Godeungeo Jorim 고등어 조림 (Braised Mackerel w Radish)

Godeungeo (mackerel) has a very special place in my heart, having eaten it every which way imaginable–pan-fried, grilled, braised, canned, and smoked during my days in Seoul. So it was a nice surprise to find out that I needed to do a braised mackerel dish for the blog. This dish can be quite complicated for those unfamiliar or just squirmish when dealing with fish, but most markets have frozen mackerel (although fresh would be ideal) that can be cooked upon thawing without any gutting. Sadly for me, I got my hands dirty by cleaning and gutting the fish thoroughly under running water. This mackerel dish is cooked with cubed Asian radish (moo) and the usual red chili peppers (gochugaru & gochujang) for a spicy but yet addicting sauce. For those who have tried this dish, the combination of fish, savory sauce, and rice is truly a one-of-a-kind taste. You can also wrap the ingredients with lettuce varieties like perilla leaves (gaednip) and red leaf lettuce (sangchu). Thankfully, it turned out the way I remembered it (hooray), leaving everyone in perpetual bliss the entire night. If we could only have access to this fish as we did in Korea, we would probably make this every week.

Ingredients: Serves 4 people

  • 2 mackerel, de-gutted & cleaned
  • 1 Korean radish, cut into thick semi-circular pieces
  • 2 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 2 tbsp cooking wine (or Mirin)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 hot pepper (red and green each; optional)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 anchovies (optional; broth)


  1. Cut the radish into semi-circular pieces about a half-inch thick. Prepare other sauce ingredients and combine in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a pot, add 2 cups of water and sliced radish. Bring water to a boil for about 10 minutes.
  3. After degutting and cleaning the mackerel well under cold water, cut mackerel into 3-inch pieces. Add to the pot of boiling water.
  4. Pour the sauce on top of the mackerel. Boil until the soup has reduced to half. Do not stir the mixture, but coat the sauce over the top of the mackerel carefully. Cook on high for 10 minutes and then let simmer. Keep lid semi-closed allowing the sauce to thicken over time.
  5. After simmering about 15 minutes, add the scallions.
  6. Serve with rice and other side dishes.

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