Myeolchi-jeot or Garum

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      Hello everyone! Today, I have a unique recipe; salted, fermented anchovies! I hesitate to call this myeolchi-jeot, since this is actually based more on garum- a historic fish sauce that’s from the ancient Rome. I don’t want to be misleading! However, by virtue of being a salted, fermented fish product, I can at least call this a type of jeotgal. It’s easy as pie to make; all you need is fish, salt, and time!
      The hardest part of this recipe is sourcing the fish. Anchovies, being small, oily fish, are as delicious as they are perishable. Your best bet is to find them frozen, or you could catch them yourself. Any anchovy would work, from the Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) to the bay anchovies found all along the east coast (Anchoa mitchilli), or you could forgo anchovies altogether and use another type of fish! It’s important to note that to make this recipe, you need anchovies with the intestines. There are enzymes present in the fish’s guts that are necessary for turning the anchovies- or any fish you’d like to ferment using this recipe- into the type of fish sauce that this recipe makes.
      For the recipe, you will need:
      – 2 lbs. of anchovies (900 grams)
      – 2 cups of coarse salt (200 grams, I used a Portuguese brand of coarse sea salt called Saldomar that I found at my local grocery store.)
      – A fermentation container of your choice. I used a big glass jar

      If you would like to rescale this recipe, keep in mind that you need about 20-25% of you fish’s weight in salt.

      1. Clean your fermenting vessel very well and allow to dry. You can use high-proof liquor like vodka to clean it if you want to be extra safe.
      2. Combine your salt and anchovies in a bowl. Mix while they are still whole; don’t cut them. *if you are using larger fish to make jeotgal such as mackerel, cut it into smaller pieces.
      3. Put your salted fish into your vessel of choice. Seal it (I put a piece of plastic wrap over the mouth of my jar before I closed it.)
      4. Leave it out in the sun. It should start to liquify faster this way.
      5. If you want to keep the anchovies whole, mix it very gently once in a while. Keep in mind that no matter what, your anchovies will dissolve and break; don’t fret if this happens, it’s supposed to! If you want it to be more pulverized, stir it vigorously every day.
      6. (Optional, only if you want to make Roman style fish sauce) After at least three months of stirring and fermenting, separate the pulverized solids from the liquid using a strainer. The resulting liquid is called liquamen, while the solid is called allec.
      If you would like to make garum, you can also add herbs to the fish mixture while it ferments to flavor it! Any common Mediterranean herbs would work. In the historic cookbook on ancient Roman cuisine De Re Coquinaria, common herbs would include mint, oregano, and rosemary. Of course, if you would like to make more Korean style anchovies, just ferment them with fish and salt; no other ingredients needed!

      I already used some of this fish sauce. I didn’t add herbs, but I used a bunch of anchovies and salt. I gotta say, it’s pretty salty, but really good!

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