Korean Eating: A Fishy Feast 해물탕
As I’ve mentioned before, living on a peninsula has given me the opportunity to try shellfish everything, fish there aren’t English names for aside from the biological terms and everything in between.
Haemultang, 해물탕, is a dish that puts all of them together into one deliciously spicy fishy stew. There’s something for everyone in here with prawns, squid, clams, crab, octopus, scallops, fish and oysters in a spicy with a hint of sweet red pepper paste broth . If you don’t fancy an octopus tentacle, grab the prawns. If you don’t want the clams, go for the fish. The stew also comes with vegetables, maybe some bean sprouts, mushrooms, peppers and onions as well as tofu.
The dish can differ in ingredients from place to place and season to season depending on what is fresh and in stock, but expect it to be overflowing with as many seafood delights as you can imagine in one hot pot in the center of the table surrounded by vegetable side dishes and soju bottles. If you don’t bring a friend that knows the intricacies of cutting up the octopus with scissors or removing the seafood from the shells, don’t be afraid to wave over the helpful servers to slice and dice for you.