Gwamegi – The Korean Delicacies

Gwamegi, the Korean name for half-dried saury and herring, is a delicious delicacy, most commonly eaten during the winter months. It is harvested primarily in the coastal areas of North Gyeongsang Province, including Pohang, Uljin, and Yeongdeok. The most famous location for Gwamegi production is Guryongpo Harbor. Read on to learn more about this popular delicacy.

Korean fish

Gwamegi is a popular winter meal in Korea and is served in the form of a wrap, rolled up in cabbage or lettuce. It can also be wrapped up in tangle weed. Originally, saury was used as the main ingredient, as it is inexpensive and readily available. But climate change changed the temperatures of the East Sea, making saury an excellent substitute. Now, gwamegi is available in both fresh and dried forms, allowing the traditional dish to be enjoyed throughout the year.

The drying process for gwamegi begins in mid-November and continues until February. Drying racks line the coastline, and virtually every household participates. The fish is hung by the tens of thousands of hooks to dry. The fish is then frozen overnight, then defrosted during the day. The process of freezing and defrosting allows the fish to dry to 40 percent moisture, which gives it an exceptionally rich flavor. Once cured, gwamegi becomes meaty and dense.


Gwamegi is made from a variety of semi-dried fish, primarily pike mackerel, herring, and other fish that are naturally oily. These ingredients undergo a long process of freezing and thawing, which intensifies their fishy flavors and makes them greasy. The ingredients of gwamegi are often changed seasonally, which is good for consumers who want to try a new flavor each time they eat it.

The name gwamegi is derived from the Korean word “gwanmogeo,” meaning dried herrings hung by their eyes. Gwamegi is typically consumed in regions where fishing is popular. The best place to purchase this delicacy is in the city of Pohang. Alternatively, gwamegi is available in many places throughout the country. To learn more about this dish, keep reading.


Gwamegi is a traditional Korean dish that combines herring and saury. According to Jang Cheonsu, director of the Pohang Excellent Seafood cooperative, the herring fishery stopped around the late 1960s, so saury was substituted. In the late 1980s, saury was commercialized in Korea. Because of its similar appearance to herring, the two types of fish were used in gwamegi.

Originally, gwamegi was a staple for Korean fishermen along the eastern coast of the peninsula. Saury is relatively inexpensive and easy to catch, so the fishermen there relied on gwamegi for food. Gwamegi is often made with herring, but this was not always the case, and a change in climate caused saury to be substituted. Nowadays, though, herring gwamegi is produced.

Preventive and therapeutic functions

Pacific saury is a widely distributed fish species with ranges from subarctic to subtropical regions. It is an important commercial fish in the Pacific Ocean. It is traditionally known as Gwamegi in Korean food. It is consumed in many forms including raw, seasoned dry, and marinated. Several recent studies have also demonstrated its beneficial effects for the human body. It is considered to have many therapeutic and preventive properties.


There are many great Gwamegi Recipes, but how do you make them? Gwamegi is a dried fish made from Pacific herring or saury. The flavor of gwamegi is more complex than fresh fish and is comparable to dry-aging beef. Dry-aging the fish causes enzymes to break down proteins into amino acids, including glutamate, which is a flavoring agent. When dried, anchovies can be used to make a flavorful stock.

Originally, gwamegi was made from saury, but it’s also possible to find herring in Korean cuisine. In the 16th century, fish farmers in the East Sea began to dry the fish. As a result, saury began to replace herring. Due to climate change, herring is no longer used as a main ingredient, although a recent resurgence in production has made it possible to find saury in the market.