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#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market

And the #AutumnInKorea continues. After several hours spent having a Hanbok Experience at Gyeongbokgung Palace, we met up a Korean friend and then headed to Gwangjang Market. The goal is to try an authentic Korean experience and that is to eat live octopus. Honestly, I am not a fan of eating exotic food, but I am up for trying something new just for experience as long as it is safe and won’t spoil my trip.

Gwangjang Market, previously known as Dongdaemin Market, is well-known as the oldest and largest traditional market in Seoul, South Korea. The market has an area of 42,000 square meters with more than 5,000 shops. Here, you can see and taste a variety of Korean street foods including live octopus. So, if you are up for a gastronomic adventure, Gwangjang Market is a heaven for thrill seekers, indeed!

#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market
kimchi + live octopus

I warn you though that the market is crowded, per Wiki, it has an approximately 65,000 visitors each day. We went there at around five in the afternoon and it was blockbuster that we had to wait for an hour to be seated on our chosen restaurant.

#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market

#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market

#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market

Our Korean friend ordered our food, we had live octopus, mung bean pancake and paired with rice wine. In South Korea, side dishes were unlimited so if you were on a tight budget perhaps, you can order one main dish and eat a lot of kimchi and other side dishes. 😊

#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market
side dishes + dips

#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market

#AutumnInKorea: Eating Live Octopus at Gwangjang Market
mung bean pancake

Meanwhile, I don’t like eating live octopus, it was not pleasing to me and I don’t want to ruin my trip because my stomach can be easily upset due to unhealthy eating habit. But of course, my curiosity strikes so I gave in. I ate a very very small serving just enough to taste. Since it was live, you must chew it and ensure that it was not already moving or else it will suck your intestine (just my opinion!). 😐

Live octopus tasted bland so you have to dip on a sauce – can’t barely remember though what kind of oil was that but it was like an olive oil with some seasonings. As you eat it, it will then suck your tongue and as advised – I had to chew it – it was slimy and absolutely, don’t like it. Good thing, there’s a rice wine that I drank as soon as I’m done with it. It’s worth a try (for experience!) but will not going to eat it again.

Gwangjang Traditional Market

Gwangjang Market 광장시장
88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Opening Hours
General stores: 8:30am – 6:00pm
Restaurants: 8:30am -11:00pm
Clothing stores: 9pm – 10am next day

Directions for subway:
Jongno 5-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 8
Euljiro 4-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 & 5), Exit 4

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