Korea – Fish Market & Seafood Dinner in Korea

Restaurant: Fish Market & Seafood Dinner in Korea
Cuisine: Korean/Seafood
Last visited: April 7, 2010
Location: Seoul, Korea
Address: Fish Market
Price Range: Varies – Market price

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: n/a
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 6
Overall: 5
Additional comments:

  • Seafood only
  • Relatively inexpensive fresh seafood
  • Very fresh
  • Take home, or eat at restaurant in market
  • Tons of options
  • Prices vary daily
  • Self selection
  • Me eating LIVE octopus video

**Recommendations: Live octopus, sashimi

Welcome to the fish market in Korea! This is definitely a must try when you’re in Korea especially if you’re a seafood lover. If you’re not, it’s still an nice place to visit because it is still a tourist attraction and local favourite.

This is the “stock market” of seafood and it’s the place to get the freshest seafood.

It’s stall after stall of freshly caught seafood and you can bargain with the vendors.

You select what you want and the prices vary from vendor to vendor. I had the benefit of being with locals so I was lucky to have them do all the communicating and “business deals”. Prices also depend on market prices and what’s available that day… but you can ALWAYS bargain here.

This is the fisherman hacking away at the fish we ordered. He beat it with his stick while it was flopping around on the floor. It’s maybe not the most sanitary place or ethical place for seafood, but it’s a different culture and environment entirely.

He got it!

It was pretty horrid after seeing it whacked on the floor and knowing that this was my sashimi. :(

How much fresher can you get?! He cuts the sashimi immediately and that was the same fish I was holding.

This is what I came to try! The famous LIVE octopus. It’s a delicacy in Korea and found at the fish market.

Okay… so it’s not kind of scary… it’s really scary. The octopus suctions onto her hands and she doesn’t even have to hold on to it. The tentacles just start flailing around like mad and reaching out to you. It looks like a giant spider and it’s really fast too!

Even upside down it still moves like crazy. We bought a slightly smaller version of him because it was only 3 of us eating. They vary in size.

After you pick all the seafood you bring it into one of the restaurants located inside the fish market. You can bring it home to cook yourself or have it there. We ate at this one.

It was super busy and it was already 9pm or so. The restaurants are all really casual with plastic tablecloths. Besides paying for the seafood you purchased at the market you have to pay a service charge at the restaurant which includes the preparation of the food you bought.

They also serve rice, noodles, wine and other things for purchase to serve with or along side your seafood.

On the table:

The traditional Korean condiments for seafood. A sweet and spicy soy bean paste sauce, lettuce (Koreans make salad wraps out of everything), chillies, garlic, and some wasabi for the sashimi.

I think this was a fermented plum wine. It was very sweet and very strong.

BBQ Prawns - 3/6

  • It wasn’t necessarily the best tasting prawns ever, but it was fresh, cheap and simply grilled.

**Sashimi4/6

  • I’m not even sure what kind of fish this was. My friends did the ordering.
  • This was the same fish I was holding in the picture above. It can’t get any fresher than this!

  • Besides eating it alone or with wasabi it’s common to use the sashimi and make lettuce wraps with them. This is common in Korea and lettuce almost serves as a condiment.
  • I topped it off with that fermented soybean chili sauce. Love that stuff! It’s very salty and more sweet than it is spicy.

**Live Octopus - 2/6

  • This was the whole reason I wanted to visit the fish market! I had to try the traditional Korean delicacy – LIVE octopus!
  • They cut up the tentacles but the octopus doesn’t die. The nerves are still active so when they serve it the octopus more or less squirms and crawls off your plate.
  • We had to collect them with our chopsticks and toss them back on the plate.
  • They eventually slow down after 20 minutes or even longer sometimes.
  • It’s definitely acquired. It actually doesn’t have much flavour, but it sure has texture.
  • It’s super slimy and chewy and the tentacles stick to your tongue, lips, chopsticks and basically anything it can grasp onto.
  • Before you eat it you can dip it in this salty sauce it’s served with. It’s almost pure salt with a little soy so a little goes a long way.
  • It’s important to chew the crap out of them because the tentacles stick like crazy and people have died from it… rare case, but it’s happened before.

Follow Me Foodie Videos

  • Video of live octopus rolling around in sauce… on its own – WATCH!
  • Video of me eating live octopus – WATCH!
  • Video of me eating the live octopus head – WATCH!

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