The ray fish known as skates don’t urinate the same way other animals do—you, for example. Instead, skates excrete uric acid through their skin, so when they ferment, ammonia preserves the flesh to offer up an odor akin to, say, an outhouse. But, supposedly, if you eat the dish known as “hongeohoe” (as described above), your hangover disappears.
See, the desire to cure a hangover may be universal, but the way to go about it is anything but. From chili and gatorade to potato tacos and bloody marys, nobody really agrees on what kicks a hangover entirely to the curb. Different remedies work for different people, but this method’s got to be the wildest. I mean, it’s urine-soaked raw fish. What’s going to top that?
A dish from the Jeolla province in South Korea, hongeohoe is a regional specialty that has the skate soaking—in…ahem…itself—for a month before serving it up with boiled pork belly and kimchi. Yet, while the sides may make you forget what the main course actually is, remember that NPR once described hongeohoe as “a sharp, pungent aroma—one might describe it as a heady mix of public toilet and wet laundry left untended for days—and a hard-to-swallow texture of chewy flesh and crunchy cartilage.” On the other hand, Korean food journalist Sue Ahn has noted that the dish provides “a minty feeling in the back of your throat [that] many say is addictive.”
Again, though, people swear by it as a hangover cure. You just have to realize that hangover cures sometimes count because they make you forget about the booze-induced headache and worry about the brunch-propped stomachache. So while this delicacy may blow your hangover to the likes of space, there’s a chance a first-time outing will throw your entire body into a rattling fit. Like, I can’t stress this enough: Urine. Soaked. Raw. Fish.
[H/T Food and Wine]