Thursday, August 06, 2009

Jellyfish Coldplate or Salad

Korean Jellyfish Coldplate
(sometimes Jellyfish Salad)
DO NOT SAY: "YUCK"! You haven't tried this. The first few words here describe in both Korean language and English the ingredient and the name of the dish or plate in Korean. I had first tasted this at the delicatessen counter at, Assi Supermarket. [yes, no English speaker wants to eat from from Assi] It was the most expensive in-house made dish. I believe that theirs was made with jellyfish shreds, faux crab leg meat (pollock) shreds, shredded cucumber, jalapeño shreds, and the mustard sauce.

Haepari or, in Korean script: 해파리 is the ingredient: jellyfish. It comes in packages of 14 ounces and is brined or well salted. I keep it refrigerated. Assi Market has fresh at $15 a pound (2009 prices)

At the New World Encyclopedia's entry on jellyfish, under Cuisine, is a version of the dish, haepari naengchae 해파리냉채 (jellyfish coldplate), a summertime delicacy in Korea, and is usually served with sweet and sour seasoning with mustard."

[料理] 해파리냉채
Haepari naengchae 韓音表記

If an Asian reader can enlighten me on what the above two lines translate to, I would be grateful to acknowledge your help with this.

I will be presenting several styles of this dish.

The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines

Jellyfish Salad - Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.
This is one of the great dishes in Chinese cuisine. The texture is a bit firm and tender at the same time, and the Chinese love that sort of confusion in the mouth and tastebuds. Dried jellyfish is found in Chinatown. It may be an unusual salad for Westerners, but it is not unusual in China.

1 pound dried jellyfish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon MSG (optional)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic and red chili paste or hot mustard or horseradish
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 cup fresh bean sprouts

Cut the jellyfish into 1/8-inch-thin strips (3mm). Rinse with water and place in a stainless-steel or glass bowl. Cover with water and refrigerate. Change the water every 30 minutes for a total soaking time of 2 1/2 hours. Drain.

Heat 2 quarts of water to boiling and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then plunge the drained jellyfish into the water. Wait 5 seconds and drain and rinse in ice-cold water. Put ice cubes in the bowl at this point. This is the critical step. Do this whole step in a hurry or your jellyfish will not be tender and tasty. Drain well.

Mix the dressing and toss with the jellyfish and bean sprouts.

Smith goes on to say that he likes this best with horseradish.

The package of jellyfish I have is from LAX-C the supermarket on North Main Street near downtown Los Angeles, California. The importer is:

U Can Food Trading Company
620 N Indiana St
Los Angeles, CA, 90063
Tel: (323) 266-3999

The preparation instructions on the bag say to soak the jellyfish, changing the water every 30 minutes. Bring a pot of water to a near boil (my guess is 180F), add the fish for 5 to 8 SECONDS, but not longer than 8 minutes. As this is quite confusing, I would treat the jellyfish like squid and put it into hot water no more than 60 seconds. More time will only toughen it.

As for ingredients, I would suggest lemon juice, crab meat, cucumber and chile. Go light on the chile, the jellyfish is quite delicate in flavor. The few Korean recipes I have all use mustard as the base flavor. The Assi market's sauce had mustard.

I re-visited the Assi Supermarket on Saturday, August 8, 2009. I was looking for the Jellyfish salad I had eaten there three to four years ago. Assi has not made it since. I saw fresh anchovies at $1.00 per 16 ounces. And freshly made, jellyfish in shreds was $15.00 per 16 ounces. Quite dear at that price. In a bag of 16 ounces, lightly salted it was $3.50.

My best memory of the Assi style salad was with

Rice Vinegar
Garlic (as in lots of)
strips of zucchini
strips of jellyfish
strips of red (or green) jalapeño chiles
soy sauce
sesame oil (Chinese toasted sesame seed oil)

Where ever I say strips, think chiffonade or julienne. The Mexicans say: rajas.

Refrigerate this dish and serve it cold.

Which mustard? Plain yellow.


Assi Supermarket
3525 W 8th St
Los Angeles
(213) 388-0900


  1. 해파리냉채
    Haepari naengchae is the transliteration of the Korean, above.
    해파리 (Haepari)means jellyfish, and 냉채 (naengchae) means cold dish.

  2. Oh, and [料理] means restaurant in Japanese, the other phrase, also Japanese, tells you that haepari naengchae is the transliteration of the Korean.