This is Congdu’s signature dish: the grilled yellow corvina with rice and green tea.
The yellow corvina in this dish is called “gulbi,” which means it has been salted and preserved. It is the specialty of Yeonggwang in the South Jeolla region of Korea. It is hard, salty, and smells like blue cheese. But its pungency goes so well with rice. It’s so good.
There is a legend about gulbi. A long time ago, there was a politician named Lee Jakyum. He was put into a trap, accused of treason, and sent into exile in the city of Yeonggwang. There, he tried gulbi for the first time. He loved it so much and thought the king would like it as well. He sent some to the king.
However, it was just a gift. Lee Jakyum was not apologizing for his actions. He wrote that he would resist; the Chinese characters he used (Korean wasn’t invented yet) sounded like “gulbi” in Korean and meant “resist”. The king loved the dish and it became very popular but Lee Jakyum died in exile.