âGuamegiâ is the representative winter delicacy. Guamegi was called shrubfish (persimmon) because herring was washed in seawater and dried by sticking its eyes with a skewer. Over time, it changed in the order of shrubfish â tubular catfish â guamegi, and it came to its current name. Guamegi is a favorite food eaten in the Gyeongsangbuk-do region because herring or saury is frozen and thawed repeatedly for 3 to 10 days and dried in the shade. At first, herring was made as the main ingredient, but after 1960, when herring production plummeted, they began making guamegi with saury instead of herring, and Pohang Kowloon Po, the largest saury fishing port on the east coast, became the town of guamegi. As DHA, omega-3 fatty acids, and nucleic acids increase during the drying process, guamegi has various benefits such as preventing skin aging, loss of physical strength, and improving skin beauty. You can feel the rich smell of the sea in your mouth! Here are 5 of the best places to eat in Guamegi in the country.
1. âYeongdeok Restaurantâ in Chungmuro, Seoul, where you can enjoy guamegi all year round
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âYeongdeok Restaurantâ has been located in Chungmuro Printing Alley for over 30 years. You can enjoy guamegi regardless of the season by bringing them in vacuum packaging from Kowloon Po in Pohang. The signature menu âGuamegiâ is cut into bite-sized pieces and served with soy sauce, vegetables, and seaweed. In particular, chÅjang made by adding makgeolli vinegar, sesame seeds, chopped green onions, and various condiments to gochujang is perfect as a licorice that enhances the umami flavor of guamegi. âMakkai,â where herring and flounder brought from production areas are cut into thin slices and grated with soy sauce, are also popular dishes. After eating half of the sashimi, you can also enjoy it as bibimbap by adding rice.
â²Location: 6 Changgyeonggung-ro 1-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
â²Opening hours: 12:00 â 22:00 every day, closed on Sundays
â²Price: Guamegi 22,000 won, Makkai (middle) 22,000 won
â²Testimonial (My name is Detective Conan): It's a restaurant in Fumijin Alley that took a lot of distance with makgee and guamegi. The atmosphere is far from a developed city, so it's like a place only visited by people who know it.
2. 'Haegu Restaurant' in Nambin-dong, Pohang, using traditional flavors
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âHaegu Restaurantâ is the first guamegi specialty store in Pohang to start selling guamegi. They specialize in packaging and only sell a limited quantity of around 120 sets per day. The signature menu is âherring and catfish,â which has a very soft texture, and âsaury and catfish,â which is thin and has an attractive crunchy texture. It is characterized by drying it in the sea breeze using the traditional method to capture the fishy smell unique to guamegi and bring out the savory flavor. Even those who are new to guamegi can easily find it. Note that they are closed from March to mid-October when they do not produce guamegi.
â²Location: 18, Jungang Sangga 2-gil, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongbuk
â²Opening hours: 09:30 â 21:30 every day, closed from March to mid-October
â²Price: Saury and catfish 21,000 won, herring and catfish 21,000 won
â²Review (Shikigin Donkey Kong Kong): I visited a Gwamegi restaurant when I went to Pohang to meet friends. I ate it because my friend highly recommended it, and it really sounds like soju. I can't forget the taste I enjoyed with the sea breeze.
3. 'Omega Ganggu Port' in Nonhyeon, Seoul, where you can feel the rich smell of the sea
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âOmega Ganggu Portâ is located near Exit 4 of Eonju Station. It is a place that serves a variety of seafood dishes, from whale meat to grilled fish, sashimi, and steamed fish. The signature menu, âGuamegi,â has delicious, shiny visuals that arouse appetite. The oily flavor unique to guamegi is excellent, with the first taste that spreads in the mouth and the rich smell of the sea that remains at the end. âNatural mountain sashimi,â which is served by carefully selecting the four freshest types of fish that come in every day, is also a popular menu. The chewy sashimi is topped with flying fish roe as a garnish, adding to the texture. Group seats and room spaces are also available, making it a great place for dinners and gatherings.
â²Location: 9, Bongeunsa-ro 37-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: Weekdays 11:30 – 23:00, weekends 11:30 – 22:00, B/T 15:30 – 16:30
â²Price: Guamegi (small) 30,000 won, natural mountain sashimi (small) 35,000 won
â²Testimonial (Shikigin Kung Mok â¥ amazing): After all, sashimi tastes good when it's cold in the winter. ^^~ When I work overtime and want to have a drink, I usually wander around Yeongdong Market in front of the company, but when I want to eat sashimi, I leave the market and go there on purpose.
4. Fresh for the season, Seoul Sungshin Women's University's 'Kowloon Four Season Gathering Collection'
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The âKowloon Four Season Sashimi Restaurantâ is a seasonal sashimi restaurant that presents fresh sashimi for the season. In November, you can enjoy representative fall and winter menus at the same time. The signature winter menu is âguamegi,â which has a chewy texture and a savory flavor the more you chew. You can eat it with seaweed, lettuce, sesame leaves, lettuce, and garlic, which are served as side dishes if you like. Among fall menus, I like to enjoy âsashimi,â which is cut into thick pieces, and âgizzard sashimi,â which is served with a sour sauce. Seats are often full until late, so it is recommended that you make a reservation before visiting.
â²Location: 110 Inchon-ro 7-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 17:00 – 00:00 every day
â²Price: Guamegi 40,000 won, sashimi 35,000 won, gizzard sauce 40,000 won
â²Testimonial (What is the son of Shikigami doing?) : This is a place where you can enjoy fresh seasonal seafood. The quality is better than the price, so I definitely go here when I want to eat seafood! But it's so sad that it's getting more and more famous and the waits are getting longer.
5. 'Attic' in Jukdo-dong, Pohang, enhanced by the sea breeze
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âAtticâ is a guamegi specialty store located near Jukdo Elementary School and has been in business since 1981. The signature menu âGuamegiâ is made by splitting saury with the head, entrails, and bones removed in half and dried in a net with sunlight and sea breeze. It is characterized by its firm, chewy meat and light flavor with just the right amount of fat. The spicy and sour herb captures the oily flavor of the guamegi and has a clean finish. A variety of snack menus are also available, such as âpork dumpling,â âchanjeon,â âoden soup,â and âtofu kimchi.â You can use the courier service regardless of location, and you can order 2 or more servings. Since they only handle guamegi, they are only open from October to February.
â²Location: 39 Yanghakcheon-ro, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongbuk
â²Opening hours: 09:00 â 03:00 every day, closed from March to September
â²Price: Guamegi 18,000 won, pork dumpling 15,000 won, chijimi 10,000 won
â²Testimonial (Good night): People around me said they were going on a trip to Pohang, so they all asked me to go eat guamegi… Among them, I've only been able to find a house that is famous, and there's a reason I recommend it. It was better and tastier than any other place!!!