Typically, I don’t shy away from weird food choices. I like to try new things and am always up for a challenge. There is just one type of food that, no matter what, I tend to resist: FISH! I absolutely hate almost all kinds of fish, and despite Japan being my favorite country, I tend to shun most sushi and sashimi, too. For this reason, when a trip to the Noryangjin Fish Market was suggested, I dodged, resisted, and feigned interest while avoiding, all strategies that worked for almost four years. Alas, my luck ran out and I was dragged into the enormous but damp building while kicking and screaming. Okay, maybe my display wasn’t that dramatic.
Just a tease
On the contrary, despite really not liking fish, I love seafood markets. I am probably the worst kind of ‘customer’ though as I am lurking around, taking pictures, and stand in front of stalls for minutes at a time, but am never once tempted to buy anything…that is, until now!
My trip to the Noryangjin Fish Market was… well… pretty damn awesome. One thing I definitely noticed immediately and was the sheer size of the place. It’s HUGE!
What the hell is that?
Another thing that I never gave much thought to was the variety of sea creatures Koreans eat. Tuna and salmon are just the start as you can also buy those weird flat fish with eyes on its side, those hideous blubber fish, and even shark. Come to think of it, it seems like the ugliest things in the ocean hang out around off the Korean peninsula.
Blood and guts everywhere
I am not squeamish at all, but even I took second looks at some of the blood splattered everywhere. Bloody knives and severed shark heads were the tame parts where I was not shocked and took out my camera for some shots. Sidney thought it was a bit too weird though when we saw a completely gutted fish still splashing about vigorously. How in the world was it still alive? One butcher lady motioned that I should take a picture of what she was about to do, then proceeded to drive a pick into a large fish’s brain. Definitely not for weak stomachs.
So what did I buy?
I actually did cave and bought some shrimp. Sidney got herself some salmon sashimi and we had a pretty awesome feast. Although the shrimp came out too salty, even for me, they were still pretty good! Here are some pics of the cooking process and end result.
I hope you liked this tour of the Noryangjin Fish Market and subsequent dinner. How about you? Are there any food markets out there you particularly like? Put them in the comments!