Myeongran! a.k.a Korean Caviar!
Jul 20, 2023
What is Myeongnan?
Did you know that Myeongranjeot(명란젓) is a traditional Korean food? I would like to introduce Myeongran(명란), our unique and cherished dish that has been loved for a long time.
Myeongran is made by salting and aging the roe of pollack. This Myeongranjeot has a savory and umami taste with a distinct texture. It is often enjoyed with rice, drizzled with sesame oil, or used in various dishes such as jjigae (stew) and gyeran-mari (rolled omelette), gaining much popularity.
Internationally, it is better known by its Japanese name "mentaiko." Japan consumes about 90% of the world's Myeongran, and there are more dishes using Myeongran in Japan. Due to this, some people mistakenly believe that Myeongranjeot is a Japanese dish, but in reality, Myeongran is a traditional Korean food that has its origins in the Joseon Dynasty.
Currently, due to rising sea temperatures, about 90% of pollack is imported from Russia. As a consequence of the declining pollack catch and rising demand, along with intricate and time-consuming production processes, price of myungran is escalating.
Myeongran-mayo and the Global interests!
Recently, "Myeongran-mayo," a combination of Myeongran and mayonnaise, has been receiving much enthusiasm from people worldwide. This pairing offers a delightful contrast between its savory and creamy nature, allowing one to enjoy various flavors along with the unique texture of Myeongran. Adding red pepper or green chili can make it spicier and more refreshing, while ingredients like garlic and soy sauce can create different tastes.
Not only does Myeongran go well with mayonnaise, but it also complements butter, cream, milk, cheese, and olive oil. It can be used in various dishes like pasta, risotto, soups, dressings, and sauces. With these new combinations and cooking methods, Myeongran's global recognition has been steadily increasing.
Choosing Good Myeongran!
The freshness of the raw material has a direct impact on the quality of Myeongran. As soon as the pollack is caught, the roe is taken out on ship and rapidly freezed. Myeongran made in this way is called "seondong." However, when the whole pollack is frozen at sea and the Myeongran is taken out upon returning to land, it is called "yukdong." Yukdong has lower freshness compared to seondong, requiring more salt and seasoning to enhance the flavor.
The key to choosing good Myeongran is to look for fully matured roe with a transparent color and a thin, firm membrane. The size of the roe doesn't determine its quality; what matters is that the roe is fully matured and plump, which we call "jeongnan." Jeongnan refers to Myeongnan with tightly-filled roe and an intact membrane.
Kevin's Choice Myeongran is made using only the highest-grade jeongran from seondong Myeongran. When compared with other Myeongran, you will definitely notice the difference! We highly recommend you to try it!