Rice with Mussels

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관련항목 페이징
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Chinese Characters 紅蛤밥
Field Life and Folk Custom/Life
Type Foods/Foods
Area Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Period Unclassified
Writer Yeo Sugyeong

    [Detail Information]

    Type Local dish
    Ingredient Mussels | Rice | Chili paste | Sesame oil | Sesame | Soy source
    Season Year-round
[Definition]
A local dish cooked with mussels caught in Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

[Details]
Mussels are distributed off the entire coast of Korea, and they are also farmed in some parts of the South Sea. However mussels caught around Ulleungdo Island are different from those caught in other areas. Rather than picking them off the sunken rocks along the coast, mussels caught around Ulleungdo Island live in the deep sea over 20 meters below sea level where divers collect them by hand. They are as big as an adult’s palm in size. The flesh of the mussels is a reddish color, and the texture is firm. Mussel stock is tasty and functions as a natural seasoning.

The historical background of eating rice with mussels (honghapbap) is unknown. Steamed rice was a rare food on Ulleungdo Island because of the shortage of farmland, so people could only eat steamed rice during ancestral worship rituals and on festive days. Instead of steamed rice, people ate dishes with various seafood and vegetables added as staple foods. Rice with mussels was one of these dishes.

To make rice with mussels, soak rice in water for 30 minutes, and remove the mussel shells, cleaning the mussels well. Cook rice by putting rice, water, then mussels into a pot, and season with sesame oil and aged soy sauce. When cooking the rice, add only two thirds the normal amount of water because much liquid comes out of the mussels. Make seasoned chili paste mixed with sesame oil and sesame. Eat rice with mussels with various seasoned vegetables grown on Ulleungdo Island such as royal fern, dried laver, aralia, chwinamul (leaves of various species of wild flowering plant including Aster scaber), wild parsley and mountain garlic (myeongi).

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