Fish Jun from Korean B•B•Q Corner in Iwilei.
Kal Bi may be the flagship of Korean cuisine in Hawaii, but my favorite (next to that) is Fish Jun, cousin of the popular Meat Jun. Fish or Meat jun are basically marinated in a Korean sauce then dipped in flour and egg then fried. I’m not sure about the spelling though. I’ve also seen it as “Juhn”, but at this particular establishment it’s spelled “Jun”.
The restaurant at hand here is Korean B•B•Q Corner on Iwilei Rd., just across the street from K-Mart. They’ve been at this location for as long as I can remember. This is one of those “hole in the wall” gems. Actually more like “hole on the corner”! The former owner, Mrs. Shin (a.k.a. “Mama San) retired last year and sold the business to a new owner, but it still operates under the same name and menu. Thank goodness! The prices went up just a little, but nothing to lose your Kim Chee over. lol.
One of my favorite aspects of Korean food are the wide assortment of pickled and flavored vegetables and condiments that make up a typical meal. At most Korean restaurants you can pick and choose, but at BBQ Corner, it’s pre-selected. Still, all the regular plates include SEVEN, yes seven items. Love it! This includes Kim Chee, pickled Warabi (ferns), bean sprouts, cucumber and carrots (tastes like Namasu), Kombu, cabbage and macaroni salad. This plate also includes two generous scoops of rice and 4 moderate-sized pieces of Fish Jun and dipping sauce. All that for $5.95? A bargain!
I couldn’t pinpoint what kind of fish it was, but it tasted “sorta” like Mahimahi. As long as the fish is moist (which it was), I’m a happy camper. This meal, I was certainly happy! The dipping sauce tastes like soy sauce with just a little sesame oil (and seeds) and chili pepper in it. Nice.
Sorry to gross you out, but here’s a “bite” cross section of Fish Jun. The egg “breading” or “crust” adds a nice texture and complimentary flavor to the fish. Especially when you dip it in the sauce. Yum!
I prefer fish over Meat Jun mainly because it feels lighter and healthier, while VERY tasty. That, along with all those veggies make for one satisfying Korean meal.
Korean B•B•Q Corner has all the usual selections you’d expect. This is the gist of their menu:
- Kal Bi
- B-B-Q Beef or Chicken
- Meat or Fish Jun
- Fried Mandoo
- Bi Bim Bap
- Yook Gae Jang
- Man Doo Kook Soo
- Bi Bim Kook Soo
- Kim Chee Soup
They also have other local plate lunch favorites such as Katsu, Shoyu Chicken, Hamburger Steak and Teriyaki Fried Chicken. Hamburgers, sandwiches and even french fries. Also a pretty good and reasonably priced breakfast menu. They also still advertise (with a big banner in front) their famous FRIED RICE (Kathy Muneno’s favorite!).
Korean B•B•Q Corner, just Across K-Mart in Iwilei. Truly a “hole in the wall” gem. Actually more like “hole on the corner”!
Korean B•B•Q Corner
818 Iwilei Rd. #E
Honolulu, HI 96817
Call for hours and current menu