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Perseverance of Expert who has been walking a single path for pollack roe for 30 years - SONG GA Fis 2022-12-22 22:11

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Salted Pollack Roe, Local Dish with Korean Painful History


Salted pollack roe which enriches our table with salty savory taste is a processed marine product which is mostly produced and consumed in South Korea and Japan. Out of the total production, 80% is produced in Japan and about 20% is produced in South Korea, and the consumption in Japan is also overwhelmingly more than 10 times that in South Korea. (based on 2019)

Japan’s love for pollack roe is famous enough to make ‘Pollack Roe Town’ where pollack roe-related stores and restaurants gather. For that reason, lots of people know pollack roe as Japanese food, but actually, pollack roe is an undeniable Korean ‘local dish’.

During the Japanese colonial period, the Japanese give fish accessories instead of wages to Joseon workers who processed marine products, which is the start of pollack roe with seasoning with red pepper power. After the end of World War II, Japanese people who returned to Japan reproduced the taste of pollack roe that they ate in Korea and started to sell it under the name of ‘Mentaiko’, widely spreading across Japan while capturing the taste of lots of people.

Although Japan has the title of ‘Pollack Roe Powerhouse’, there are companies which strive to develop the Korean pollack roe processing technology and industry with pride and a sense of duty that South Korea is the originator of pollack roe. We met SONG, GWANSEOK, the representative of SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd, who has been with pollack roe for 30 years in Busan, the birthplace of salted pollack roe.

 





SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd with 30 Years of Know-how to Discern Good Pollack Roe


SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd located in the advancement complex for the export and processing of marine products in Amnam-dong, Busan is a pollack roe manufacturing company which only handles pollack roe. The representative Song, Gwanseok met pollack roe like destiny in a fish cake company where he entered in 1986.


“At that time, it was a difficult time for everyone, so there were many times when people had a meal only with salted pollack roe. I ate pollack roe then for the first time, and it was delicious no matter how much I ate it. I had a small wish to directly process pollack roe when I can afford it later.”


The representative who sincerely worked for 12 years at his first company while raising an affection for pollack roe founded ‘Global Ocean’, the distribution company which handles only pollack roe, in 1998 after leaving the company. Since then, he had airlifted the good raw materials of pollack roe across the United States and Russia for nearly 20 years and delivered them to domestic pollack roe manufacturing companies and in 2016, he finally founded SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd and jumped into the pollack roe processing business. He has a short manufacturing history compared to the operation period of the distribution company, but considering the taste of salted pollack roe depends on high-quality pollack roe, it can be said that his great eye and the distribution line to stably supply pollack roe are the company’s greatest strength.

As of the last year, its production of salted pollack roe was 220 tons and its annual sales reached 3.8 billion won. The company supplies refrigerated pollack roe products based on the domestic traditional market and mainly exports them to the United States and Vietnam. The exports have slowed down for a while due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, but they have accelerated again since last year.




 

 

△ External View of Busan Advancement Complex for Fishery Processing in which SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd moved



Salted Pollack Roe & Pollack Roe Tube guaranteeing Taste, Safety and Convenience


SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd obtained K·FISH certification for real pollack roe and pollack roe tube. The salted pollack roe is produced in a process from 1st cleaning – seasoning - 1st ripening (48 hours) - 2nd cleaning – removal of foreign substances – shaping – dehydration - 2nd ripening (24 hours) to packaging which takes at least 5 days to 7 days after Russian pollack roe is caught, quickly frozen on board and thawed at an appropriate temperature.


“After watching the news that microplastics were detected in salt, we looked for safe salt which can be eaten with trust. Because refined salt has less useful ingredients such as mineral, etc. compared to natural salt, we chose Australian bay salt which is natural salt. The scent of yuja removes the fishy smell of pollack roe and its Vitamin C has an antioxidant effect. Cheongju promotes the fermentation of salted seafood, and it raises the palatability of salted pollack roe much more than when only ethanol is used. They are high-priced ingredients, but we use them because we want to make more delicious and safer salted pollack roe.”


While real pollack roe is a product which sticks to the basics, pollack roe is a product which adds convenience. Pollack roe tube is a product that only egg particles are injected into a tube container after removing a membrane covering eggs. As it reduces repulsion against the appearance of salted pollack roe and can be easily utilized for all kinds of food, it is widely loved by young and foreign customers.




 

 

△ Real Pollack Roe (Left) and Pollack Roe Tube (Right) with K·FISH Certification




Consistent Concerns and Efforts for Best Pollack Roe Products


In the processing process of salted pollack roe, he puts thorough hygiene and temperature management ahead of everything. Based on data which has been obtained from 30 years of experience, he carefully manages everything from temperature for thawing raw eggs, processing temperature, temperature in the seasoning environment to storage temperature. It is because it is the only way to create salted pollack roe with high yield, good texture and excellent taste.


“We don’t have good facilities like Japan or large companies, but we are thinking about a variety of ways to overcome the limitations. I think that it is time to pursue a new technology, a new process and a new product idea which are different from before.”


 

 

△ Sanitary Manufacturing Environment certified by HACCP Certification




In these days, he is considering a method of processing pollack roe snack based on the fact that pollack roe is widely used as a minor ingredient for pasta or bread, but there is not much food to enjoy the taste of pollack roe itself. In addition, he continues to try to increase exports by preparing products which are mainly distributed frozen and suitable for the Japanese market in a form of pollack roe with membranes removed in order to target overseas markets.



Hope to recover the reputation as the original home of pollack roe with Korean pollack roe’s own taste


In the future, he will attempt to export products by participating in all kinds of exhibitions or fairs with K·FISH certification mark. Since he is still in the early stage of exports, he can flexibly produce samples buyers want, so he will plan to attract buyers through active communications.



 

 

△ SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd which participates in 2019 Busan International Fisheries Trade EXPO

“With K·FISH certification, we will make efforts to activate exports based on upgraded competitiveness and challenge spirit. Our final export destination is Japan. I want to advance into Japan with Korean pollack roe’s own taste and regain the reputation as the original home of pollack roe.”





■ Information related to SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd


△ CI of SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd




▷ Address : #B-401, 1, Wonyang-ro, Seo-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea (Amnam-dong, Advancement Complex for Fishery Processing)
▷ Inquiry : Tel.080-258-3693
▷ E-mail : songgasusan@naver.com
▷ Homepage : www.songgasusan.com





▷ Dong-gu signed ‘the OEM Agreement for Dong-gu Local Specialty, Pollack Roe’

Although Japan has the title of ‘Pollack Roe Powerhouse’, there are companies which strive to develop the Korean pollack roe processing technology and industry with pride and a sense of duty that South Korea is the originator of pollack roe. We met SONG, GWANSEOK, the representative of SONG GA Fisheries Co., Ltd, who has been with pollack roe for 30 years in Busan, the birthplace of salted pollack roe.
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