Fish soy sauce made in the area surrounding the city of Gynggyeong is made from fermented salty anchovy sauce and fermented soybean paste prepared with the local bean variety, without the addition of water. It is difficult to make and requires a long fermentation period. During the Joseon Dynasty, fish soy sauce was reportedly used at the royal palace. To make the paste, salt is obtained and dried for three years. Anchovies along with their eggs are fermented in salt for three years. A soybean paste made from local soybeans is fermented over 40 days. The two ingredients are placed together, and after 50 days, the soybean paste is removed, and the mixture ferments for one year. After a year, soybean paste is then added again and a second fermentation occurs for two years. The overall process takes almost nine years. It is usually produced in the area of the Char-yeong Mountains, due to the great changes in temperature from day to night. About two tons are produced annually. Due to the complex production process, fish soy sauce is not a very profitable product for producers, and so the future of this tradition is uncertain.
Image: © Marco Del Comune & Oliver Migliore