Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market (노량진수산시장)

Monday, 1 September 2014

[South Korea, Seoul] Who wants fresh seafood?!
Today, I'm sharing with you on one of the places where you can get fresh seafood in Seoul. Yes, that's right, we're heading over to Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market (노량진수산시장)! It is also widely known to travellers as the Noryangjin Fish Market.
Behold, fresh seafood.

Something I would suggest for you to do, especially if you are unfamiliar with Seoul's seafood dishes, is to do some research before going there, so you won't spend too much time mulling over what to buy or what to eat. However, though, even if you do go there unprepared, the overly zealous ajummas will propose for you to buy quite a few things, which might leave you slightly overwhelmed.
For me, I had wanted to try things like fish hoe / hwae (회 - raw), or kkotge tang 꽃게탕 a.k.a Spicy Crab Stew (lit. Flower Crab Stew). So when I got there, I really looked around and I just bought from the first Mandarin speaking Ajumma who approached us.
I bought from this stall - 대박수산, she is quite friendly and helpful. And speaks good Chinese!
I told her I wanted to take photos of the kkotge 꽃게 (flower crabs) she sold me, so she helped me hold on to the crab while I snapped away.


When you want to eat kkotge tang 꽃게탕, you've of course gotta use kkotge 꽃게 (flower crab)! :)
There's also a wide array of fresh seafood to choose from! Remember to walk around and check them out. Because this place is widely frequented by so many tourists, the stall owners are already quite used to people snapping photos of their seafood. However, just keep your eyes open and read the owners' faces because I was snapping a photo of a ginormous looking octopus and the owner was looking at me somewhat frustrated.
It's longer than my arm!


These were the size of my palm. My gawd.
Crazy amounts of prawns!
I also told the ajumma that I wanted to have some grilled fish and she told me to go to the store behind hers to get it. (Beware, floor is soaking wet!) I don't really recommend you wear really nice shoes to this place. And make sure the shoes you're wearing has good grip.
I asked the fish ajumma how much does the Godeungeo 고등어 (Mackerel) cost and she said 10,000won. I fished out the money and I saw her passing me a bunch of fishes (like, more than five!). I was like, "No, no. Sorry. I can't have so much. I only want one." And she sold one to me for 3,000 won. Although it's more costly to do so, but obviously I'm not going to carry all those fishes home. So, no go. One will do.
After picking out the fish for grilling and my ingredients for the crab stew, I followed another lady who enthusiastically brought us up this flight of stairs, where they could help us cook the food.
We ended up at this restaurant called Mirak 미락 and the lady I followed spoke to the waitress and told them what we wanted to have. They then led us to a table and told us to wait for our food there, while the ingredients are brought to the kitchen for preparation.


Interior of the restaurant
Some simple side dishes were also served while we were waiting.








After snacking a bit, our food finally arrived!!!
The kkotge tang! - Spicy Crab Stew
I have to show you what's in it - I have some big prawns, scallops and the kkotge 꽃게. :)


Prawns were really fresh. And big.
This stew was sooooo good! Then, shortly, the grilled mackerel was served as well. This paled in comparison with the kkotge tang 꽃게탕 though. But we did enjoy the entire meal. :)
Now, I'm going to share with you how much I spent for this meal.
Cost Breakdown: 
Crabs + Prawns + Scallops - 29,000 won
Mackerel - 3,000 won
Cooking fee - 27,000 won
In total, we spent about 59,000 won (for 2 people!) on fresh seafood, including cooking! Well, if you live in Singapore, you'll know that fresh seafood will cost SO MUCH more. I must say I think that this is a reasonable cost to pay for the experience and the lovely meal. Frugal PJ was so happy with the meal and she said this was in fact quite cheap for the entire experience.
Of course, if you bought more expensive seafood (like abalone, etc), the cost will be even more. But I do recommend that new Seoul travellers come here at least once for the experience.
Directions to Noryangjin Fish Market:
Take the subway from Chungmuro Station (Line 4) to Seoul Station and transfer to Line 1. Alight at Noryangjin Station. We have to be specific here because you could get off at the wrong stop, especially if you're not familiar with Seoul's subway system. PJ and I was confused for a bit when we almost got off at the wrong stop. Just remember, the station should be an open air station, not an enclosed one.
I had to blur out PJ's face with mosaic because it was drizzling that day and the winds were strong. We couldn't have a nice photo of her so I had to use this.
It's this station!
Then, get out of the station and head over to Exit 1. Walk across the overhead bridge to the market.
See the signs there? The blue arrow?
Follow the sign, and once you get up on the overhead bridge, you'll smell the fishes already. (talk about potent!)
I remember telling PJ, "Let's follow these uncles, I'm very sure they'll be going the same way!" And they did.
After crossing this bridge, you'll come to an open air carpark. Walk all the way straight, then turn to your left to enter a dim but wide staircase. Go downstairs till you see Noryangjin Fish Market.  Have fun! :D
Location: 688 Nodeul-ro Dongjak-gu, Seoul South Korea