Live delicatessen at the fish market
My incredible experience happened in Seoul, South Korea, when I visited the amazing Noryangjin fish market, in the heart of Seoul city. This market is absolutely incredible. Right off the bat you can see that everything was made by local people. Noryangjin is a wholesale market and provide daily fresh food for restaurants in Seoul. But you can also just pop in and chose whatever you want, picking the seafood displayed in aquariums.
At Noryangjin market I had the opportunity to try “live octopus”. Eating live seafood or right after the killing represents food on its freshness. For korean people the word seafood means “fresh food”. Keeping the seafood live in aquariums is a perfect way to show how fresh the seafood in your stall is. From enormous crabs, to fish, crustaceans and mollusks, you can choose whatever you want to eat and they will cook for you right there.
Once you pick the seafood of your choice, the fisherman will butch it and send it upstairs where it will be cooked or served raw, at the restaurant. For the “live octopus”, the fisherman chops the octopus' head, but the its body still moves for another half hour. While trying to chew the octopus the suction cups on the tentacles are sticking to your mouth. It takes a while to chew and swallow. The taste is very subtle, simple and fresh, like the ocean. In the video, I used sesame oil to complement the octopus taste. Here is a video of me eating the octopus:
Although strange and sometimes unthinkable, every culture has their own habits. And that's why this experience was so incredible to me. Food in South Korea is a perfect way to experiment all the different things the world has to offer. Noryangjin market is definitely a must go when you plan your trip to South Korea. If you like reading about unusual food, click here to read about another korean memory of mine.
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