Saengsun means fresh fish in Korean. This recipe is perfect for when you have a whole fresh fish and you don't have time or can't be bothered with fancy recipes. Last night I was at the grocery store wondering what to get for dinner when these beauties came into view, sitting on ice, perfectly firm and fresh. I was tired but really felt like a home cooked meal so this was just what I needed.
In Korea, the common fish found in home style restaurants is mackerel or sardines as they are abundant and easy to get. But you can use this recipe for most any kind of fish that is commonly sold and cooked whole. Here we are using branzino, a favorite of mine at Italian restaurants. It's so simple to make it can hardly be called a recipe.
1 whole branzino (a little under 1 pound, scaled and gutted)
1 T sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lemon wedges
1 T soy sauce and some wasabi for dipping
1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and and use a knife to make slits into both sides of the fish 1 inch apart.
2. Brush both sides of the fish with the sesame oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a grill pan (or regular grill, if you have one) on medium. When the pan is hot place the fish onto the grill. Let it grill for 5-6 minutes or until the bottom is brown and crispy.
4. Flip it over and grill for another 5-6 minutes. Remember to only flip once to prevent the fish from getting mangled.
And you're done! Put it on a plate with lemon wedges and soy sauce with wasabi. These condiments will really bring out the flavor of the fish. It's a very satisfying and easy main dish and is a perfect compliment to any kind of jjigae or even just a simple bowl of rice.