Godeungeo Kimchi Jorim 고등어 김치 조림 (Braised Mackerel w Kimchi)
Godeungeo (mackerel) has a very special place in my heart, having eaten it every which way imaginable—pan-fried, grilled, braised, canned, smoked, you name it. But during my days in Seoul, there was this kogi jjip (barbecue restaurant) near my home that would serve this awesome dish for lunch for only $5 bucks. Needless to say, I was a regular customer and could never get tired of this, that is until I returned to the States. With my mom recently cooking up mackerel dishes, nostalgia set in and I had to make this for myself. This dish can be quite complicated for those unfamiliar or just squirmish dealing with whole fish, but most markets have frozen, de-gutted mackerel (although fresh would be ideal) that can be cooked upon thawing. Sadly for me, I got to get my hands dirty by gutting and cleaning the fish thoroughly under running water. The mackerel is cooked with cubed Asian radish (moo) and the usual red chili peppers (gochugaru & gochujang) for a spicy but yet addicting sauce. For those who have tried this dish, the combination of fish, radish, savory sauce, and rice is truly a one-of-a-kind taste. You can also wrap the ingredients with lettuce varieties like perilla leaves (gaednip) and red leaf lettuce (sangchu). Thankfully, it turned out the way I remembered it (hooray!) and plenty more leftovers for later. Now if I could only have access to fresh fish as I did in Korea, I would probably make this every week.