The Salty, Rich Flavor of Jeotgal, Now Home Cook-Friendly

August 7, 2015 2:30 pm Last Updated: August 1, 2018 3:49 pm

There are many, many variations on “jeotgal,” a salty and fermented condiment that is a classic part of Korean cuisine. My recipe is simple enough for the home cook, yet delivers on the traditional bold flavors that are the hallmark of jeotgal. I love it with pork, but feel free to use it as a condiment for charcuterie, roasted fatty meats or just serve over rice with wilted vegetables.

Spicy Oyster Jeotgal With Pork Sausage

Prep & Cooking Time: 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)

Serves: 4


12 medium oysters (such as Blue Point)
2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the marinade:

1/4 cup gochujang
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 small serrano peppers, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 to 3 pork sausage links
1 cup cooked rice

Boston or bibb lettuce leaves (to use as wraps)

Shuck the oysters into a medium bowl. Toss with the salt, then let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the jeotgal. In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the gochujang, sugar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice, fish sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, Serrano peppers, and scallion. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and set aside.

After 1 hour, rinse the oysters with clean water and return to the bowl. Add the hot chili liquid and stir gently. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When ready to serve, in a medium skillet over medium-high, brown the sausages. Slice them into rounds and arrange on a serving plate. Transfer the oysters to individual serving ramekins and accompany with the rice and lettuce. Use the lettuce leaves as wraps, filling each with rice, a slice of sausage and an oyster with sauce.

Nutrition information per serving: 390 calories; 210 calories from fat (54 percent of total calories); 24 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 60 mg cholesterol; 1,630 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 15 g protein.

[i]Edward Lee is the chef and owner of multiple Louisville, Ky., restaurants, including 610 Magnolia and MilkWood. His first cookbook is “Smoke and Pickles.”