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November 15, 2005

Korean Soy Sauce Marinated Raw Blue Crab, GaeJang by Ji Young Park

P1010020_2I invite Korean bloggers to join book of rai forum as well as the readers from the University of Hawaii who have been following this series. I'll be posting some different Korean recipes in the forum.

Gaejang is an intensely flavored dish. It's piquant with hot fresh peppers and red pepper flakes. The texture of the raw crab is a bit slimy and rich.

If you're concerned about eating raw crab then don't eat this. I've been eating gaejang since I was a child and have never had a problem. I've also made this with frozen blue crab many times.

P1010015_2

1.5 pounds of crabs relieved of their top shell, guts, and gills, rinsed, patted dry and cut in half.

Ingredients for the marinade:

2 cups of anchovy stock*
2 cups of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2" thick slice of ginger, peeled and minced
2 scallions (green onions) sliced into 2 1/1" pieces, cut the white part in half lengthwise
4 heaping tablespoons of Korean red pepper flakes**
4 heaping tablespoons of sugar
4-5 small hot chilis, stems cut off and slice in half lengthwise***

Cover the crab with the marinade. Some people eat it right away. I prefer to let it marinade for at least 24 hours.

*2 cups of water, 3 whole sun dried anchovies (the largish kind, available at Korean markets) and a 2" piece of dashima (kombu), bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for about 20 minutes, let cool, strain. DO NOT ADD WARM ANCHOVY STOCK TO THE CRAB. The stock is optional, actually it's not a very common addition. One of my mother's cooking "secrets"

**Sundried red pepper flakes are called t'aeyanch'o. Commercial brands are typically hot aired dried. In rural areas some people still sun dry their own t'aeyangch'o.

***The hot pepper quanitities in the marinade are to taste. I like my gaejang to be very hot.

Serve with hot rice

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Comments

"How long does this keep and is it better if marinated for along tme?

How exactly is one supposed to eat the crab? Do you crack and suck at the legs like you would a cooked crab, or do you just suck the flesh out of the body? Is it okay to eat the brain and other organs, too?"

You can eat it immediately. Crack the bones a little and let it soak in some of the marinade. You can spoon some of the marinade onto rice too. It keeps for a few days (or more, do that Korean "test" for food safety. ;-))The legs don't seem to ever soak in much of the marinade though, the meat where the joints are directly exposed to the marinade do.

After cleaning the crabs as shown, I eat every bit of it.

"Could I use your marinate and broth for other dishes that's not shellfish related? Looking forward to more of your korean culinary dishes."

Hi Lance. You can use the marinade as a dipping sauce as well. Use it for fish, tofu, jon (pancakes or fritters) and mandu (Korean dumplings, similar to gyoza or wontons).

Apologies for being slow to answer your question Lance. And skindleshanks. I'd love to get back to Korea soon and will take you up on the offer for noodles!

I've had a different kind of raw marinated crab on several occasions, but the sauce was mainly gochujang, a bit spicy to my taste. My wife (from Gangwon-do) says she's never tried this before. I think I might like it with the soy sauce-based sauce, though.

However, I have two questions:

How long does this keep and is it better if marinated for along tme?

How exactly is one supposed to eat the crab? Do you crack and suck at the legs like you would a cooked crab, or do you just suck the flesh out of the body? Is it okay to eat the brain and other organs, too?

Thanks fo your help--nice site!

Hi Lance

Sorry for the delayed response. It would be great if you joined book of rai food forum to ask questions.

The marinade can be used for any number of things. I'm working on a post about Korean soy sauce marinades and their applications.

In retrospect I think I used more marinade then needed for the crabs. The excess marinade did not affect the taste, I just had a lot leftover.

Oh yes please I will have seconds and most likely thirds! A hundred and fifty years or so ago I was engaged to a South Korean man and visited him several times in Seoul. He was with the US Army at the DMZ. My heavens was his mother's food ever good and I learned to adore GaeJang; didnt take much prodding mind you! I picked her brain and got many of her recipes though sadly lost most years ago. I still make my own kimchee though; I can remember the clouds of red dust flying as we made it then before burying it in the ground, AND I never stopped drying my own hot red peppers or garlic in the sun wherever I lived. Thank you Ji for the recipe and the memories! See folks, what I am always on about, food is MORE than what we eat! I wonder whatever happened to Seje. ;)

That looks so good!!!! Wish I wasn't allergic to shellfish. I would just sit there and savor every bite and probably finish the whole bowl. Could I use your marinate and broth for other dishes that's not shellfish related? Looking forward to more of your korean culinary dishes.

This is fun to learn about Korean cuisine!

Paz

Gaejang - mmmm...

They used to call me halmoni when I was a child because I'd eat all the oldfolk bahnchahn - like this stuff. I like my gaejang extra hot, too.

I like how you're covering some of the more interesting Korean eats. Keep it coming!

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