Monday, February 10, 2020

[Food] Raw Amberjack, Best Winter Fish (방어, Bahng-Uh)


[Food] Raw Amberjack, Best Winter Fish (방어, Bahng-Uh)

The Korean Peninsular is surrounded by three seas (the west, south and east) and due to this geological influence, Koreans eat many kinds of fish like other countries on the peninsular. I've introduced mackerel and oyster so far, and today I want to show you 'Bang-Uh (방어 in Korean)' which is ‘Japanese Amberjack’ in English.

Raw Amberjack Fillet
Amberjack is a pelagic fish which is distributed in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hawaii. It lives in warm seawaters and travels from Korea to Hawaii like tuna (and looks like tuna). One of the characteristics of pelagic fish is that they store a lot of fat to regulate their body temperature in the cold sea water. And, it makes amberjack so delicious in the winter season. So amberjack is a typical winter fish in Korea. The Korean proverb says 'Even a dog doesn't eat amberjack in summer'. Amberjack is very popular among the Korean and Japanese in winter.

'Even a dog doesn't eat amberjack in summer' because it keeps much less fat compared to the winter. Actually amberjack is very cheap in summer because people usually eat it in winter for its savory fatty flesh.

In winter, like tuna, the white amberjack  flesh has a very savory fatty taste (which is great) with its firm and chewy red flesh. Amberjack is caught in the East Sea and the South Sea of the Korean peninsular. Jeju Island is a typical place for amberjack and its dish. Delicious fat is the main characteristic of amberjack, so Koreans and Japanese love it as raw or roasted fillet and some people say it tastes better than raw tuna.

Roasted amberjack head

When amberjack's backbone is boiled in water, it gives a taste like beef broth. Its intestines - especially stomach and liver - is gourmet. Amberjack's stomach and liver tastes like chicken when it's washed and roasted. Deep-fried amberjack fillet is great too. Remove the moist and it’s blood, marinate it with salt then toss it into hot oil to deep-fry :)

To taste the best amberjack, bring 3-4 people to a seafood market and pick an amberjack which is longer than 60cm and weighs more than 10kg. Please note that yellow amberjack is different from japanese amberjack :) I recommend you eat japanese amberjack because it tastes better XD

Bon Appétit!