Wednesday, July 14, 2021

[Food] Mineo (Surf Fish, 민어)


[Food] Mineo (Surf Fish, 민어)

Since the Chosun dynasty within the Korean peninsula more than 500 years ago, Mineo (Surf Fish, 민어) has been an unique seafood for stamina and a gourmet dish for people. It's usually been eaten by the royal and noble family because it is rarely caught and is expensive due to the lack of cold storage technology.

The Chinese character for Mineo's 'Min(民)' means 'common people', which is ironic because a common person has caught but not actually eaten, it because of its cost. Mineo is considered one of the tastiest types of fish in Korea with people saying that the sliced raw fillet of mineo gives the best taste. Its flesh, air bladder, skin and bones are all precious ingredients for fishcake, stew, spicy cold dishes and soup that can be cooked with mineo.

Mineo tastes best in summer and winter because it fattens itself for the breeding season and survives the winter :) Moreover, male mineo tastes better than female mineo because it doesn't lose fat even in the breeding season (August and September).

They are usually caught by sea fishing in the West Sea (the Yellow Sea) of Korea, along the coast of Jeolla province. This is one of the reasons why mineo has become so expensive. However, people who ever eaten mineo as a raw fillet say raw mineo fillet is one of the best fish they have ever eaten.

Chewy and soft with marine and savory taste :) Some people say it's even better than eating raw tuna fillet.

Mineo (surf fish) belongs to the same family as the croaker/yellow corbina, but is much bigger

Bon Appétit! 

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