Sunday, September 5, 2021

[Food] Altang (Spicy Fish Roe Soup, 알탕)


[Food] Altang (Spicy Fish Roe Soup, 알탕)

Since Koreans started catching and eating pollack in the East Sea of the Korean peninsula, pollack has mostly been used for  medicinal purposes and for consumption within Korea. Pollack is one of the most popular and common fishes (despite the fact that it can now only be caught in Russia due to its sharp decrease in number in Korea owing to climate change), and people usually cook it in the form of a stew and soup for the cold winter season.

People don't eat only the fillet of pollack, but also its intestines and roe. The intestines and roe of pollack are used for clear mild soup or spicy soup. People love them both because they complement soju drinkers well, and they call it 'Altang (Spicy Fish Roe Soup, 알탕)'.

Before cooking the intestines and roe, they have to go through a process to remove its pungent fish-like smell, then it is boiled with seafood stock, vegetables and spicy or mild seasoning to give a salty, spicy and savory flavor. Pollack basically has a very refreshing and savory flavor, so it can be easily cooked. For example, people in the north-eastern region of Korea usually use grinded garlic, radish and salt only for pollack soup.

Intestines and roe gives a very savory and rich marine flavor. It may appear grotesque to you, but its taste is guaranteed.

The best season for eating altang is in winter because pollack is usually caught in the winter, and the cold season maximizes the hot and refreshing flavor of hot altang :) You easily can find altang at Korean restaurants near the coast.

Jeonnong Traffic Circle in Dongdaemun district, Seoul is the most popular area for finding the best altang in Korea :) So if you want to taste hot exotic seafood in Korea, please visit Jeonnong Traffic Circle :)

Bon Appétit! 

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful dish. Pollack is used both for consumption and medicinal purposes.