The New Guide to Noryangjin Fish Market

Noryangjin Fish Market is one of the best places to visit in Seoul, unlike many other fish markets around the world, because there are still a lot of fish tanks alive, unlike other markets that smell bad. It’s like an aquarium where you can eat the exhibits.

This is a fresh guide because Noryangjin has undergone a transformation from the Old Building to the new one.

Contents Page.

Let Us Take You There

Mix & Match Private Tours

The fish remains equally fresh throughout the day. They are not decomposing on a countertop. Numerous fish are residing in aquariums. This differs from several fish markets worldwide.

I have observed over the years that only in the early evening and late afternoon on Saturday and Friday, seafood enthusiasts and employees of various salary groups will be busy, venturing out to catch their evening Neptunian bacchanalia.

Reaching the Destination

There are two separate stations on two distinct lines, resulting in TWO EXIT 1s! This is due to the fact that Noryangjin Station is considered one of the most perplexing stations in Seoul.

ARRRGH!!

Only the gold line and line 9 in Seoul’s subway system have been privatized. The new station connects the gold line and line 9. The original station connects the dark blue line, also known as line 1, in Seoul’s subway system.

Approach 1

Proceed along the road, maintaining a straight trajectory and descending the staircase. In close proximity to an escalator and staircase, you can expect to find a convenience store and a coffee shop. Depart through the turnstiles and veer towards the right direction. Within the station premises, numerous street food vendors will be visible. Ascend the staircase from the platform. The most straightforward approach would be to utilize Exit 2 if you are arriving from Line 1. This will lead you to the surface level.

There will be a tunnel to go through in order to reach the market. The tunnel will be on your right. Keep going. You will pass exits 7 and 8.

Method on Line 9

After passing through the tunnel, you will find yourself at the entrance of the main market. This is a clear indication that you are nearing your destination, as you will see vendors seated on the ground. Take a right turn into the tunnel after following the road and continuing straight. Finally, emerge at exit 7.

The transition from the old building to the new has taken a few years. Outside, on the right, you may observe what remains of the old structure.

Bizarre Cuisine was recorded in the historic structure in August 2008. Check out my blog entry regarding the filming here.

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Andrew Zimmern loving the penis fish

The Fresh Structure

New Noryangjing. From Korea Tourism Organization.

The restaurants have become cleaner, which is a positive improvement. The new building resembles more of a shopping mall. The old building had a lot of charm. It had a rougher and more open-air atmosphere.

New Building 1F

Have a glance at the map.

The escalator is the main reference point on the ground floor. There are not a lot of sellers in the verdant zone.

Noryangjin Escalator

I haven’t had the opportunity to explore much, so I haven’t been able to buy any seafood yet. I’m just wandering around here. Maybe I’ll get some more lobster. The vendors in the Old Building are similar to what you saw.

Legend

Green – Crisp yet lifeless seafood.

Lavender – Chilled.

Blue – Live aquatic creatures.

Orange – Mollusk.

After a pleasant stroll, ascend the escalator.

New Building 2F

The move to the New Building has made it possible for new types of pubs and restaurants to spring up. They are mostly named after famous seafood areas in Korea. Many of the restaurants are connected to specific vendors. I don’t have to worry about cockroaches being present. They’re much cleaner than they were in the old ones. I eat at the restaurants here and buy my food, just like I do at the old ones. The second floor is where my business is located.

Highlights

This is my usual preference in terms of activities and sights.

Cutlery Stores (Section D)

Use these high-quality sashimi knives to remove the hair from your arm. Make sure to pack these knives in your checked luggage. These souvenirs are good and cost around W45,000. The vendors are at the top of the escalator.

Marketplace for Seafood with Salt Seasoning

I enjoy the guilty pleasure of smothering raw oysters with either Zec or Ritz buttery crackers. I have bought a small pack to bring back to the hotel, as I have had guests who love these treats as much as I do. Don’t even try to guess what they are, as it is just fun to try new things. Toothpicks are available to sample them. These are used to make muchim kimchi, and they are also put on steamed pork wraps. All of these seafood items are fermented and salted. This is my favorite part of the whole market.

Octopus Habitat Corridor (Section H)

The vendors have prepared an impromptu table with chopsticks and dipping sauce for us in the past. If you’re interested in trying the squirming octopus, you can request it here.

Request for SAN NAKJI 산낙지. <- Beneficial Korean term.

Deep-Fried Shrimp Vendor

Not only do they provide fried shrimp, but they also offer a variety of other fried delicacies and a range of bottled craft beers on their menu. This establishment is the contemporary rendition of Noryangjin.

Other Remarkable Dining Establishments

Jian and I checking out the Japanese restaurant
Jian and I scouting the Japanese restaurant

If you prefer not to interact with the vendors, you can have an equally enjoyable experience at any of those establishments. Both options are fantastic. Section F offers a delectable selection of fried seafood and a delightful Japanese sushi eatery.

Vendors on the Second Floor (Sections C & G)

Do you want a variety of shellfish and fish? Just gesture and point how many you want. You can buy live fish for W50,000 to W30,000. The beach that is connected to Haeundae, Busan’s most famous beach, has many vendors and restaurants. There is a man selling live fish and a woman selling shellfish and octopus. I have dealt with them before and I know what I like. The specific vendor I usually go to is located in a dotted circle. This is where I usually get my seafood.

Korean sashimi hwe
A typical Hwe platter

Oh, you desire some Korean vocabulary? Here you go.

Popular Aquatic Fish

I’m including the official transliteration and a rough pronunciation guide in parentheses.

Flounder – Gwang-eo (Gwahng-uh) 광어Rockfish – U-reok (Oo-rock) 우럭Salmon – Yeon-eo (Yuhnuh) 연어 <-not sold liveTuna - Chamchi 참치 <-not sold live.

Typical Shellfish and Other Creatures

SEH-oo (Shrimp) – 새우Gul (Oysters) – 굴Jogae (Clams) – 조개Garibi (Scallops) – 가리비Jeonbok (Abalone) – 전복Gaebul (Sea Worms) – 개불 (the penis fish)Haesam (Sea Cucumbers) – 해삼.

Restaurant specializing in Korean Seafood

Stay nearby if you desire to witness the horrifying spectacle of how animals transform into nourishment within a span of five minutes. It is probable that they will prefer to expedite your departure before preparing and dividing your fish. These establishments are generally uniform, thus it is advisable not to object. Once you select and settle the payment for your chosen seafood, an individual will accompany you to the adjacent eatery.

In that manner, I have experienced remarkable unexpected events. Simply acknowledge and concur if you are unaware about other matters. They will immediately discern which one is sashimi. The attendant positioned at the entrance is likely to inquire about your preferences for arranging everything upon your arrival at the eatery.

Often, the shellfish will be cooked by steaming (jjim 찜) or grilling (gwee 구이).

Salt Grilled Shrimp
Salt Grilled Shrimp

I specifically ask for grilled salt shrimp (sae-u sogeum gwee 새우소금구이). The entire shrimp shell is edible as it turns into a crispy shell.

Butter Grilled Scallops
Butter Grilled Scallops

The scallops are delicious when steamed. Occasionally, you can enjoy them grilled in butter, known as “Butter Gwi 버터구이.”

Have it diced. Consume an entire octopus, which requires a total of fifteen minutes. I have measured it twice. Despite the fact that the diced octopus is wriggling, it is no longer living. In a sense, this method is more cruel than rapidly chopping it into pieces with a blade. The waiter is likely to decline serving it in this manner due to the high risk involved. I strongly advise against attempting to consume it whole. The wriggling live octopus, once again, is referred to as San Nakji 산낙지.

Some people also enjoy beer, but a traditional choice is Soju. When you order your drinks, they will guide you to a table and take your order.

Various sauces will be provided for you.

  • Soy sauce and wasabi — The timeless combination.
  • The typical Korean dipping sauce is a combination of cocktail sauce and wasabi, which gives it a unique and flavorful taste, similar to a vinegared chili sauce.
  • Fantastic! The sauce Pohang originates from the southeastern port of Pohang. It is a mixture of chopped green chilies, chopped garlic, and fermented bean paste, along with sesame sauce.
  • And that’s all!

    Relax and indulge. You’ve earned it.

    Oh, another thing…

    Conclude a traditional Korean hwe meal by enjoying a spicy boiling soup made with the bones of your fish, along with healthy greens. You can also dip some leftover sashimi into the soup, similar to how you would do with shabu-shabu. If you prefer, you can ask for 매운탕 (MAY-oon-tahng) to be served as a part of your meal.

    DVD Extra

    I always have additional DVD features.

    Cup Rice Street

    Great. And Distinctive. Wide range of options. Affordable. Exams specifically designed for students studying to serve street vendors on the other side of Noryangjin Station, (Cup Geori Bap Cup Rice Street) is one of my favorite hidden corners in Seoul.

    Pho
    Vietnamese Pho
    Ogane Pancake
    Ogane Pancake (something new)
    Shrimp Steak?
    Did it say “Shrimp Steak?”

    Keep an eye out for the notorious Bomb Rice (Poktan Bap 폭탄밥). It’s an extremely spicy version of Bibimbap.

    Bomb Rice
    Bomb Rice

    Here’s the way to reach that place.

    Cup Rice Street Map
    Click to enlarge

    Walk east towards the subway station and exit. Proceed towards the tunnel and head towards the New Building Exit. Follow the Street and cross the main road. Pass by a gas station and a McDonald’s before reaching there.

    AN ADDITIONAL REMARK

    I would like to express my gratitude to Dino for motivating me to develop this manual.

    Kindly share additional tips in the comments section