M. Janakavi, Namakkal, Tamilnadu
Have you ever tasted Korean Marinated Raw crab? This name is quite misleading, as many folk expect it to be a raw crab, but it turns out to be a well-fermented crab dish. Let me bring in to you a salivating and tempting appetite recipe of the Korean marinated Raw Crab dish. This dish is known as Gejang, where Ge means Crab and Jang means soy sauce in Korean. It is popularly called as Kanjang Gejang, meaning marinated Raw crabs in Soy Sauce. Also, some regions in Korea call it as Gejeot as it stands for salty fermented seafood served with Rice as a side dish.
A Little History of Gejang
South Korean people usually prefer to have food in fermented form as its full of good bacteria that helps to increase metabolism. This traditional dish has been in continuous existence since seventeenth century in Korea. Korean people love this dish, and that’s how it remains constant in the recipe books throughout generations with some twists of ingredients. Use of cooking wine while marinating, adding spirit drink and some slices of apple and pear fruits are among popular additions to the dish. Traditionally, women during the seventeenth century used Mul Yeot–a sticky liquid sugar, a conventional Korean ingredient to prepare the dish.
Crabs Used for Gejang
Traditionally, Gejang is made with Chinese Mitten Crab as it has a lot of fleshy part and due to their hard shell, the fermentation process takes longer but the taste is divine. Over time, Korean people mostly use Horse Crab called as Dolgel and Female Blue Crabs called as Kkotge and Rock crab, where wonder rests in its freshness as it is eaten within a week. Preferably, there are two seasons to eat Gejang, one in the spring season for Horse Crab and fall season for blue female crab because of its bright colored eggs which has buttery and a sweet flavor.
Gejang Types and How it tastes
At present, Gejang has many versions including marination with soy sauce, cooking wine with fruits and spicy version with chilli sauce. Kanjang Gejang or raw crab marinated with soya sauce is usually fermented during preparation for three days, whereas the spicy raw crab called ‘Yangnyeom Gejang’ is fermented for two days in the refrigerator. There’s many not well known marinated crab dishes with unique sweet and savory flavor enhanced by mild soy sauce called Doenjang Gejang and Japanese marinated Ghost Crab called Chil Gejang, a kind of grated crab dish among the popular side dishes in restaurants.
There are several ways to eat Gejang as some prefer it with seaweed laver, rice mixed with sesame oil similar to Bibimbap or many simply enjoy it with plain rice. Another way to try it is by mixing the Gejang with rice and then wrapping seaweed laver around it. The flavors’ just melts in mouth and tastes creamy with distinctive fragrance. Gejang is referred to as Bap Doduk, meaning Rice Stealer, as the marinated crabs stimulate the appetite that one doesn’t realize how much rice they are eating.
Famous Restaurants for Gejang in South Korea
There are many Restaurants in Korea for eating Marinated Raw Crabs. The dish is served with plenty of side dishes like Jogi tang meaning croaker soup, spicy crab stew Kkotge tang, salted fish and grilled mackerel. Here’s where to find the delicacy:
Gebangsikdang: Located in Nonhyeon dong, Gangnam District of South Korea.
Jinmi sikdang: Located in Mapo -gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Ilmi restaurant: In Jangnam city, South Korea.
Bongsong dong Marinated crabs with Rice street: In this restaurant Rock crabs are used, its caught in Yeosu sea and has its own rich taste.
Kkot Dam restaurant: located in Suji District, Yong in city far from Seoul. People come here to eat and enjoy the view outside the restaurant. To know more, you can watch this video:
Seafood lovers can look forward to try this dish. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.