Alright everyone, this could the post you've been waiting for. If you remember wayyyy back, I posted about eating live octopus. I also promised Katie from the TEFLlogue (check out my interview with her) for an exclusive of my culinary adventure. Well, on Sunday night HC, her friend Blake (visiting from the USA), Devante, and myself headed to Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul to find the freshest available octopus.
Eating live octopus, or sannakji in South Korea is seen as a novelty and health dish (whatever happened to eating fruit and vegetables?!). The live baby octopus is cut up and immediately served, usually with some sesame oil. The problem is the tentacles are still squirming and fighting--which equates to a party in your mouth as your chew them to death inside your mouth!
We took a cab from Noryanjin station on Line 1 to the Fish Market. Here, this market was jam packed full of seafood vendors--they were quite aggressive I might add:
Some of this stuff is not your average seafood from back home. However there was a lot of shrimp, clams, abalone, weird eel thingies, and some other random items:
Here's the video of us buying the baby octopus. A couple friendly Koreans who spoke English helped us buy two for 10,000w ($10USD)--what a smoking "deal"! Watch how the one tentacle is stuck to the tank:
There was a restaurant right at the fish market that will cook any seafood you bring to them. Part of this includes the side dishes and such. Anyways, here's a picture of the octopus after it was cut up and brought to us--the picture does not do any justice to how much these things were squiggling around!
After getting their tentacles freshly chopped off, I think these things get into a rage as revenge! Watch them wiggling around like mad...this slowed down after a while, but they were still very, very active:
With a little bit of samjang and sesame oil, it wasn't that bad...however there wasn't really a taste, as it was just darn chewy!
Alrighty, enough of the small chit chat...here is yours truly digging into his first piece of live baby octopus--this is for Katie from the TEFLlogue!! I called it squid, but either way this is still pretty nuts:
So after eating that first piece, I can tell you that it tasted like the jellyfish appetizer that is served in Chinese restaurants. However, this time around it was about 1 billion times more chewy. It is imperative that you chew the tentacles properly, because if you don't they can stick to your throat as you swallow---and that would not be fun!
Here's another attempt but this time I wanted to show you how it is such a weird feeling having the tentacles grab grip to my tongue--oh, and don't mind the sesame oil/drool that comes out of my mouth, it's all for show. ;)
We didn't expect them to give us back the remaining nakji, but this time it was COOKED! Devante didn't dare to try it (she said she likes to eat her food dead) out--she did an excellent job filming us though!
Now, if only next time I would be brave enough to stuff an ENTIRE octopus at once like THESE GUYS!!
So, you're probably asking me if I'd eat nakji again, right? My answer is probably no, because there wasn't much taste and it was just too chewy. It was pretty fun trying it out before we departed from Korea though. After the nakji, HC went out and bought us a king crab for dinner. I'll post that the next time around.
Have you eaten sannakji before? How was your experience compared to mine? Who would want to give this a try?!
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