A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:30b-31, NASV)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Korean-Style Braised Mackerel (Godeungeo Jorim)

To me, there is nothing on Earth more delicious to eat than Korean cuisine. It's what I think of when I think "comfort food." Full of hot spices, sour flavors, and a savoriness that cannot be outdone, it's really a Seoul-ful style of food. Being half Korean, I spent a lot of time in my youth eating the delicious dishes my "halmoni," grandmother, would prepare: kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage), mandu (dumplings), gimbap (Korean sushi), naengmyeon (cold noodle soup), yukaejang (spicy beef and vegetable soup), pajeon (green onion pancakes)... If I were to pick my last meal, it would be, hands down, Korean food the way my halmoni made it. And today I would like to share with you one of my favorites: godeungeo jorim AKA braised mackerel. 

Mackerel is a fishy fish - very oily, but that makes it a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This braised mackerel is a very healthful dish, and the spiciness will clear out your sinuses stat. On a 1-5 scale of spiciness, I would put this at a 4.5. It's belly-warming, mouth-burning good. Serve it with steamed rice and either steamed cabbage leaves (as I've done here) or fresh red leaf lettuce to cut some of the heat. You don't have to remove the fish bones, as they come fully cooked in the can and add a satisfying, crunchy texture (but feel free to remove them if you'd like).

Now if you're new to Korean food, don't be intimidated by what I just said about the fish bones or by the ingredients on this list - fish bones are full of nutritious calcium, and the ingredients should be easy to find at your local Asian market. And you can easily lessen the spice level by cutting back on the peppers and red chili flakes.

Here we go!

Chop chop!



Make sauce!







Nom nom nom nom!

As always, this recipe is tried and true from my kitchen to yours,

Korean-Style Braised Mackerel (Godeungeo Jorim)  
Recipe by: Kimberly Meyers

Serving size: 4 Prep Time: 5-10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
As always, this recipe is tried and true from my kitchen to yours.

1 14oz. can boiled Mackerel, strained with juices reserved
1/2 lb. Korean radish (or daikon), sliced in 1/2" slices
1/2 onion, sliced
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped ginger
3 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl. Mirin (rice wine)
1 Tbl. Korean chili flakes
1-3 Birds Eye Thai chilis, sliced (optional - omit to lessen the heat if desired)
Cabbage leaves for wrapping, steamed, or uncooked red leaf lettuce
Boiled white rice for serving

Boil white rice according to package directions. In a separate heavy bottom, non-stick pot, turn heat to medium and add radish and onion slices (no need to add oil). Add strained Mackerel pieces on top. In a small bowl, combine reserved Mackerel juices with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Mirin, Korean chili flakes, and Thai chilis. Pour sauce over fish, turn heat to high and bring contents to a boil, then set heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the radish becomes tender (the fish and radish will render additional juices during cooking). Halfway through cooking, use a spoon to carefully baste fish and veggies with juices, being careful not to break up fish. Meanwhile, in another pot, place cabbage leaves in a strainer and steam over boiling water for 5 minutes until tender. Serve with chopsticks and enjoy!


  1. This looks so amazing. I love mackerel. It looks like quite a healthy dish too, which is nice at this time of year when food can be quite heavy. x

    1. Thank you Gillian! My husband just surprised me with an early Christmas gift - a Korean cookbook! I hope to post more recipes like this soon :) I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!