Jagalchi & Gukje Markets and Other Random Busan Eats

Busan is known for 2 things, seafood and their yearly film festival.  Naturally, my interest is in the former.  We spent the morning visiting the Jagalchi Fish Market, which is an incredibly smaller version of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market.  Not only is the scope of the market much smaller, it’s not packed with throngs of people.  In the humid summer heat, it would have been really unpleasant to be shoulder to shoulder with so many people.   I wondered how all the seafood in the outdoor part of the market stayed fresh.  The indoor part had live seafood in tanks.

We enjoyed some fresh uni and live octopus for breakfast.  I’m not sure if the inside of the uni needed to be rinsed out after being cracked open, but I tasted a lot more salt water than sweet uni.  The uni were pretty small too.  I think I’m just spoiled by my close proximity to Santa Barbara uni.

The post mortem octopus tentacles were dancing on the plate.  Drizzled with sesame oil and sprinkled with some sesame seeds, these made for a very adventurous breakfast.  I liked the octopus, but freaked out everytime the suction cups latched onto the inside of my mouth.  DSC00506

The still shot does the experience no justice, so watch the video.

After walking through the market for an hour or so, we headed over to the nearby Gukje Market in search of hotteok.  Hotteok has to be one of my favorite Korean sweets.  It’s a yeast dough fried into a pancake form, usually filled with brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts and seeds.

I’ve had hotteok only from a little food cart outside of an Ktown supermarket in LA and from frozen.  Obviously the fresh made one was loads better, and this one was by far the best hotteok I’ve tried.  It was doughy on the inside with and crispy fried exterior.  The filling was the perfect sweetness and all the nuts and seeds were a nice contrast to the doughy pancake.

After the hotteok, we were pretty full considering we were planning to eat lunch in an hour or so.  However, our trusty guide must have had instructions to make us eat everything authentically Korean that came our way as we walked through the market.

Korean Corndog
I love corndogs.  It’s probably the one things I will never miss at a carnival or a fair.  The dog part was pretty standard here, but the outside was more like a donut.  It was interesting, but I’ll take my standard American carnival corndog any day.  Better yet, give me the $8 Disneyland one!

We saw plenty of other foodie things along the way.


We stopped for a bowl of odeng, or fish cakes.  

Triple F really likes odeng, but I’m not sure I liked it this way as much.  The fish cakes were too overcooked, but it’s probably supposed to taste this way since it’s kept boiling away all day.  Some glass noodles and tofu were hiding beneath.  The broth was light and a little salty sweet.DSC00521

It’s safe to say that we basically we spent the morning eating to pass the time before lunch.  Who does that?  The Annoyer and I apparently.  I guess it is more exciting to do that than to tour some stuffy old museum.  Maybe a little bit of both would have been nice, but The Annoyer isn’t into museums and I don’t think Busan is known to have anything noteworthy in that respect.  The fish and food markets are always a nice treat.  It’s not like that have anything like that in the States.



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