Korea: Seoul’s Noryangjin Fish Market

Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 in Food, Korea, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 32 comments

Noryangjin Fish Market

This week, we’re visiting Seoul’s Noryangjin Fish Market and a place that I have wanted to visit for ages. That became a reality when I received an invite from the Hansik meetup group to do just that. Welcome to week 282 of Travel Photo Thursday (6/16/2016). I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did!

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The Noryangjin Fish Market has been on my want to see list for a while. Firstly, I was eager to experience buying freshly caught fish and having it prepared on site. Secondly, the old Noryangin Fish Market may soon be a thing of the past. A new market has been built adjacent to the old market and is now open. However, many of the vendors do not want to relocate. After I heard their story, I can understand why. Here is a link to an interview with one of the vendors that our meetup host, Jason, did recently. The short version is that the spaces are much smaller, rents are 40 to 50 percent higher, and the floor in the building is very slippery; resulting in numerous falls. Market management, known as the Suhyup, are strong-arming vendors into the new facility so that they can begin construction of a new casino. They are hoping to take advantage of the popularity of the fish market to draw people into gamble. Okay, enough with the politics. Let’s eat some fish!

Noryangjin Fish Market

First, we stopped for a very quick peek at the new market building, which is pleasant and bright. Remember the slippery floor!

Norganjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea

Norganjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea

We’re entering the old market building. Quite a contrast to the new building wouldn’t you say? You can see all the tables on the left. We’ll be coming back here to have our seafood cooked, once we tour the market and make our purchases


Norganjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Nothing but fresh seafood everywhere we look! I’m not sure why these ladies are yelling. We were all on our best behavior 🙂


Norganjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


I don’t know the name of this, but we decided to buy some. It looks like it will be a similar texture to squid. Also, it is next to the sea cucumber. I’m not sure if that matters or not. I tried sea cucumber once when I was in Taiwan, and have to say  I was not impressed.  Hopefully, the choice today will be a winner!


Norganjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


This lovely vendor is preparing our seafood for cooking. The older lady vendors like to be called grandmother (in Korean..homoni).


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Koreans love octopus, and many, like this one, are proudly displayed.


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Of course, there is always the sannakji to try.  Remember, me a few months ago: Nakji Bokkeum in Seoul. Been there done that, and not again. Live octopus in my mouth is a once in a lifetime event. 🙂


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


This lady is a dynamo and gets along famously with our fearless leader. She became a fishmonger in her twenties, and she’s now 75. She’ll probably pack it in if she is forced into the new market building. Interview


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Never fear, there was something weird and wonderful   to try here (maybe interesting is a better word!). These little sea creatures remind me of acorns. At first, I politely declined a sample, but then I thought…what the hell. I pulled up my big girl bloomers and popped one in my mouth, and biting down I got this gush of what tasted like sea water. Weird, but not awful. The hard piece on the end I spit out. Some of these made their way into our shopping bag.


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Our soon to be steamed prawn.


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul


The biggest scallops I have ever seen!


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Trying to give Jason back some change. They had a bit of a tussle! 🙂


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Then we stopped to gawk at the huge live lobsters from Atlantic Canada. I had a good chuckle. At home, you can’t buy them this big. The larger the lobster, the tougher the meat. They had smaller ones, too. If I weren’t going home next month, I would be tempted to make a return trip and buy one or two for a feast!.


Norganjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Next, king crab.Look at these beauties, just ready to be steamed.


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Last, but not least, the halibut/flounder man. One of these is from a fish farm; the other is wild. Can you guess which is which?


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Filleting our pick.


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Now it was time for our feast at the Noryangjin Fish Market to begin. First, we started the seafood soup (at the table, of course). Most of the shellfish went in, along with the octopus and whatever else we had in our bags. This makes the best tasting broth I have ever had!


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


While our soup was cooking, we enjoyed out of this world delicious prawn, and we couldn’t forget the king crab and scallops. I think there were a couple of steamed snails hiding on the crab plate, too.


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


The flounder/halibut sashimi was a hit. The vendor also included a nice fillet of salmon as well. Condiments included pickled ginger and garlic, and wasabi. There was also a choice of dipping sauce, soy sauce or spicy gochujang.


Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, Korea


We washed all of this delicious seafood down with some tasty Korean rice wine, makgeolli. Six of us enjoyed this fishy feast, and it took us a good two hours to devour it all, including the delicious soup. Except for the pickled ginger and garlic, there were no other side dishes. The seafood reigned supreme, and it was awesome.  As always, Jason was a fantastic host.

Can you believe that we paid only 35,000 Won each (around $35.US), and that included the cooking?


We were all so excited about eating that we forgot to take a photo of the group. I snapped this quickly just before the feast began. Other diners were staring.




Have you dined at the Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, or at a similar market somewhere else in your travels?


Open 365 days a year. There is a fish auction every day at 3:00 am.!

Operating Hours
High-Class Fish Market: 24 Hours
General Fish Market: 01:30 – 22:00
Frozen Fish Market: 03:30 – 22:00
Shellfish Market: 01:00 – 22:00

Getting there:

Noryangjin Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 1.
Walk about 100m over the bridge before arriving at the destination.

Take any of the following buses and off at Noryangjin Market Station.
Bus No. 150, 152, 360, 462, 500, 504, 507, 605, 640, 641, 650, 751, 752,
5516, 5517, 5531, 5535, 5536, 6211, 6411, 6515, 9408


Please welcome our co-hosts this week: Jan from Budget Travel Talk Ruth from Tanama Tales  Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations


You can browse the Travel Photo Thursday archives here.


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  1. I love markets. This looks like a great idea, to choose your fish, and then have it cooked for you to east straight away. Must be an amazing place of sights and sounds and smells. I think you can keep however some of the delicacies they have on offer. We went to a local market in Penang just about every night for dinner when we were there on holiday. Such a great place to try different foods, and very cheaply. Happy travels.

    • Hi Jill. Eating in Penang is always an adventure. There is just so much on offer, and it’s hard to have a bad meal.

  2. I would love to visit here – keeping it all on a list for my visit to Korea next year!

    • Hi Jill! Hard to say if the old market will still be open this time next year. However, the new market building definitely will be, and well worth a visit if you want some awesomely fresh seafood!

  3. Lovely! I love Korean food and these snapshots have left me a tad jealous!

    • Hi! You’ll have to visit, and do some first hand sampling 🙂

  4. I prefer the old market, the new one looks a bit sterile.

    • Hi Sophie. Agree! The old market is definitely my preference, too!

  5. Don’t you love markets?

    • Hi Lydia. Yes! I never pass up a market.

  6. You can count me in on that fresh shashimi, prawns, lobster and soup. Lucky you going home to Halifax and lobster!

    • Hi Jan! Everything was crazy delicious. I can’t wait to have some lobster that I will get to cook! 🙂

  7. Whoa! The choice there! I would be thoroughly confused!
    The pics are all sharp and clear, the textures almost there… made me feel like reaching out to those creatures. 🙂
    Happy #TPT!

    • Hi Indrani. I was glad that Jason was with us. He knows the market and many of the vendors, so it was less difficult to make our choices.

  8. This is a cool concept at the market – shop, cook and feast! I am amazed by the variety of sea food available here…whoa! Great pix too 🙂

    • Hi Bushra. Thanks! What is for sale is incredible. I’m sure that it would be difficult not to find exactly what you want here.

  9. The contrast between the two market are from heaven to earth. I prefer the old market a thousand times. It lively, it has attitude and the seafood look delicious. I hope this place is conserved. Looks like vendor are not going anywhere.

    • Hi Ruth. The vendors are fighting the move into the new market building. Sadly, I don’t think they will win this battle. Management is starting to get rather nasty, and forcing them into the new market.

  10. The difference between markets if from heaven to earth. I prefer the old market a thousand times. it looks lively, full of character and delicious seafood. I hope this place is conserved. Looks like the vendors are not going anywhere.

  11. Love visiting markets! This is a great activity and what an awesome deal. We’re seafood lovers so we would be so happy here especially the lobster and crab. We’ve enjoyed the markets in Madrid and Venice but would love to visit one that’s as lively as this one.

    • Hi Mary. You would definitely love this market!

  12. I love a good market, especially a Korean one…full of great people, products and always chaotic…what’s not to love?

    • Hi Corinne! I totally agree. 🙂

  13. What fun – I’m thinking a return visit will be on your schedule very soon. Love the idea of strolling around and selecting some tidbits here and there to taste, especially the more exotic “delicacies.” Your description of having a live octopus in your mouth had me laughing and I would have loved to have seen your expression! South Korea gets more and more tempting with every post that I read of yours, Nancie. Maybe 2017 …

    • Hi Anita! The octopus definitely is an experience!! Come and visit me. We would have a fantastic time. 🙂

  14. Having recently just returned from a visit to Japan I experienced a fish market in Hakodate in Hokkaido. The sights, smells and sounds were amazing and there were many seafood products that I couldn’t identify. We never bought any seafood but we ate a lot of it in restaurants in Japan. Your photos remind me very much of the markets in Japan. Just gorgeous!

    • Hi Kathy. I ate a lot of sushi when I was in Japan. How can you not, right? 🙂

  15. Even though I’m not crazy about seafood, I’d love to explore the Noryangjin Fish Market market to experience the full-service food offerings! Fun to see all of the fun seafood and fish available to taste.

    • Hi Brooke! I’m sure you would enjoy this market. The atmosphere alone makes it so worthwhile!

  16. I love that you can get it cooked right there! I like seafood, but I don’t always appreciate it being fresh enough to wiggle when I’m trying to take it home.

    • Hi Jess. It is a great concept. When the fish is still wiggling can be a bit of a challenge!

  17. What a great experience and at a good price for all that fresh seafood. I am also not a fan of sea cucumber despite all the numerous times my mom ordered it at restaurants when I was growing up. I didn’t realize that tenderness decreased as lobsters grew. I will have to keep that in mind when I head up to Boston for a lobster dinner (and wedding) in a few months.

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