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Korean Seafood Celebration: From Fish Cakes to Squid

Korean Seafood Celebration: From Fish Cakes to Squid

Korean Seafood Celebration: From Fish Cakes to Squid

A Culinary Journey Through the Sea’s Bounty

As I stroll through the bustling streets of Boston’s Koreatown, the air is thick with the alluring aroma of sizzling seafood. From the lively fish markets to the cozy family-owned restaurants, the city’s Korean cuisine scene is a true celebration of the ocean’s bounty. Today, I’m embarking on a mouthwatering exploration, diving deep into the world of Korean seafood dishes – from the delicate delights of fish cakes to the fiery, flavor-packed squid.

Discovering the Magic of Korean Fish Cakes

Let’s start our journey with the unassuming yet utterly delicious Korean fish cake. These little bites of heaven are a staple in Korean cuisine, and for good reason. As I peruse the menu of a local Korean joint, I’m instantly drawn to the description of their homemade fish cakes [1]. The recipe, I learn, combines fresh white fish, red curry paste, and a touch of rice flour for a perfectly bouncy, spongey texture.

I can practically taste the burst of flavors as I imagine taking that first bite – the savory fish, the aromatic curry, and the satisfying chew. These fish cakes are no mere appetizer; they’re a culinary work of art that can easily hold their own as the star of the show. And the best part? They’re surprisingly easy to make at home, with just a few key ingredients [1].

Spicy Squid Stir-Fry: A Flavor Explosion

Now, let’s turn our attention to the showstopper of Korean seafood – the mighty squid. In a cozy Boston kitchen, I watch as a local chef expertly prepares a dish called “ojingeo-bokkeum” [2], a spicy Korean stir-fried squid that’s nothing short of a flavor explosion.

As the squid sizzles in the pan, the air fills with the tantalizing aroma of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), garlic, and a hint of sweetness. I can’t help but lean in, eager to witness the magic unfold. With each skillful toss of the wok, the squid transforms, becoming deliciously charred and coated in a deeply savory, slightly spicy sauce.

The first bite is a revelation – the squid is perfectly tender, with a delightful chew that perfectly complements the bold, umami-rich flavors. It’s a dish that demands your full attention, daring you to savor every last morsel. And the best part? This ojingeo-bokkeum is a breeze to recreate at home, once you’ve mastered the art of cooking squid [2].

Exploring the Diverse Flavors of Korean Seafood

As I continue my culinary journey through Boston’s Korean cuisine scene, I’m struck by the sheer diversity of seafood dishes on offer. From the delicate and refined jeon (savory pancakes) featuring fresh fish and shellfish, to the comforting and hearty seafood stews known as maeuntang, the options are endless [3].

One dish that particularly piques my interest is the braised cabbage with seafood, a vibrant and nutritious creation that showcases the versatility of Korean cooking [4]. The tender cabbage, simmered in a flavorful broth, provides the perfect canvas for a medley of fresh squid, shrimp, and other seasonal catch. It’s a dish that celebrates the sea’s bounty in a healthy, delicious way.

Embracing the Communal Spirit of Korean Dining

What makes the experience of Korean seafood so special, though, is not just the food itself, but the way it is enjoyed. Korean dining is a deeply communal affair, with dishes often served family-style, encouraging shared plates and lively conversation [5].

As I sit around a table with a group of local Koreans, the energy is palpable. Plates of sizzling seafood dishes are passed around, accompanied by an array of vibrant banchan (side dishes) and the ever-present bowl of steaming white rice. It’s a symphony of flavors, textures, and the shared joy of breaking bread together.

In this moment, I realize that Korean seafood is not just about the individual dishes, but the entire experience – the sights, the sounds, the aromas, and the camaraderie that comes with gathering around the table. It’s a celebration of culture, community, and the bountiful riches of the sea.

Embracing the Future of Korean Seafood in Boston

As I reluctantly bid farewell to my culinary adventure, I can’t help but feel inspired by the depth and diversity of Korean seafood. From the humble yet exquisite fish cakes to the flavor-packed squid stir-fry, this cuisine has captured my heart and taste buds.

But the journey doesn’t end here. As Boston’s Korean culinary scene continues to evolve, I’m excited to see what new and innovative seafood creations will emerge. Perhaps a fusion of traditional techniques with modern twists, or the introduction of lesser-known seafood delicacies from the Korean peninsula.

One thing is certain: the celebration of Korean seafood in Boston is just getting started. And I, for one, can’t wait to be a part of this delectable adventure, savoring every bite and embracing the rich cultural traditions that make this cuisine so exceptional.


[1] RecipeTin Eats. (n.d.). Thai Fish Cakes. Retrieved from

[2] Maangchi. (2007, April 9). Ojingeo-Bokkeum (Spicy Stir-Fried Squid). Retrieved from

[3] Spontaneous Tomato. (2015, June 25). Japanese Street Food Photos. Retrieved from

[4] Funky Asian Kitchen. (n.d.). Braised Cabbage with Seafood. Retrieved from

[5] TikTok. (n.d.). @maangchitime. Retrieved from