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If You Thought You Had Heard the Last of Jagalchi, Think Again

Are they edible yet?
Are they edible yet? - Photo by Anna Waigand

If you thought that after two blog posts and a stream of photos, there was nothing more to be said, read, or heard from our encounters at the Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan, think again. Our friends Anna and Andre, both fellow foodies, travelers, and teachers over at Seoulful Adventures recently published a video from our prawn lunch. While the Pusan International Film Festival brought us to Busan, the Jagalchi Fish Market captured our attention and the held it. The Jagalchi Fish Market sprawls beside the water with an array of marine creatures so broad, even the pickiest sea food eater’s appetite should be appeased.

Our lunch in a humble port side restaurant within ear’s reach of fishmongers gave new meaning to the word fresh. We’ve grown accustomed to raw protein cooked over a stove at the table, but meat does not usually reach us in any condition to move around in the pan. Undoubtedly alive upon delivery, the shrimp we ordered for lunch retained their capacity to move, and move they did. I could list every synonym for jump, wriggle, scurry, writhe, and twitch in the thesaurus, but this is a moment best watched. Thanks to Anna and Andre for the video (video by Anna Waigand, videography by Andre Francisco). To check out their take on the meal, and a slew of other interesting stories.
Happy watching!

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=7604933&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

The Shrimp That Season Themselves from Seoulful Adventures on Vimeo.

Brief Encounters with Hideous Fish

Our good friends Anna and Andre over at Seoulful Adventures just posted a great post and video that more vividly details our encounter with the notorious Hagfish. This is a fish so disgusting “[its] other name is the slime eel because their defense mechanism is to produce a mucus that turns into unbelievable quantities of slime when mixed with water.” This is the fish, you’ll recall, that was impaled and skinned alive before our very eyes and then proceeded to redefine the word “writhe” for all who bore witness.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=7309910&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Hagfish: God’s Grossest Creatures from Seoulful Adventures on Vimeo.

No Doubt About It: Something is Definitely Fishy in Busan

Saturday Morning Sights and Oh-My-Goodness Smells of Busan

There is something surreal about emerging from the underground isolation of a subway station into the open air of a new place. Our first Saturday morning steps out of the station and onto one of Busan’s humming city streets were no exception. But this wasn’t just any subway stop in Busan. This stop, I knew, led to one of East Asia’s largest fish markets among the city’s top attractions. Still, nothing could have prepared me for the sights, sounds, and oh-my-goodness, smells of the Jagalchi Fish Market.
Continue reading “No Doubt About It: Something is Definitely Fishy in Busan”

Jagalchi

It writhed around for a bit in the small plastic bowl before finally dying, the way any animal might after having its head impaled and skin removed. Without hardly flinching the man grabbed another hagfish from the pile, removed the awl-like tool from the cutting board and drove it through the fish’s head as if to say, “hold still, this will only hurt a little.” Nearby a row of old women, ajummas, were splitting clams with a knife.

Welcome to a routine day at Busan’s famous Jagalchi Fish Market. Continue reading “Jagalchi”