31 July 2008

Guts, Worms and Fish Bits: Seafood in Yanjae-dong

Cyndi's dad recently flew back to Korea to visit his mother in Busan. (Hwaiting, Halmoni!)
Before he made his way back to Hawaii, he stopped by Bundang to visit his daughter and favorite niece (Me, of course!).

We met up with my emobu's good friend Sandwich Ajusshi, who happens to be vacationing in Seoul with his family.

We also got to meet some of my eemobu's dongsaengs, including the gentleman in pink who has promised to hook us up with some tickets to a musical and/or B-boy show! 잘부탁합니다.

Sandwich Ajusshi spent a small fortune treating us to a sumptuous seafood feast at 별난휏집 (Byul Nan Hweh Jip) in Yangjae. Apparently, it's a very popular restaurant, frequented by a lot of celebrities. Sadly, we did not spot any celebrities that evening.

In addition to large platters of sashimi, I got to try a variety of *interesting* seafood dishes. I was feeling adventurous and tried pretty much everything that they put before me. Cyndi, on the other hand, was a little more prudent and just stuck to the tempura, sashimi, and 알밥 (fish roe) hand roll.

Here are some of the more memorable dishes from that evening.

Sandwich Ajusshi kept referring to this green soju as "yak" (medicine), swearing that it was very healthy. I believe that this alcoholic beverage contains some kind of fish juice. To my relief, it just tasted like a milder version of soju.

This is one of my uncle's favorite dishes of the evening. I'm told that it's some part of the male fish anatomy. It was surprisingly soft, like soondubu.

This is a platter of raw sea cucumber, sea worm, and abalone. Perhaps an alternative to the chips and dip at your next Super Bowl party?

This last item may possibly rival Stinky Tofu as the most offensive (to my olfactory system) dish I've ever had the privilege to try. I can't aptly capture the smell in words, but I guess it smelled like old fish steeped in pama chemicals. At first bite, the fish was just very salty. Then, my tongue started to tingle and the pama juice began to invade my entire mouth. It was an experience to say the least. Sandwich Ajusshi told me that this dish is very popular in Jeollado. Props to the folks in Jeollado.

You can find more footage of our seafood feast in the video. This edition of Annalog Eats also features a special guest- My emobu aka Cyndi's appa.


Richard said...

Do you know what that yellowish colored stuff was in the 4th slide of your video? I went to Busan and at ate at the fish market. I somehow ordered some of it and have been wondering what it was.

I'll have to say your quite brave trying all of that...it didnt look like you enjoyed the first couple of items you had...lol..don't know if I could have been brave enough to try all of that.

annalog said...

I had no idea what it was either. I just ate it, and classified as general seafood.
Cyndi says that it's called 멍게 (meong ge), "sea squirt." The Japanese call it "mahoya."

I also came across this helpful website http://www.zagalchi.co.kr/zagal/emain.php, if you need help figuring out other things you may have eaten while in Busan.

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