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Prepared gwamegi
Korean name
Hangul 과메기
Hanja derived from
Revised Romanization Gwamegi
McCune–Reischauer kwamegi

Gwamegi is a Korean half-dried Pacific herring or Pacific saury made during winter. It is mostly eaten in the region of North Gyeongsang Province in places such as Pohang, Uljin, and Yeongdeok, where a large amount of the fish are harvested. Guryongpo Harbor in Pohang is the most famous.[1][2][3]

Fresh herring or saury is frozen at -10 degrees Celsius and is placed outdoors in December to repeat freezing at night and defreezing in the day. The process continues until the water content of the fish drops to approximately 40%.[4]

There are records of gwamegi in the Joseon era document Ohjuyeonmunjangjeonsango (hangul:오주연문장전산고, hanja:五洲衍文長箋算稿) which mentions: "herring is smoked in order to prevent rotting". In another document Gyuhapcheongseo (hangul:규합총서, hanja:閨閤叢書), it is written: "herring with clear eyes are chosen to be dried, which give an unusual taste".[4]

The city of Pohang holds an annual Gwamegi Festival to promote the local specialty food.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ (in Korean) Gwamegi at Encyclopedia of Korean Culture
  2. ^ The True Flavor of Pohang, Gwamegi
  3. ^ (in Korean) Gwamegi, Hankyung News, 2009-01-23.
  4. ^ a b (in Korean) Gwamegi at Doosan Encyclopedia
  5. ^ Gwamegi Festival, Pohang City official site

External links[edit]