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AED 29.40 incl. VAT 5%
Skewered fish paste? This oft-underrated delicacy is tasty, quick, and cheap.
Odeng is one of the gems of Korean food for me. It scores top points in three important categories: it tastes great, it’s filling and it’s cheap. It’s also pretty much available everywhere you go, including malls, supermarkets, convenience stores and even 5-star hotels.
Basically, odeng is seasoned fish paste that has been formed into cakes or strips and then cooked. These are then mostly threaded onto wooden skewers for serving. The paste itself is made by kneading the fish purée with starch, rice flour or regular flour, sugar, salt and rice wine.
If you spend any time in Korea you will come across three different types of odeng. The first and most basic is simply served on sticks sitting in a broth. The broth is usually based on turnip and leeks with either crab or dried seaweed adding a boost of flavor. At the pojangmacha you just eat as many as you want and hope that the vendor is counting your sticks. The broth is always free and varies from place to place. If you see crab shells, pumpkins or leeks floating in the broth, chances are it’s going to be good. A soy sauce paste is usually served for you to dip the odeng in if you think it needs a lift. One interesting variation I have tried is red odeng, in which the fish paste is served in a spicy red gochujang-based sauce. Not for the faint of heart!