Sunday, June 20, 2010

Haejangguk and cod stew

This post took place on June 12, 2010.

The second to last day of our trip I ran into very challenging Korean food.

That's sunji haejangguk. It's supposed to be good for a hangover. I was getting over a mild stomach bug, so I was hoping it could help with that too.

The soup had a really nice, rich beef stock. But it also had blood clot, tripe, and who-knows-what-else. I had the most trouble with the blood clot. I don't like the texture of blood clot, and there was this really large one in there with suspended bubbles and a surface suggestive of heart trabeculae. I was the only one at the table who didn't eat everything.

Oh, that was for breakfast.

For lunch, we went to a place specializing in cod stew. Parts of the stew were good, but there were also these unknown squiggly pieces of cod.

My dad said they were a delicacy and my mom couldn't provide a translation other than saying that they were only found in male cod. They had this weird texture and were pretty bland. Not easy to eat.


Michelle said...

Those "squiggly pieces" in the cod stew are male cod fish genetalia. It's sperm-filled sac. It is supposed to give men "stamina" (sexually). Good luck David! They serve it at Korean restaurants in LA.

They have squiggly pieces in Japanese cooking as well. I lived in Japan for a time during college and the Japanese call them "shirako". "Shira" means "white" and "ko" means "children".

It's kind of funny how the Japanese equate sperm sac with white children.

Michelle said...

Thanks David for all the photos of Korea and their food! Makes me want to go visit my brother there.

I haven't been back it 20 years so it was great to see all the changes.

David said...

Hi Michelle, Thanks for the clarification. The ambiguity was useful while eating it, but it's good to know now.