As mentioned before in my past review on Soon’s Kal-Bi Drive-In, Go to any Korean restaurant here in Honolulu, and chances are you’ll find Meat Jun. However, it will likely be spelled in a number of different ways, such as “Meat Juhn, Meat Juun, Meat Jon, Meat Joon, Meat Joohn or Meat Jhoon”. God forbid they spell Meat as “Meet”. lol
I also understand while Meat Jun is commonly found at Korean restaurants in Hawaii, on the mainland, its rare to non-existent. However, those of you living in the CONUS who frequent your local Korean restaurant might want to set the record straight for us on that.
Meat Jun is essentially Korean style, thinly-sliced and or pounded flat bite-size pieces of meat – usually beef – battered in either flour or a modified “Korean Pancake” batter, then dipped in a beaten egg wash that may or may not have been enhanced with seasonings such as garlic and onion powder, then pan-fried. It is then typically served with a shoyu, sugar/and or vinegar-based dipping sauce, plus a hot sauce (Gochujang being the usual), with variations on that as well.
In this case, we have Fish Jun, which typically are made using Pollock, a fish widely available in Korea (as well as most north-bound countries), where it’s called ‘Dongtaejeon’ in its truest form of the dish, with “Dongtae” referring to Pollock, and “Jeon” or “Jun” referring to being battered in flour and egg wash.
Similar to the more expensive and richer-tasting Haddock, Pollock, a.k.a. “Dongtae” is considered a “Whitefish”, being very lean, neutral-tasting, with barely any noticeable “fishy” flavor to it. That said, like Haddock, Pollock is a very common fish used in the U.K. for Fish ‘n Chips, being one my favorite deep-fried delights!
Speaking of fried, Pollock is also commonly used in Korea to make what we’re talking about today called Dontaejeon, a.k.a. “Fish Jun”.
So anyhow, in case you haven’t noticed, here today we have Fish Jun, a.k.a. Dongtaejeon, which in this case is from Tasty Korean B-B-Q in Mililani Town Shopping Center, where I happened to be at the other week.
See what I mean? Not only do the local Koreans spell “Meat Jun” 1001 different ways, so they also do with “Barbecue”. WTH?!!!!!!
“Korean BBQ”? “Korean B-B-Q”? “Korean Bar-Be-Q”? Korean Bar-B-Cue”? Then you have “Kal Bi”? Kalbi”? Kalbee” And it goes on, and on, and on, and on…. Drives me nuts! lol!
I tell you what, I’m going to spell my name 1001 different ways. The most common sounding of all being “Pu-Mai”. Perhaps “Poh’My”. Or how about “Poo Mai”. Nah, that’s so wrong. lol
But I digress.
So “what they stay get” here at Tasty Korean B-B-Q? Let’s check it out…
Tasty Korean B-B-Q also caters…
As I’ve mentioned many times already, what I love about Korean restaurants are the wide variety of Banchan side dishes they serve with their dishes. Similar to Japanese tsukemono, many of them are pickled using salt and sesame oil to name a few. The most known of course being Kim Chee, a.k.a. Kimchi, a.k.a. Kim Chi… on brother, here we go AGAIN! lol
Let’s check out Tasty’s Banchan spread…
Like most other Korean takeout joints in town, you get four choices of Banchan. Which always stumps me, as I want a little of EVERYTHING! In fact, next time, I’ll try asking if I can do that. Which chances are with them hard-headed, fiesty Koreans, the answer will be NO. “You come heah, you only get foh choice!” in a thick Korean accent. lol Gotta’ love them Koreans. So full of character!
And so is the Banchan, where my favorites that I usually choose are the Korean style shoyu potato (not the mayonnaise one), “seaweed” (as the non-Korean young lady working here said it was called), Choy Sum and of course, Kim Chee. That’s what I chose on this occasion, however sometimes I go for the bean sprouts, or the tofu if they have it.
You know da’ rules…
O.K., let’s try Tasty Korean B-B-Q’s take on Dongtaejeon…
Fantastic! The batter has great texture and is quite flavorful, tasting like they add seasoning in it, being perhaps garlic and onion powder, plus of course salt. It’s also very “eggy”, which is what gives “Jun-ified” meats (or in this case Pollock fish) its unique character.
Speaking of which, I’m curious how a meat or fish jun would taste if you used just egg yolks (no whites) for the wash. Probably even more intense? Perhaps too intense of an egg flavor going on.
Right about now you’re probably questioning, “And this guy’s on a so-called “diet”?” lol
And yet again, I digress. Sorry ’bout that.
So anyways, Tasty’s Fish Jun is EXCELLENT, being as good as any I’ve tasted to date. If there’s any complaint, it would be the Pollock, which simply lacks character, being too lean. You can also tell it’s been previously frozen. They cooked it PERFECTLY, where it was super moist and flaky, but even with that, it just doesn’t stand up to a good cut of more Omega 3 fatty acids rich ‘n oily FRESH-CAUGHT Monchong; that by far being my favorite “white meat” fish. Oh man, I can only DREAM of Monchong Jun! In fact, I think I’ll make it some time soon and blog it!
As for the Banchan, the Korean Shoyu Potato, Seaweed, Choy Sum and Kim Chee were all PERFECT. Couldn’t have been better. Most notably the Kim Chee was SUPERB, especially for a chain takeout joint. Then again, the Yummy’s Korean BBQ takeout restaurant chain also does an excellent job with consistently excellent banchan. Amazing how they do that.
So good, I ended up “polishing” the plate, except for the white rice…
Had it been brown rice, I’d have polished that too.
Tasty Korean Barbie-Q… oh sorry, I meant Tasty Korean B-B-Q has four convenient neighborhood locations to serve you in the Mililani Town Center, Waipahu Town Center, Kaneohe Bay Shopping Center (my “shmall keed” hometown turf!) and Kapolei Shopping Center.
The Tasty Island has one convenient internet location to serve you worldwide at www.TastyIslandHawaii.com. lol
Tasty Korean B-B-Q
Mililani Town Center
Menu (download PDF at that link)
The Tasty Island rating (for Fish Jun):
(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)
P.S. Since we’re talking about meat and eggs, here’s a dozen chicken Balut Diner C bought from Puuhale Market…
Crack open the top…
Peel away some of the shell, add salt, then slurp-up that amniotic fluid goodness…
Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. Tastes like chicken! lol