Korean Black Mackerel Stew

August 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

I have a love-hate relationship with meat and seafood…..if it looks or feels kind of gross, then I really don’t want to touch it or have anything to do with it.  So the spouse and I have an agreement that I would never touch or cook whole fish myself and it would be up to him to make the meal.  I have a lot of issues with eating and cooking things that are looking back at me….it just seems so….wrong….!!!

Growing up, mackerel was NEVER a favorite, let alone letting the potent smell permeate throughout the entire house while my mom had it boiling away in a spicy stew!  So I vowed that I would NEVER, EVER cook or even allow this smelly fish into my house….

HOWEVER,  I do have to acknowledge the many benefits of mackerel.  It is PACKED with nutrition, is a lower-in-the-food-chain fish, AND is a sustainable fish!  This is a “feel good” kinda fish.

So as usual, I ate my own words—-I actually made this spicy stew myself and it was surprisingly really delicious.  I still didn’t eat the fish, but I had a little taste of the broth and vegetables.  The spouse was extremely pleased and asked for another bowl of rice!  I think this will have to be entered in my repertoire as a “classic”.

I didn’t document the steps it took to make this stew, but you’ll notice a big, round, white radish in the background.  That’s the Korean version of the white radish we use, but one can substitute it with the Japanese daikon radish.  The Korean white radish has great flavor—it is a little spicier than the daikon radish, but it is more refreshing.  So when cooking a stew that seems a bit “heavy” (like the oily mackerel), then the spicier Korean white radish balances it well with a refreshing finish.  A side of bitingly fresh kimchi is also a MUST!

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