Eating Live Octopus in Korea

Korea is a land of unique culinary…ideas.

If you’re reading this from back home, you probably think of Korean food as being the K-Barbecue joint in town, or kimchi, rice, and soju.

IN Korea there’s a whole lot “broader” spectrum of choices. I’ll say that. Having grown up eating Korean food, I am familiar with the food even if I don’t know the names. Even if I haven’t tried all the Korean foods out there, I’m very familiar with the smells and textures.
jagalchi fish marketThere are literally endless lists of food choices uniquely Korean that we’ve all probably never heard of. One big area is the whole raw seafood menu.

Very akin to Japan, if it lives in the ocean Koreans will eat it. And they prefer to eat it RAW!

I could probably do an entire YouTube channel traveling around Korea eating all the different foods they have to offer and still not cover it all. I do plan on covering a bunch before I leave though.

I decided to give the live octopus experience a shot. In Korea it’s called sannakji (산낙지).

I went to Jagalchi Fish Market where there is an entire building devoted to eating raw sea-life. You walk into the ground floor to choose your animal and then bring it to the restaurant upstairs where it is prepared.


jagalchi fish market

Sannakji is basically dismembered and served on a plate with scallions and sesame oil on top of it. There is also a side of sesame oil to dip it in.

One of the main reasons Koreans enjoy eating their food raw is so they can really get a taste and sense of the “freshness” of the food.

Take a moment to imagine what it could possibly be like to chew on many pieces of slimy, bite-sized squirming chunks of rubber that are trying to stick to the insides of your mouth.

Got the image? Yeah, that’s what it was like.



  1. Avatar Jonathan says:

    It’s nice to see two people enjoying a meal together…

    I just moved here with my family a week ago for a two year stint. I came across your blog while searching for a BJJ academy here in the city. Next week my one-year-old daughter and I will head over to the Barbosa Academy to see what it’s like.

    My perspective on life in Busan will be slightly different as I will be a stay at home dad for the first year here. I must say though, life is good right now and your blog is fun to both read and watch.


  2. It was nice to see two people enjoying a meal together…

    I found your blog a few weeks ago before I moved here to Busan with my family. I was searching for a place to train BJJ and your blog popped up everywhere. It looks like the Barbosa academy is the one that is the easiest to get to from Haeundae.

    Your blog is fun to read and quite interesting, so keep it up!


    • Also, Jonathan, there is a brand new facility in Haeundae for Team MAD, which is MMA. They have no gi grappling and kickboxing there. You’ll probably run into Kim Dong-Hyun once in a while too!

  3. Hmm, just so you know. I’m not a stalker hehe… I thought that first post failed. I guess I was wrong. Peace.

  4. Whyyyyy does this look delicious? I might just be hungry. I mean, I would die for some fresh crab right now! Ok. Useless comment, but I feel better now, ha!

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