Siheung : Clams in Oido 오이도

오이도 - Oido Lighthouse

8th September 2012. Written by Xin Li.
Oido, Siheung, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
After a long bus ride, we finally arrived at the town of Oido, a waterside town known for its numerous seafood restaurants and clams among the locals. It was a Saturday. True enough, the place was filled with families, couples, kids….locals taking the time off on a weekend.

오이도 - Coast
오이도 - See Seagulls

The seaside town reminded me of Shek O in Hong Kong except a fair bit more developed. The Saturday crowd and sunny weather gave Oido a kind of carnival-like atmosphere when we visited.

오이도 - The Beach

The muddy beach however, triggered images of Tekong during low tide for me.

오이도 - The other side.

It is on this muddy coast where locals would go out and sink their hands into those brown mud to find clams for their meal, or as snacks.

오이도 - The Beach

Or, for the kids, it is a huge playground to roam around.

오이도 - Towards the Lighthouse
오이도 - Along the Waterfront
오이도 - Restaurants
오이도 - Colourful Restaurants
오이도 - Rainbow

After some sightseeing, we guided by our Korean friends into a restaurant named 갯마을 (Gaesmael) located near the junction leading to the pier and lighthouse.

갯마을 - Outside

Like the many restaurants we have walked past, the frontage was stacked with tanks full of various kinds of clams, cockles and mussels. Some of them even have an automated greeter. And not to forget, those bombastic and colourful signage that scream into your eyes.

갯마을 - Interior

Inside, it was a rather down to earth place, with a traditional Korean dining corner and some tables and chairs, some photos of their food on their walls and a huge menu on one side of the restaurant.

갯마을 - Service

Attention here is on the food, a spectacle itself when the first few baskets of clams arrived. We could spot some razor clams, huge cockles, scallops, sea snails, petite white clams and one huge mussel.

갯마을 - Clam

And the best part was that most of these are refillable except for the huge mussel which was taken to prepare a soup with enoki mushrooms, spring onions and chilli and later place on the charcoal stove to be cooked.

갯마을 - Clams

To enjoy these clams, you simply place them on the charcoal grill and wait for them to cook and collect its juices. You then take this juice and deposit them into the pot of soup. The juices would give the soup and richer flavour (of clams) but at the same time give it a more briny taste.

갯마을 - Cooking

It was gross and disturbing to watch those clams cook as these molluscs are still alive and you could see those “tongues” sticking out of their shells while they get cooked.

갯마을 - Clam BBQ

On the other hand, you could be rest assured that these are probably fresh compared to those that remained shut and immobile after hours of cooking, ex-clams that have not yet seen the dinner table.

갯마을 - Scallop

There is plenty of variety but I can’t help feeling hampered by the sandy texture while savouring these clams. Nonetheless, my favourite molluscs is the scallop, which are plump and succulent that went very well with their savoury gochujang with vinegar dipping sauce.

갯마을 - Clam Soup

If grilling live clams is not your cup of tea, then go for their thick noodles cooked in clam broth.

Noodles in Clam Broth

It was pretty delicious like Asian vongole pasta or noodles in a milder version of a Belgian mussel broth. The broth has a peppery and mildly sweet flavour. The addition of seaweed gives it an unami dimension.

Noodles in Clam Broth

If you want something even safer (but not necessarily tasty), there is always the bibimbap.

갯마을 - Bibimbap

In the end we paid about 13000 KRW each for the meal.

갯마을
Gaesmael
2006-22 Jeongwang 3(sam)-dong (179 Oido-ro)
Siheung-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

2 comments:

  1. haha, I think you are lucky to eat such fresh clams! Try not to think that its their tongue sticking out. Maybe they are saying 'hurry' eat me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. haha thats what my friend said when he was trying to eat them.

    ReplyDelete

 

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