During my recent trip to Mexico, I filmed two recipe videos. One was for pan-fried Spanish mackerel, which I shared earlier. The other was for this recipe here, a spicy raw fish dish called hoe-muchim, made with freshly caught red snapper. When you mix raw fish and vegetables with a sweet, sour, and spicy sauce, it tastes delightful. The vegetables are crispy, and the raw fish is soft but chewy, giving it a nice texture!

This dish is something I enjoy when I visit Yeosu, the port city where I grew up in Korea. There’s a restaurant there that specializes in making it with a flat fish called tonguefish. Whenever I go to Yeosu, that restaurant is first on my itinerary! And whenever I get my hands on sushi-grade fresh fish, I love to make hoe-muchim the same way they do.

Since it’s hard to find freshly caught tonguefish in New York City, I usually use fluke or snapper instead. If you ever come across some freshly caught fish or sashimi grade from your local fish market, try making hoe-muchim with it.

You may think the sauce is similar to the sauce in my golbaengi muchim (spicy whelks with noodles) recipe. It’s actually the same sauce! And hoe-muchim is usually made with perilla leaves as one of the mixed vegetables, it enhances the flavor even more. I couldn’t find perilla leaves in the grocery store in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, but if you can get some, be sure to add them. When I cook while traveling, I always have to improvise with local ingredients and whatever utensils are on hand (I use a big pot instead of a mixing bowl in this video lol). The same as you, right? But as long as the final dish is delicious it doesn’t matter at all. Just enjoy cooking, sharing, and eating delicious food and you will always be ok!

Cleaning fish in the Puerto Escondido fish market


Serves 2 to 3

For seasoning sauce:

For Vegetables:

  • 4 to 5 large large lettuce leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup seedless cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • ⅓ cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cup onion, sliced
  • 1 small Serrano pepper, chopped


  1. Slice the fish fillets into pieces approximately 3 inches in length and ⅓ inch in thickness. Place them in icy water and stir in the vinegar. Allow the fish to sit in the water for 10 minutes to firm up slightly.
Slicing fish
  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the seasoning sauce. Mix well.
Mixing the seasoning sauce.
  1. In a large bowl, place all the vegetables. Drain the fish from the water and gently squeeze out any excess moisture. Add the fish to the bowl with the vegetables.
  2. Pour the prepared seasoning sauce over the fish and vegetables, then add the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Mix everything together gently with a large spoon.
  1. Transfer the mixture to a serving plate or bowl.
Hoe-muchim in a bowl.


Serve it as a side dish for alcohol or as a standalone one-bowl meal. To enjoy it as a meal, place some rice in a bowl, add a portion of hoe-muchim, and mix well, similar to how you make bibimbap. it pairs well with doenjang-jjigae (fermented soybean paste stew).

Mixing hoe-muchim

Enjoy your delicious hoe-muchim!

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One Comment:

  1. It looks so yummy, wanna try someday, and thank you for the recipe

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