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Gajamisikhae (fermented righteye flounders).jpg
Gajami-sikhae (fermented righteye flounders)
Place of originKorea
Associated national cuisineKorean cuisine
Similar dishesJeotgal

Sikhae (식해; 食醢) is a salted fermented food in Korean cuisine prepared with fish and grains.[1] Sikhae is made in the east coast regions of Korea, namely Gwanbuk, Gwandong, and Yeongnam.[2]

Ingredients and preparation[edit]

Righteye flounders are typically used for sikhae. Other commonly used fish include Alaska pollock, chub mackerel, sailfin sandfish, and Japanese anchovy.[2] Sometimes, dried fish such as bugeo (dried Alaska pollock) may also be used to make sikhae.[2]

Grain-wise, cooked foxtail millet is used in the Gwanbuk region, while cooked rice is used in other regions.[2][3] Sometimes, millet, quinoa, or other grains may also be used.[4][5]

For salting, coarse sea salt is used.[2][5] Other ingredients include chili powder, garlic, and ginger.[5]


The Hamgyŏng Province is famous for its gajami-sikhae (fermented flounder).[2] Righteye flounders—preferably yellow-striped ones harvested during December to early March— are washed, drained, and salted with coarse sea salt for about ten days.[2] The salted fish are then rinsed, cut into bite-size pieces, mixed with cooked foxtail millet and chili powder, and let to age.[2] After four days, thickly julienned and salted radish slices mixed with chili powder are added, and the sikhae can be eaten after another ten days of aging.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haard, Norman F.; Odunfa, S.A.; Lee, Cherl-Ho; Quintero-Ramírez, R.; Lorence-Quiñones, Argelia; Wacher-Radarte, Carmen (1999). Fermented cereals. A global perspective. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. p. 91. ISBN 978-92-5-104296-0. ISSN 1010-1365.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i 서, 혜경. "Sikhae" 식해. Encyclopedia of Korean Culture (in Korean). Academy of Korean Studies. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  3. ^ Lee, Sung Woo (1993). "Cultural Aspects of Korean Fermented Marine Products in East Asia". In Lee, Cherl-Ho; Steinkraus, Keith H.; Reilly, P. J. Alan. Fish Fermentation Technology. Seoul: United Nations University Press. pp. 39–43. ISBN 978-89-7053-003-1.
  4. ^ Campbell-Platt, Geoffrey, ed. (2009). Food Science and Technology. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-632-06421-2.
  5. ^ a b c Gentile, Dan (28 February 2014). "Korean food: The 12 essential dishes you need to know from the North and the South". Thrillist. Retrieved 19 May 2017.

Further reading[edit]