One of the places that frequently comes on the ‘must visit’ list in Busan is Jagalchi Market. Now, I’m wary. These ‘must see’ places tend to be targeted at tourists and I am sure this is the same due to the lack of locals inside. Still, where else can you get very fresh seafood and cooked for you?
Jagalchi Market is reachable by metro, closest stop being Jagalchi. It is only a short walk from the metro station and inside, you will be greeted with rows of seafood vendors. I walked around and saw that many of them were selling the same types of seafood. There were of course, no prices displayed. My mind next jumped to being ripped off if they knew you were a tourist. You can haggle at the market but I thought the price I paid was ok. I’m also not a very good haggler.
I was stopped by a seller who spoke English. He asked if I was just 1 person and said he would give me the best price at the market. I just rolled with it. His mum was working at the stall next to him and picked out some seafood for me. Everything was still moving and very much alive. She grabbed a plate and picked out an octopus, 3 prawns, 2 scallops, 2 other cone shaped shells and an abalone. I paid 20, 000 won for it (did I get ripped off?).
She then called someone. Upstairs from the market, there is a whole floor of restaurants. You can pick your seafood as I did and have it cooked upstairs or you can just head upstairs and pick a restaurant to eat at. She then took me upstairs to a stall and they cooked it all for me. At first she told me they would serve me octopus sashimi. As I am still not game, I asked her to tell them to cook it. I do want to try octopus sashimi one day but maybe only a piece or 2 and not a whole octopus! There is a small amount to be paid (a service charge) at the restaurant but I thought it was a nice experience to get your fresh seafood cooked for you.
Outside though are where the photos are at. As I headed to the bus stop for my next destination, I walked through the outdoor seafood market. This is probably where all the locals buy their seafood. The fish honestly looked so fresh and it actually didn’t smell. I know what you’re thinking, how different it is from fish monger shops with ice covering everything.
Along with fresh fish, there were also plenty of dried fish and shrimps (small tiny dried shrimp is a popular soup and sauce additive here).