Lophiomus setigerus

Lophiomus setigerus
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lophiiformes
Family: Lophiidae
Genus: Lophiomus
T. N. Gill, 1883
Species: L. setigerus
Binomial name
Lophiomus setigerus
Vahl, 1797

Lophiomus setigerus, the Blackmouth angler, is a species of goosefish found in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans where it occurs at depths of from 30 to 800 metres (98 to 2,625 ft). This species grows to a length of 40 centimetres (16 in) TL.

This species is commercially harvested for human consumption. Most notably, in South Korea where it is known as agwi (아귀), it is the key ingredient of agujjim (아구찜). This was originally invented in the town of Masan: historically, agwi fish were discarded by the fishermen, as they were considered unsellable due to their ugly appearance. But around the mid-20th century, the food stall cooks at the Masan market took up the challenge to turn the waste into a tasty dish. As it turned out, preparing L. setigerus in jjim style (steamed in a spicy and hot marinade) brought its agreeable flavor and peculiar texture out well, besides delivering a healthy dose of protein. Agwi is now a nationally popular dish, with many scores of specialist restaurants found across the country.

As a side note, L. setigerus is traditionally combined in agwi with the ascidian tunicate Styela clava (mideodeok, 미더덕). Like this fish, use of tunicates as food is rather unusual.


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