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Gulmuchim (Spicy Marinated Oyster)

Inspired by Maangchi – Korean Gulmuchim is a simple and easy recipe. All you need is to mix some raw oysters with the seasonings and you’re done! It’s been one of our favourite side dishes ever since we first started to make it. If you like freshly shucked oysters and Korean food, it will be a nice side dish for your rice! For us, we wrapped them into our Boiled Pork Belly, Bossam.

Frozen Oyster vs Fresh Oyster

The only real problem is that freshly shucked oysters are kind of pricey. We sometimes make this dish with packaged frozen oysters sold at our local wet market. The oysters are flash frozen, so it’s safe to eat them raw if you know how to thaw them out properly. You can try it out. Gulmuchim is good with frozen oysters, but made with oysters freshly shucked right in front of you is much more refreshing and tastier.

How to prepare the oyster?
Once we bring them home, we soak the unopened package in cold water to thaw them out. Then we open the package and put 3 tbsp of cornflour over it, and then rinse them off one by one to remove any sediment. Then we rinse them a couple more times and strain. Wash the oysters a few times and remove any remnants of shell or grainy particles from them especially the fresh oysters. Then they’re ready to mix with seasonings.

How does gochugaru differ from gochujang? 

I always got confited with Gochugara and Gochujang. Gochugaru translates literally to pepper powder. Gochu means pepper and Garu mean powder. The name Gochugaru refers to the flakes of a moderately hot sun-dried red chilli pepper. On the other hand, Gochujang is a thick, sticky paste used in dipping sauces and marinades. Gochujang contains Gochugaru along with various other flavorful ingredients.

After practice and families ourselves with Korean food, we understand better how to use these two kind of seasoning. While you can use gochujang in your marinade for bulgogi, other meat and also some seafood dishes (like this recipe) to get a traditional flavour profile. You can also add it to various soups, stews and sauces. Moreover, use Gochugaru as an all-purpose seasoning to add heat to almost any dish. It is essential if you are making kimchi.

We wanted both flavour and heat for this recipe and thus we use both here!

Can I make this ahead?

Yes, absolutely! However, if you want to enjoy them at their best state, only make them 4 hours to a day ahead. If you made more portions, you can keep them in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container!

Looking back at the images, it makes us drool again. You can never forget the finger-licking good taste and will keep craving for the freshness and heat!

xoxo, Joe

Gulmuchim (Spicy Marinated Oyster)

Ingredients

  • 4 ounce fresh cleaned shucked oyster (about 2 dozen)

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 green onion, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes

  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Method

  • Combine oysters, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, sugar, toasted sesame oil, and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

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