Wednesday, March 18, 2009

taegu

It is amazing how food photos on the internet can make you crave them. After seeing this musubi on Wowgrinds, I was craving taegu (tay-goo).

One thing about living away from the Islands is that whenever I crave something from home, most times I have to make it...from scratch.

After a little research, it seems that taegu is a local Korean food in Hawaii. (I've never seen the dish here in Japan, if you know what it is called in Japanese or Korean, please let me know.) Dried codfish is seasoned and eaten with rice as a side dish or as a beer chaser.

After some surfing, I found a recipe on this site.

The thing I was most worried about was finding codfish, or more specifically, dried codfish. I googled to see what it was called in Japanese and what it would look like. (for those interested, it is called tara (ta-la))

Then I went to the supermarket.

I looked in the pupu (Hawaiian for appetizer)/beer chaser section, nope. Then I went to the refrigerated fish section...bingo!

I actually wanted a smaller package, but bought the size they had. 480 yen (about US$4.80) for 150 grams.

The most P.I.T.A. (pain in the A**) part of this recipe was taking off the bones of the fish. As I shredded the dried fish, I sorted as best I could to get the bones out and only made half of the fish with half of the sauce.

There was no cooking involved, which was perfect. And all you need to do is let it sit overnight in the refrig.

Taegu from Recipe Cottage

2.5 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoons sesame oil
1 package dried codfish (tara)
2 teaspoons sesame seed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Put all the ingredients together and let stand for 1 day.

Get yourself a bowl of hot rice and dig in!

NOTES: I wasn't sure how many ounces a package of codfish was, so I looked at another taegu recipe and saw that they used 6 ounces (170 grams). I used ground Japanese chili pepper instead of Western chili powder. I have a feeling that the chili powder in the recipe should be the Korean type and not the Western type. I am also wondering if I should try soaking the fish to get rid of some of the salt.

But as for the taste, it was delicious! A little spicy, a little sweet, too salty for me, but all in all delicious and close to the taegu that I know. I'm making more after we eat this batch up and I will try soaking the fish before making it, maybe it will make taking the bones out easier too...will let you know the results.

16 comments:

Rowena said...

It is also amazing how you pick just the right foods that I would want to make for myself. I am doing this recipe, but will enlist the help of MotH to pick out the bones. Got everything except the codfish -- thanks for sharing this Kat!

K and S said...

I am glad our stomachs are on the same wavelength, I hope you can find some codfish, Rowena :)

Take care.
Kat

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - Funny you should mention taegu...I just had some the other night!

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Sounds SO good! I love anything fishy.

Anonymous said...

Definitely soak dried codfish for a few hours before using it. Drain and rinse it well. For softening and reducing the salt content.

K and S said...

That is cool Kirkk :)

Thanks Abigail :)

Thanks Anon, I will soak the fish the next round :)

Take care everyone!
Kat

Deb said...

Oh this made me teary-eyed. It was my mom's signature "dish" to make for potlucks. I remember her making it for her friends so much I told her she needs to market it! I have her recipe somewhere... Oh how I loved grabbing some from the huge container in the fridge, licking the hot, sweet oily goodness on my fingers!

So no ready-made, no-bones codfish there - must be a Hawaiian thing? and Korean?? Interesting. I think I'll make some when I go home...nothing like Taegu on your pupu platter at happy hour!

K and S said...

I hope you find the recipe, Deb! One of my friends said I could use cuttlefish, so after I use up the bony fish I have, I will try it with cuttlefish :)

Take care.
Kat

Deb said...

Ooohh - yes, I think it was cuttlefish that she used!

K and S said...

I will definitely try it with cuttlefish, Deb :)

Take care.
Kat

Caroline in San Francisco said...

We were on vacation on Kauai last week and stopped by Costco in Lihue for provisions. Costco had a quart-size container of prepared taegu (made by a company in Hawaii, not sure which island) for less than $10! I was so looking forward to the yummy, salty, sweet & savory goodness with some steamed rice, but alas, it wasn't very good. I think this taegu was also made with cuttlefish. Usually one of my Korean favorites.

K and S said...

Sorry to hear the taegu was such a disappointment, Caroline. Hope the rest of your trip was memorable!

Take care.
Kat

Deb said...

I just googled "Taegu recipe cuttlefish" and your post was second and third!

I bought some cuttlefish back from HI, and after talking with other moms-who-are-from-a-different-culture-and-miss-foods-our-moms-made today . . . I decided to make my mom's taegu soon.

I'll be sure to blog about it:)

K and S said...

My Aunty's friend told me the same thing when she was googling for a different recipe :) Hope it works out for you.

Take care.
Kat

Deb said...

you stay some famous :D

K and S said...

I weesh Deb...