Gajami – Pan-Grilled with “Korean Salsa” Spread.
This gajami recipe is great for families who love fish – but don’t get enough of it in their diet.
(Yes, I am speaking to myself!)
Gajami - or Korean Flounder - is a fish that Korean households eat regularly.
In English, it’s also known as Korean Solefish or Korean Flatfish.
[Purchasing tip: Feel free to use any local flounder, solefish or other local flatfish to your area]
While it looks horrendous (look below - lol), gajami has extra-tender flesh. When cooked, the morsels taste sweet and pair perfectly with a bowl of hot rice.
This is why many young Korean mothers like to cook gajami for their kids.
Typically, gajami is pan-grilled with a touch of salt and black pepper. But if you want more flavor, yangnyeom (Korean marinade) is the way to go.
Korean marinade (yangnyeom) for fish usually starts with gochujang paste. The marinade is thick, with a slightly earthy flavor and spread on top of the fish.But today, I wanted to teach you a lighter, more “uplifting” marinade – one that builds on gochugaru flakes.
It produces a vibrant taste with fresh onions – the adjective that comes to mind is “Fish Salsa”.
Picking out the soft, white morsels – with a bit of fish salsa on top is simply incredible.
Cooking tips for Korean Gajami:
At the Korean market, you can also find gajami filets that are individually cleaned and packed in vacuum-sealed packages. Work with these if you don’t want to deal with fresh fish.
In the video, I used a “king” sized gajami. But the typical gajami is much smaller in size – don’t go get confused when you see smaller ones on display, that’s the normal size!
Pour-on a tablespoon of mirin on each side of the fresh fish. This will do a good job in reducing any “fishy” smell.
Don’t forget to descale the fish – the skin is where much of the fishy smell comes from. Use a knife (or bottle cap) and carefully run it against the scales of the fish.
The gochugaru salsa will be enough to cover 2-3 gajami.
Some viewers ask us whether we gut the fish before cooking.
For flatfish, the flesh is very soft and brittle. Doing too much with it before cooking will make it break apart in the frying pan.
So Koreans tend to cook the fish whole. Then pick at the white flesh with chopsticks – and leave behind any guts.
That’s it folks – I sincerely hope you like this fish salsa! It will work well with any white fish 😉
If you try this dish at home, tag us on IG.
We love flipping through pics of your creations in the morning 😉
(P.s. If you’re cooking alone, don’t get bored. Consider listening to our latest podcast episode while you cook!)
-Daniel out 🕺
- 2 whole Gajami (Korean Flounder) Filet also work
- 2 Tablespoons Mirim
- Few shakes Salt
- Some Flour
Korean Gochugaru Salsa (Enough for 2 Gajami Fish)
- ½ whole Onion
- 5 Green Onion Stalks (each, length of your forearm)
- 1 Tablespoon Gochugaru Flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Oligodang Syrup (or use Honey, Jocheong, Ssalyeot)
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- ¼ Cup Water
- If you're working with gajami filets, skip to the breading process.
- If fish is frozen, thaw it first. Then use a knife (or bottle cap) and descale both sides of the fish (don't forget the underside). Use a knife and make a few slits on both the top and bottom of the fish. Then give the fish a good rinse under running water.
- Place the clean fish onto a tray. Then pour-on 1 Tablespoon of Mirin to each side of the fish. Then sprinkle on a few pinches of salt to both sides of the fish.
- Cover tray with plastic wrap - then place the fish in the refrigerator for 10-15 mins. (The mirin will soak into the fish skin and eliminate any smells)
Make Gochugaru Salsa
- Dice ½ an onion into small pieces. Then finely dice 5 green onion stalks. Place them both into a mixing bowl.
- Next, add-in: Gochugaru Flakes (1 Tablespoon), Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon), Soy Sauce (2 Tablespoons), Oligodang Syrup or Honey (1 Tablespoon), Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoon) and Water (¼ Cup).
- Give everything a good mix.
- After 15 minutes, take the fish out of the refrigerator. Don't rinse it! Instead, use a few paper towels and pat the fish down dry.
- Then place the fish into some flour and get both sides coated evenly. Tap-off any excess flour - we don't want too much.
- Place some oil into a frying pan - good amount to cover the bottom of the pan. Once its hot, place the fish in. Let it cook on both sides for 3 minutes (timing may vary).
- After both sides get a nice golden-brown color to them, add-on a few spoonfuls of the gochugaru salsa. Immediately cover with a lid - as the oil will start to react with the water in the salsa. Let it cook - with lid-on - for 2 more minutes.
- Use chopsticks and check to see if the fish is cooked through. If so, turn off heat. Plate fish.
- Serve with a bowl of fresh rice.
We've also added the recipe for the Cheongpo-muk (mungbean starch jelly).
- 300-400 grams Cheongpo muk (Mungbean Starch Jelly)
- 1 teaspoon(!) Soy Sauce
- Few pinches Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
- 1 Pack Korean Gim (Roasted Seaweed)
- Slice Cheongpo Muk into small rectangles (reference video).
- Bring a pot of water up to boil. Once its boiling, place the jelly piece into a strainer and then dip into the boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes (or until the pieces turn translucent).
- After 2 minutes, take the pieces out (careful the strainer handle will be hot!)
- Then place into a mixing bowl and let it cool down.
- Once its cooled down, add in Soy Sauce (1 teaspoon!), Salt (few pinches), Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoon), Sesame Seeds (1 Tablespoon) as well as 1 Pack of Korean Gim Seaweed (crumble it up first).
- Give it a good stir. Give it a taste - you can add in a sprinkle of more salt if you like.
- Bon Appetit!