I love Seoul. I’m starting to realize that I have about half of the year left and I’m going to miss so many things! One of the biggest advantages to living here is that there is literally something to do at any time. Since I told myself to start doing new things I decided to go check out Noryangjin Fish Market, a massive indoor fish market where you can buy all kinds of fresh fish for reasonable prices.
I’m from a landlocked state in the United States so being in a fresh fish market is actually special to me. Now I’m starting to see how lucky people are who can get this kind of fresh seafood. The quality difference is so apparent from the frozen stuff that I’m used to eating. I haven’t even really seen a lot of fresh seafood so going here was quite the experience for me.
For a fee you can actually get your seafood cooked in restaurants nearby the market. I didn’t end up doing that because I like to cook at home and I wanted to maximize my budget. I was a little nervous to go because I suck at bargaining and I have to admit the way that the ahjummas talk when bargaining makes me annoyed. I know they don’t mean it and it’s just how they talk but most times I just walk away and don’t buy when they talk so harshly.
Fortunately for me I brought my friend who is an ace at bargaining and has no shame. 😉 Our main goal was salmon. We spent some time walking around and talking to a few stalls… the market didn’t even smell that fishy and it wasn’t unpleasant at all. The floor is very wet so I would recommend wearing boots if you go. A lot of the sellers spoke perfect English since a lot of tourists come. I saw tons of Japanese and Chinese tourists around too. There were so many fish here… I didn’t know what a lot of them were. I saw the biggest lobsters that I’ve ever seen in my life!! I couldn’t help myself so I bought a big pack of shrimp for 13,000 won. The ahjumma threw in some extra because we spoke in Korean haha.
We were looking to buy a lot of salmon which was a little difficult because most stalls had already chopped up the salmon and packaged them to sell in small quantities. These packages were 15,000 to 20,000 won. We were looking to get an actual half of a salmon and hopefully get a discount for buying so much. We kept asking around but one of the stall owners said that no one sells salmon whole like that. Turns out he was lying… we did end up finding a lady selling a whole salmon and after some hard bargaining we bought half of it for 63,000 won. It ended up being five portions compared to the packaged one so we saved 22,000 won which isn’t bad! The ahjumma at this booth was really nice and we joked around a lot while bargaining which put me at ease. She kept taking shots of makgeolli (Korean rice wine) every time she put the price down more. So funny!
We ended up taking the salmon home and making some awesome salmon teriyaki. Yum! Even though it was a little inconvenient to get here, it was totally worth it in the end!