack), 노가리

Juvenile pollacks

Nogari (Full-dried juvenile pollack), 노가리. Nogari is one of drinkers' best friends and a great side dish for beer :)
In the next Myeongtae article, I will tell you about some Korean dishes that use pollack and egg :) To be continued.

Bon Appétit!

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