Yachae Makhwae: Fresh Raw Fish with Salad

My parents’ generation often say that winter is the best season to consume raw fish and rainy days are the time to avoid them.  In Korea, sashimi generally refers to raw fish fillets prepared on the spot by butchering the live fish.  When I was in Canada, the word sashimi also meant raw fish–only they were butchered at the sea and frozen solid until they make their way to professional kitchens of North America. I noticed that recently there are some restaurants in Toronto that serve Korean-style sashimi, or Whal-uh-whae (활어회) by keeping live fish in a tank before orders come in and filleting begin.

I enjoy both kinds of sashimi.  In my opinion they are incomparable.  They are different in preparation, taste, and texture.  Some fish like salmon must be frozen and reach certain temperature to eliminate any possibility of parasitic infection.  Some clear-fleshed fish are safe (or so we belive) to consume fresh.  In Korea, most popular and commonly served live fish are probably Kwang-eo (광어: sole) and Woo-ruk (우럭: rockfish).

Fresh Sashimi with Salad
Korean sole was live and well minutes before it was skinned, filleted then served with fresh salad.

For a taste of fresh Korean-style sashimi, my family heads to a neighborhood place specialized in so-called Makhwae. 

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