Seoul Food: Noryangjin Fish Market

IMG_0017IMG_0043The Noryangjin Fish Market is one of Seoul’s top sites. A huge warehouse filled with seafood, the wholesale market attracts locals and tourists alike. We walked around the market, noting the exotic species available (such as the giant octopi above) and then headed upstairs to one of the restaurants on the second floor.

We chose our restaurant based on how many Koreans we saw inside. The easy way to check is to see how many shoes are outside (Koreans take off their shoes before entering a traditional restaurant, where you sit on the ground).We ordered the set menu for two people although we were three. It was definitely the right choice. We were served so many courses of seafood we couldn’t finish. IMG_0057

BanChan

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A platter of assorted seafood, including shrimp, sea snails, and something that we think was some kind of bloom clam or oyster. It was interesting.IMG_0084

A platter of fresh sashimi. The platter was divided by different parts of the fish, which had vastly different textures.IMG_0086

 

Some Sushi.IMG_0074

Grilled Mackerel.IMG_0079

Corn.

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Egg-battered oysters.

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Clams.IMG_0087

Shrimp Tempura.IMG_0099

Fish Bone Soup.

 

Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market

South Korea, 서울특별시 동작구 노량진동 13-8

13-8 Noryangjin-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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Seoul Food: Highlights

 

Let the food photos speak for themselves.

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Some BanChan – the smorgasbord of complimentary appetizers that appear before or along with a Korean meal.

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Kimchi Dumplings at Sinpo Woori Mandoo House.

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Sikhye – sweet Korean rice drink.

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Hottoek – fried rice cake with brown sugar in the middle.

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Dok – an assorted variety of rice cakes. The best were the fried ones, like an asian version of the donut hole.

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Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)

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Milk Bread at Tous Les Jours. There are Tous Les Jours bakeries all over Asia, and I decided to finally try one in Korea, where the chain originally started. The baked goods are surprisingly terrific. The textures and flavors are on-spot. This bread was delightfully light and fluffy, with just a hint of sweetness. IMG_0142

Iced Mango Dessert per my sister’s request.

 

Seoul Food: Naengmyeon

The idea of cold soup seems oxymoronic to me. Gazpachos aren’t my preferred dish. But sometimes, a cold soup can be the perfect remedy to a hot day.

My sister has no problem with cold soup. One of her favorite Korean dishes is Naengmyeon, a cold noodle soup originally from North Korea, but with a large presence in the South. On our recent trip to Seoul, she was insistent that we get some.

I found this place off of Daniel Gray’s Discovering Korea and it was a huge hit. We went after a long tour at Gyeongbukgong Palace. The restaurant was across from the palace wall, but a bit hard to find considering how long the palace wall is. I asked three different policemen to point us in the right direction. Each time, they knew exactly where I was talking about. I took this to be a good sign. My sister and her friend Cleaves were both impressed by my find. The restaurant was extremely authentic and the Naengmyeon was the best I’ve ever had. This Naengmyeon has made me a cold soup convert.

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To give you a sense for the authenticity, we walked in to find a small room filled with six tables of Koreans. A pile of shoes greets you at the front door. When we walked in the door, every person in the room stared at us.

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This Naengmyeon was exactly the right temperature. Cold, but not cold enough to give you a brain freeze. To provide the right temperature, the soup has large chunks of ice in it. The buckwheat Naengmyeon noodles are not apparent in this photo (they are underneath the broth), but were deliciously light. The broth was extremely flavorful.

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Maemil Ggotpilmuryeop (메밀꽃필무렵) – say it ten times fast

Seoul Jongno-gu Tongui-dong 7-23

Gyeongbokgung Station (#327) on Line 3, Exit 4

 

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