Dried fish popular in South Korea

According to the published statistics in 2016 regarding seafood consumption per person, Korean people consume the world’s biggest amount of seafood per person at 58.4 kg, followed by Norway with 53.3 kg and Japan with 50.2 kg. Considering that 20.2 kg is the global average, it is easily assumed that Korean people love seafood.

Korean people love dried seafood including dried alaska pollack
Dried seafood takes a large portion of the seafood consumption. Korean people like drying seafood such as fin fish, squid, octopus, and seaweed, etc. Among others, dried (Alaska) pollack is one of the most popular dried fish, which is in many ways similar to stock fish in Norway.

11 000 ~ 12 000 tons of Alaska pollack is dried for the Korean market
Alaska pollack is very popular among Korean consumers and its import to Korea has in-creased very rapidly. More than 95% of Alaska pollack is coming from Russia, and it is sold in the market in different conditions such as fresh, frozen and dried. It is estimated that roughly 11 000 ~ 12 000 tons of dried Alaska pollack was sold in the Korean market in 2016, including the dried Alaska pollack from China.

Dried Alaska pollack is sold in different forms, by-products are also very popular
The most popular form of dried Alaska pollack is the shredded form for dried pollack soup. It is also sold as fillet and as whole round fish for gifts, ancestral rite and other types of cooking. At the same time, by-products are also very popular for restaurant owners to make the flavour of dried pollack soup and for use in other recipes.

The drying process for the Alaskan pollack is similar to that of the Norwegian stock fish. Depending on its outside temperature and wet condition, the quality determines different price levels.

Dried fish and dried by-products are getting popular as a fish snack
Thanks to the popular position of the dried seafood, online and offline retailers are rushing to introduce fish snacks in the market. One of the popular fish snacks is the shredded form dried pollack with sticky and spicy sauce. Recently, they have been trying to introduce oth-er types of dried fish snacks from Northern Europe, as well as fish skin snacks, etc.

Korea has a different quality standard but purchases at reasonable price level
High quality of Korean dried pollack is considered as the 2nd or 3rd quality grade of stock fish in Norway, while white colour dried Alaska pollack is considered to be middle class in the Korean market. So there should be some adjustment for localizing the Norwegian dried fish. However, as the drying process is simi-lar, this should not be too difficult or impossible for Norwegian exporters.

For more information or questions, please contact:
Changan Choi
Senior Adviser
Innovation Norway, South Korea
T: +82 22 096 2972

Photo: Chuttersnap, Unsplash.com

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