KBFD COLUMN by Jeff Chung

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Jeff Chung
2017.07.03 12:47

Indulge seafood cravings at Seoul fish market

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It’s the summer travel season, and many are asking me about what to do and see in Korea.


My favorite place to take my friends is to visit the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market. Many compare it to Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. It’s the biggest fish market in Seoul and you can find almost anything edible from the ocean there. But for islanders the thing to look for is live king crab or snow crab.


There are over 700 vendors in two rows hundreds of yards long. You will see tanks full of king crab, snow crab, hairy crab, blue crab and other seafood. The vendors will sell seafood by the kilogram. For Americans, one kilogram equals 2.2 pounds. The vendor will help you select the meatiest crab and weigh it. Prices will range by the season, but a single king crab will cost $80 to $120 and feed three to four of the hungriest kamaaina.


There is always some negotiation wiggle room depending on how much you buy. You can attempt to haggle a little or ask for more, and the vendor might throw in a live abalone or live squid.


After you purchase your seafood, there is a line of restaurants on the second floor to prepare your meal. Depending on how much was purchased downstairs, preparation will often cost $40 to $70, with all the trimmings. Crab is prepared only steamed and cracked. The sweet meat in the knuckles and merus section of the leg is unforgettable.


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