Ever tried Penis Fish (aka sea intestine)? You can get it right here in Seoul. When my friend told me about the alternative name for the raw sea intestine we tried in Noryangjin, I was very amused.
Noryangjin Market is the famous fish and seafood market which most tourists may drop by during their stay in this city.
With more than 700 stalls (during peak period), selling a variety of fresh seafood which you can purchase and request the restaurants to cook for you at a fee, say 2000 to 3000 won per pax for basic ingredients such as seasoning and veggies; 5000 – 10,000won approx per item for cooking services. Apparently, making seafood soup is the most expensive choice, so most diners opt for steaming.
Vendors here operate on alternate shifts during low season (July – August) so that there isn’t excessive supply of seafood during the low season.
If you happen to come during the last few days of the shift for a batch of vendors, do remember to bargain for better prices 🙂
Phallic-looking sea intestine aka Penis Fish is a live sea creature (Photo from http://redcook.net/2010/11/03/sea-intestine/)
Sea intestine (Gaebul in Korean) is a species of marine spoon worm. It is widely referred to as the fat innkeeper worm or the penis fish.
For 70,000 won (2 pax), here’s the list of items we had for dinner:
- Chinese Penis Fish (Sea Intestine) – crunchy but it’s not pretty looking at all.
- Sea Pineapple – taste foul
- Octopus – wriggly, suctions, mind-blowing
- Prawns – a little overcooked by the restaurant
- Snow Crab – I like! A first!
- Abalone – chewy but it wasn’t that great
The snow crab was definitely the highlight of the day! Sweet, juicy and an amazing dish to look at on it’s own. The legs were actually so fun to eat!
Eating the octopus was partially disgusting due to the feeling of being sucked when you put part of the wriggling “corpse” in your mouth, but it actually tasted great with just light seasoning!
Chinese Penis Fish made an impression, from the name to the crunchy chewy bites which wasn’t too bad, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to eat more of that (imagine thinking you are eating something called “penis” fish, it’s strange enough ain’t it?)
The taste of the Sea Pineapple was just foul. A bite into it, I got reminded of the first bite into smelly tofu. Different foul taste, same effect and out came the sea pineapple (from my mouth), I would not touch you again.
Some vendors can manage a conversation in Mandarin (to cater to the large influx of Chinese tourists in recent years), and they try to offer you a bundle of items. However, do take a walk around the stretch of stalls first. You will be amazed at the difference in prices for similar seafood, so do make a mental note to ask around for the prices for the various items that you are keen to try, before you proceed to try.
Noryangjin Station (Subway Line 1 or 9), Exit 1.
Walk about 100m over the bridge and you can literally smell the market from where you are 😛
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More on Seoul 🙂
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