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Spicy Korean fish with vegetables

Galchi jo rim
As Kum You from Yeosu-si, South Korea, taught Lindsay Sterling
in Portland, ME, October 2010
Cooking time: 30 min
Serves 4
¼ cup soy sauce
¾ cup water
1 tsp garlic minced
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp Korean hot pepper*
1-2 Tbsp sesame seed
12 segments of galchi fish*
1-2 daikon radish, cut into ½ inch half-circles*
4 green onions, minced
4 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch half-circles
4 jalepenos, cut diagonally into 1/4" thick rounds

Mix together sauce ingredients: soy sauce, garlic, water, green onion, hot pepper, honey, Korean hot pepper, and sesame seeds. In a medium pot, place radish pieces down first, fish pieces on top of that (so they don’t stick!) and pour sauce over. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer. When you start to smell the fish cooking, add green onion jalepheno pepper, zuccini, and spoon sauce on top but don’t mix. Cover and simmer until radish is no longer crunchy, 10-15 minutes.

Seaweed side dish with Korean hotsauce

Dehydrated wakame seeweed*
Hot fermented bean paste* (gochoujang)
Soak seaweed in cold water. Boil more water in separate pot, add seaweed, cook just 5 seconds until pliable, but not wilted or mushy. Rinse with cold water and slice into chunks. Serve topped with Korean hot sauce. Mrs. You makes her secet family hot sauce with her grandmother's own fermented bean paste, but you can buy a similar base called gochoujang at the Korean market, and add a little vinegar and sugar to taste. It's also good I hear with just vinegar, or soy sauce.

*Where to Shop or What to Substitute!

Galchi fish: Known in English as cuttlassfish, hairtail, and beltfish, Trichiurus lepturus is found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Mrs. You gets hers frozen at Sun Market (address below). If you fish, catch your own! See Florida Sportfishing’s post on how here: http://floridasportfishing.com/magazine/baitfish-profiles/ribbonfish-atlantic-cutlassfish.html. But here’s the thing: use any darn fish you want! I’m trying haddock tonight because it’s affordable and fresh around here. I bet bluefish would be really good because the flavor would be hold up well to all the spice. Shorten the cooking time if your fish is fresh.

Korean radish: also called Daikon raidish, it’s usually available at our major supermarket, Hannaford. I bet my local farmer’s gorgeous red radishes would work well thrown in whole (the daikon chunks were big and chunky anyway!) Asian markets will have this.

Wakame Seaweed: You can find the Wang brand that Mrs. You likes at Sun and other Asian markets. I have a call out to Maine Seaweed suppliers to see if we have a good, local substitute. Wakame is listed as one of the world's most invasive species so don't try to grow it - there's plenty in the world already! Maybe Environmental protection groups will pay for us to eat it up! The texture is slippery with a little crunch when cooked right, and the width of the leaves is about half of a lasagne noodle. The package is giant so you'll have plenty to throw in soups like miso.

Korean Hot Pepper: I’m still working on finding out what variety of pepper this is made from, and the process. It looks like the peppers are de-seeded, dried and coarsely ground. The bag I got (the kind Mrs. You used) is Wang brand from Sun Oriental Market. It's medium spice to my tongue. The point in this dish is spiciness; the color is red, and the texture is coursely ground. You could substitute any coursely ground dried red chili you have. I have Aleppo from Syria, but that’s still pretty far flung. If local is what you want, grow or get red chilis at a farmer’s market, dry them, deseed, and pulse in a coffee grinder.

Korean Hot sauce: Mrs. You called it Chou go chou jang. The owner of Sun market says Cho means vinegar, and gochoujang is fermented hot bean paste. While Mrs. You’s recipe is a family secret, you can buy the gochoujang at Sun Oriental and add vingar and sugar to taste.

My nearest Korean Market is Sun Oriental Market, (207) 772-8675, 626 Congress St, Portland, ME. To find a market near you, check this list by state:

I need recipe testers! I'd love to hear from you! Please tell me how the recipe worked for you at lindsay@lindsaysterling.com

copyright Lindsay Sterling 2010