Jagalchi Fish Market; Busan, South Korea

Neither words nor photos do justice to the culinary extremities of Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan, South Korea. I've heard that it is the largest fish market in the country, and that its name was born out of the Korean word (jagal) for gravel.

Inside, I spotted a handsomely sized octopus struggling on the market floor. It was maybe eighteen inches long, with a head somewhere between softball and soccer ball. At first I thought the seller was giving us Westerners a show; however, it turns out she didn't even notice us standing there. That's just what they do to show the customer the octopus is still alive: put it on the floor, watch it squirm around for a few seconds, then pluck it off the floor (you can hear its suction cups "pop" when it is pulled from the floor) and drop it into a plastic bag, to be cooked fresh at your leisure.

If seafood is not your thing, go for the bugs instead. I don't particularly love seafood but I might be willing to give bugs a shot, if the price is right. Or just grab yourself a quesadilla and don't ask too many questions.



(Photos are not from Jagalchi, but rather Taejongdae and Gaegeum, other districts in Busan.)