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Korean Fish Jun


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
528-0311
Call for hours and current menu

PS: Check out this Korean Cooking Class blog entry over at Lindy’s Ono Recipes site. She reveals how to make Korean-style marinated potatoes… my favorite! Hi Lindy!

10 thoughts on “Korean Fish Jun

  • October 3, 2006 at 2:56 am
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    It is surprise to hear that your favorite korean meal is Fish Jun.
    Most people like Korean BBQ best I think. Even me (I am Korean by the way) I don’t like Fish Jun much. It is too bony, so it is very fiddly to eat. I guess your Fish Jun is all filleted. By the way I call it Jeon instead of Jun. ( I don’t really know which one is right though)

    Reply
  • October 5, 2006 at 6:35 pm
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    Hi Sue,

    Yeah that’s true. The “BBQ Mix” is by far the most popular dish here in Hawaii. Usually a combination of Kal Bi, BBQ Beef (sort of like teriyaki) and BBQ Chicken.

    I’ve NEVER had a Fish Jun (Juhn or Jeon) that was bony. Here in Hawaii, Mahimahi is a common fish used for Fish Jun since it’s rather inexepensive when purchased frozen and easy to prepare since their ready to cook as boneless (and sometimes skinless) fillets.

    As I said, I opt for Fish Jun because of the health factor.. although it’s still fried in egg, so who am I kidding?. lol.

    Reply
  • November 18, 2006 at 11:28 pm
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    Hi Pomai,

    Fish Jun is one of my favorites too!! I think Fish/Meat Jun is specific to Hawaii because I can’t find it here in the Bay Area and there are a lot of Korean restaurants in my area. If you are ever in Hawaii Kai there is a restaurant right across Costco in Hawaii Kai that makes the best Fish Jun I have ever had. The fish is so soft and it melts in your mouth. They even had Taegu as one of the choices of vegetables….yummy. Next time I am back, it will definitely be one of the places I plan to eat at. Hopefully the ownership has not changed. If you are interested, the restaurant is in the Hawaii Kai Towne Center:

    Hawaii Kai Bar Bq
    333 Keahole St # 2b1
    Honolulu, HI 96825-3400
    Phone: (808)395-2221

    Aloha,
    Julie

    Reply
  • January 26, 2009 at 2:22 pm
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    Having been raised on Korean food in Hawaii, I really miss it. I’ve learned to cook a few things myself, but I can never find really good restaurants here in Spokane, WA. I was always puzzled that I never saw Jun on the menu when I did find a Korean place.

    Then, when I was on a trip in Boise, Idaho, I found a Korean place in the downtown area. It was reminiscent of Korean BBQ Corner and all those other wonderful “hole in the wall” places I loved so much back home in the islands. The food was delicious and the owners were very friendly. So I decided to ask about the jun and why it wasn’t on the menu.

    Apparently, it’s not a regular dish (at least in South Korea). They save it for special occasions, like birthdays and weddings. For some reason in Hawaii its become an “all the time” food. So I guess as locals we’re spoiled.

    Reply
  • September 18, 2014 at 9:02 am
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    hi my name Anastasia Bibi and Koko. etam leh bwe kojam ton konaan rot ne ok love you and dah kine heheuf67nh7ujmnzs xC

    Reply

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