Eating raw fish at Soraepogu fish market

Written by on June 19, 2014 in Worldwide Korea Bloggers

During my last visit to Korea in april my mother in law had an appointment at a local traditional doctor in Incheon. Leaving from Pyeongtaek city by subway, it took us more than 2 hours and 30 minutes to get there. Since we came this far my mother in law invited us to take a look at the Soraepogu susan sijang or Soraepogu fish market. So we took a taxi and got out nearby the entrance of the fish market.
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During my last visit to Korea in april my mother in law had an appointment at a local traditional doctor in Incheon. Leaving from Pyeongtaek city by subway, it took us more than 2 hours and 30 minutes to get there. Since we came this far my mother in law invited us to take a look at the Soraepogu susan sijang or Soraepogu fish market. So we took a taxi and got out nearby the entrance of the fish market.

Soraepogu fish market is located on the southwest part of Incheon where the market connects immediately to the incoming water of the sea.

When you take subway line 1 you can transfer to the SUIN Line at Woninjae station and then get of at Soraepogu station. While riding in the subway you can already see the red colored umbrella’s of the merchants near the port.

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Soraepogu fish market has always been a lively place. Because of the nearby salt fields, the biggest in Korea, this small fishing village mainly specialized in salted fish and shrimps. Despite the busy and modern city of Incheon it almost remained in its’ original way.

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Soraepogu fish market is a lively place where you can find all kind of salted fish, shrimps and octopus but it also a wide variety of fresh fish, big crabs, giant mussels and other marine products. Some of them are caught straight from the sea but most of them were grew in the nearby fish farms.

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If you want to have a complete Fish market experience then you have to order fresh fish and eat it here immediately. There are plenty of ajuma trying to catch your attention by yelling and trying to sell their best fish at the best price.  Just go to one of them and point with your hand to the fish that you want.

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Once you have made your decision upon the fish you like to eat, they kill and clean it in a very proficient and skillful way. In a couple of minutes they cut and slice the fish into bit sized pieces and serve it on a plate of transparant vermicelli made from sea tangle alginates.

After you paid, a servant will pick up your order and will guide you to the local restaurant, where most of the time only older Koreans will come to eat.

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The fish is served with all kind of side dishes, ssamjjang dip sauce, kanjang, wasabi, spicy green peppers, sliced garlic and more.  A cup of cold served soju goes very well with this dish.
The leftover parts of the fish, like the head and tale can be used for delicious soup.

If you like to experience some of Korea’s original culture than you definitely should come here. A lively and cosy market, salted or spicy sea food products, the smell of fresh fish, local merchants loudly praising their fresh sea food products, and … no foreigners to see here ! This is 100% Korea !

Thanks to my mother in law to take us to this cosy place.

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About the Author

Guy Kusters

Guy KUSTERS (Belgium) came in touch with Korea by learning Korean martial arts since 1984. He travelled to Korea for the first time in 1994 to train Hapkido. On his next visit in 2000 he felt in love with the Korean country, the traditions, the culture and cuisine. He holds black belt ranks in different Korean Martial Arts and he was a guest member of the Korean Hapkido demo-team. So far, he visited Korea more than 20 times now for training, traveling and guiding people around. His interests related to Korea are food, buddhism, music, language, photography and promoting Korea by sharing his Korea experiences. From september 2014 he started living with his parents in law in Korea.