Royal Fish and Meat Paste

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Fish and meat paste is also known as royal paste. Though once made throughout Korea, today it is found in the areas of Yongin, Uiwang, Gyeonggi-do and Nonsan, Chungcheongnam-do. The paste is savory with a very strong flavor and aroma, more so than local soy sauce, and can act as the protein source in soups or stews, without adding additional meats. Royal fish and meat paste is made by layering dried fish and meat with fermented soybeans in a large jar, which is then filled with salted water. The jar is closed and tightly sealed to ferment for one year. The meats typically used are dried beef, chicken and Korean pheasant, and white fish used include bream, croaker or silver pomfret.   The production techniques of making fish and meat paste have been handed down through generations. It was mentioned as being a favorite food for high-ranking members of the Joseon Dynasty, and documented in the encyclopedia Kuy-hap-chong-seo, written in the late 1700s or early 1800s. While fish and meat paste can still be found for sale on the market today, because it traditionally made use of expensive materials, the recipe and production technique was never widely known. It is difficult to correctly ferment the fish and meat ingredients, and so very few people continue the tradition of making this product today. 

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StateSouth Korea


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