Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Yellow Pollack

Fresh pollack caught
on plastic grub
        Day 5, 21/Nov/2012, 6.30pm: Even though Pyeongchang county may not be near the beach, the arid dry highland air is perfect for drying fish. Tonight we will have another steamboat with dried fish as the main character. Our bus took us down to a restaurant some 15 minutes away for our dinner. Along the way on the bus, Kent told us why fish were abundant here up in the mountain, which is nowhere near the sea. The fish that were send up here were mostly pollack, found abundant in sea off Korea's coast. Apparently the weather at this highland is cold and dry, making it an ideal place to make dried fish. So, many fisherman sell their fish to the proprietor who then send the fish to the highland to be air dried. The pollack will dry during winter while undergoing freezing and unfreezing repeatedly to become “hwangtae,” or yellow dried pollack.
      We arrived at the restaurant, which was set in a tourist friendly arrangement of 4 persons to one steamboat. Again, I, being the designated "outsider" in our family of 5, sat with Kit and his family of 3. In no time our dinner in ready, complete with rice, meat, fish, kimchi, noodles, and vegetable. I reckon steamboat does not take long to cook, and it is easy to prepare and taste good as well, especially in the winter where the warmth from the fire makes one felt better. The fish were nice, chewy and the texture more salted fish like. I always like salted fish, but Mummy M complained it was too hard for her. Little M like the meat and soup so much that he goes for 3 helpings of rice. He was really full until nearly unable to walk.
         After dinner we went to a nearby souvenir shop, and also to gawk at some of the dried yellow pollack fish that escaped being in our steamboat. Here are some pictures of us at the restaurant having dried fish steamboat:
The restaurant where we had our dried fish steamboat. It was a make for tourist type restaurant.
Dried fish, mostly yellow pollack, for sale outside the restaurant. We did not buy any yet, instead will try some first.
More strung up fish for sale. These were air dried in the cool and dry mountain air.
These are packaged, hung up and readied to be brought away to far away land.
The steamboat had started to boil, and soon it was ready to be eaten. Chow time everyone.
Seating arrangement is always 4 to a steamboat pot. Again, I was the designated outsider, having to sit with another family since there are 5 of us.
Many Kimchi dishes accompanied the main dish. Better still the Kimchi is free flow. We only added on those that we liked.
An empty section in the restaurant waiting for the next guests. Again it was four chairs to a stove.
We can add soup, Kimchi and other ingredients except the fish. Well, we had our fills of meat and vegetable and Kimchi.
There was another section that was arranged Tatami style, but I can rest assured that it was no good for my bad leg. 
The prices list of the meal up on the wall. They were reasonably priced in my opinion.
Some other set dishes available in the menu
Mummy M decided not to buy the dried fish after tasting the hard bite, preferred to just take some pictures instead.

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