Roasted Mackerel. Its been a week at home ... and it's been amazing to wake up to breakfast. (A guilty pleasure in vacationing at my parent's house). For breakfast, my mom regularly roasts fish. It's either mackerel (고등어), yellow croaker (굴비), or pacific saury (꽁치). Since I arrived, the choice has been mackerel. Along with a few new banchans I have never tried before: Okra Muchim & Kelp Wrap.
Mackerel is a no brainer. It's cheap, delicious and very healthy (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids). However, it seems that mackerel is not on too many people's radars (like salmon or tuna). Give it a shot at home and if you really like the taste - include it into your weekly diet. I think it's a great source of clean and rich protein.
The Okra Muchim banchan was an unexpected surprise! We normally make this banchan with Gwali Peppers (꽈리고추) but they are hard to find outside of Korean markets. So we were pleasantly surprised by how well the marinade worked with okra - tasted great! This banchan pairs nicely with any other fish/meat dishes as well.
The Kelp wraps are one of my dad's favorite banchans. You get a good crunch from the vegetables and then an herbal fragrance from the perilla leaves, along with the chewiness of the kelp. Dip it in some vinegary spicy sauce and you got yourself a strange, yet delicious snack 🙂
Roasted Mackerel + Okra Muchim + Kelp Wraps
- Mackerel - 1 whole
- Lemon - 1 whole
- Salt - few shakes on both sides
- Black pepper - few shakes
- Okra - 2 large fistfuls or use Gwali Peppers
- Flour - 2 Tablespoons
- Salt - ½ Tablespoon
- Gochugaru - 1 Teaspoon
- Minced garlic - ½ Tablespoon
- Sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame seeds - few shakes
- Green onion - 1 stalk
- Kelp - 1 bag
- Mirim - few splashes optional
- Perilla leaves - 10
- Imitation crab sticks - 5
- Cucumber - 1 long or 3 small
- Paprika - 1 whole
- Cho-gochujang Sauce - 1 Tablespoon
- Butterfly the fish and clean-out all of the innards (reference video or ask the butcher to do it for you). Then rinse it under running water. Place the fish on a few paper towels and pat-off any water. Then salt both sides of the fish. Then, let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Put a sheet of foil over a baking sheet. Then place the fish on. Cut the lemon into slices. Place half the slices over the top of the fish. Pre-heat oven to 375F (190C) and bake for 30-40 minutes. After 30-40 minutes, the fish should start to get a crispy browning on top. Switch your oven to broiler mode and move your tray to the top shelf (so its close to the heat). Let it broil for an additional 5 minutes. (Note: time may vary - keep an eye on it)
- Once it get a crispy top, take out the fish. Take off the lemons pieces and sprinkle some black pepper over the top of the fish. Take a few fresh lemon slices and squeeze lemon juice over the fish.
- When eating, take out the spine. (Note: There are thin bones on the top and bottom of the fish - watch out for those.) Bon Appetit!
- Take the tops off the okra (or Gwali peppers). Then give them a good wash under running water. Put them in a strainer and let them drip-off excess water. (Note: Don't dry off the peppers completely - they should be slightly wet for the next step.)
- Place the slightly wet okra or peppers onto a plate. Put the flour in and toss the peppers in it. (Note: The flour will turn slightly mushy on the peppers - that's what we want!)
- Place the coated okra into a microwaveable bowl. Place plastic wrap over the bowl. Poke a few holes. Then microwave for 3 minutes. (Note: Don't forget to cover your bowl with plastic wrap so it can steam - or else it will dry out!)
- Place in the salt, gochugaru, minced garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Give it a thorough mix with your hands.
- Chop up the green onion and throw into bowl as well. Give a final mix. Serve and enjoy!
- Take the kelp out of the package and soak in water. Then wash it under running water to take off the salt.
- Fill up a large bowl with cold water again and let the kelp sit in it for 30 minutes. (Note: Add a few splashes of Mirin to the bowl to minimize any ocean smell in the kelp)
- Take the stems of the perilla leaves and wash under running water. Pat them down dry.
- Then slice the cucumber, crab sticks and paprika into thin, equal-length pieces (reference video)
- Make roll: Start with a perilla leaf. Then place a cucumber, crab sick and paprika slice at one end of the leaf. Roll it. Then roll it again into a piece of kelp. Cut in half.
- Serve with cho-gochujang sauce - see notes for sauce recipe.
- Eat and enjoy life!
- To make cho-gochujang sauce, mix-in 1 Tablespoon of each: Gochujang, Vinegar, Sugar.
- Reference video for more details