Monday Market -Sea Squirt – (멍게) Subphylum Urochordata, also called Tunicata
Is it a ‘hand-grenade,’ ‘scrotum,’ ‘boil,’ ‘mess’? Actually, it’s a sea squirt and as it’s too easy to write this sea food off with unpleasant similes, I won’t. Out of water, the sea squirt is an ugly thing usually eaten raw (회). It is a fairly common sea food, especially in spring and is actually an animal that eats by sucking in water from which it filters out food. It remains fixed in one place and doesn’t move. In their natural habitat they are strangely beautiful.
Their taste? Um…?! Well, yea! They probably grow on you like many Korean foods some of which have little taste but are nonetheless appealing! Mong-gae, is slimy and has a taste reminiscent of mild detergent. It has recently had some interesting publicity due to its apparent anti-cancer properties. Often it is served on a bed of ‘sliced’ jellyfish. So, rather than simply read about it, go and try it! In my local seafood restaurant it costs about 15.000Won (c£7 sterling)