Dried Pollack Farm

Dried Pollack Farm

The teams’ Korean food journey begins a couple of hours from the mountains to a place called Inje Hwangtae Village in the Gangwon Province. It lies on the eastern edge of the Korean peninsula and is home to a unique Korean delicacy.

This village is famous for many different things. It is -15 degrees Celsius for at least 2 months of the year, which presents opportunities in itself. The waterfalls freeze over so it’s a mecca for ice climbers and you can chase traditional Korean food. Taste the fish called Hwangtae (you might know it as Dried Pollack) and the way it’s dried might make a few heads turn.

The fish can grow up to 1-metre in length and weigh up to 20-kilograms, but typically you’ll find them around 40-centremeters long. Once they’ve been caught, they’re cleaned and prepared and then shipped all the way from the coast up into the mountains to dry. This is where the fish gets their unique flavour, through the freeze-drying process. The dock or wooden frames are designed to hang the fish outdoors where they are hung whole for 40-90 days in freezing and windy outdoor environments. Over the course of the weeks, the Pollack slowly dry, freeze at night and thaw during the day and every time this happens the fish take on a deeper, richer flavour. After repeated contractions and expansions, the fish finally turns into a delicious yellowish Hwangtae.

For Koreans, dried Pollack is more than just a food source; it is associated with good luck. If someone moves house, Koreans will grab the Dried Pollock and hang it out the front of the new house in hope to bring good luck. When it comes to special events like holidays, Koreans celebrate ancestral rights with a traditional Pollock dish and the family enjoys the meal together.

There is no other fish species that is consumed as much as the Dried pollock and even the eyes are stir fried and served as a side dish with drinks, steamed skin is consumed as wraps and the innards are salted and used as a side dish.

This is what Korean cuisine is all about.

For more information, visit these sites:

The Inje Hwangtae Village website on: www.yongdaeri.com (Korean only)

The Korea Tourism Organization website on: www.visitkorea.org.au

If you’d like to receive a FREE information pack with guidebooks and maps, email visitkorea@knto.org.au for more information.