[TASTE KOREA] The Skate or “Hong-Eo Hwe”

In the [TASTE KOREA] series of blog entries, The Krew members will be introducing various Korean food. We hope you get inspired to try these food that are unique to Korea! For the second TASTE KOREA entry, Oh Hyun Sang of Team CCC introduces us to Hong-Eo Hwe, or the Skate!

Other than the San Nak Ji that I talked about on the first TASTE KOREA entry, Korea has other sea food that is interesting for the palate.

 The second unique Korean food that I want to introduce is Hong-Eo. Hong-Eo(Skate) belongs to the same family as the stingray and it has a rhombus shape and long width.

홍어3 There are a myriad of ways to cook this, but of all the recipes, the most famous one is eating it raw. It is true that for Koreans, it is an ordinary way of cooking the fishes, but for foreigners it’s not. I saw many foreigners who strongly reject eating raw fish. What’s even worse for the Hong-Eo is that it has to undergo fermentation. Normally, if a food is fermented, it would stink. Among all the fermented foods, the Hong-Eo has been chosen as one of the worst smelling food in the world. 홍어 홍어2 Once a person attempts to smell Hong-Eo, its odor will deeply get into the nose and he or she will feel something like a sting inside the nose like ammonia. Moreover unlike durian, you might feel uncomfortable. On top of that, putting it in your mouth will be like eating strong wasabi. The more you try to chew the Hong-Eo, the smell will be stronger and it will spread into your nose, mouth, and body. Even though a person is brave enough to put up with the smell, one will eventually give up right after chewing it. Until now, I can count the number of foreigners who are in favor of the Hong-Eo with my hands. What do you say about this food? Will you have the guts to try it?


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