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Bizzare foods Korea: Live baby octopus (Sannakji)

April 4, 2011

On Sunday a few of us decided to go to the Noryangjin Fish Market.  It is a sprawl of different vendors selling all types of seafood.   At this fish market you can shop around and pick out any type of fresh (or live) seafood you’d like and then take it to a nearby restaurant where they cook it for you.  We bought a live crab, some prawns, scallops, salmon for sashimi and live baby octopuses.  The octopus was the main event for the day, and we were determined to try this traditional way of eating it…   In Korea,  they take the live octopus, chop it into pieces and then mix it with a sesame sauce.  The tentacles wiggle and move around for a pretty long time after it has been chopped up.  The suction cups on the little tentacles not only stick to the plate when you try and pick them up…but also to parts of your mouth.

Here is a video of the day filmed and put together by my friend Frank.  Don’t skip out early…around minute 5 Claire gives the best reaction to eating the dish as possible.  Shaking hands and beer spillage included.  Hope you enjoy!

Thanks Frank!

To close I’d like to leave you with this English notebook phrase of the day.  This one was spotted by Ashley on one of her student’s notebooks.

What is under my Hands. That I cannot feel?

I’m so curious to what they were referring to.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill Arant permalink
    April 13, 2011 6:34 pm

    OMG Jessica I just caught up on your blog – the sexy advertisements and blatant “be pretty and you’ll be happy” messages – what a riot! Love the vita drink. Can you bring some of that home for your Dad & Bill? haha And then – the octopi!!!!!!! OMG (again!) that was a wonderful video! Felt like we were right there with you! We sat in a similar restaurant in France when my kidlets were little – and son Hal ordered escargot…our first experience with eating those little rascals was similar to yours but not NEARLY as exciting! They weren’t wiggling! That was so fun watching everyone down one of the wigglers. Now I have to wonder – if the little suction cups stick to your plate…and to the inside of your mouth….do they also stick to your esaphagus and stomach etc etc? And how long do they stay attached? Can they grow into new baby octopuses?????? Just a thought. If you feel any fluttering anywhere in there at least you will have an idea what it is….Then maybe you will need to do some research on the food chain and see….hmmmmmm what feeds on baby octopi (besides people) that you could eat to take care of that problem??? hahahaha. Truly – loving your blog and reading about all your experiences – sounds like you are having a ball and making good friends – and your little kiddos I’m sure just love their pretty teacher! Thank you so much for your postcard – that was so sweet of you to send it to us. We noted the Korean spellings you added – very intricate written language isn’t it!!!! And we also noted andcommented on your beauuuuuutiful penmanship! We had to look closely to see if you had printed the postcard on a computer – it looked like an actual font! And….we showed it to Skootch and she was so happy that you sent her a hello too. Well, your mom & I played golf this am and she played Awesomely!!!! I think she is praticing on the side. 🙂 Looking forward to your next blog – have fun and be safe!!!

    • April 15, 2011 3:49 am

      Jill- haha well once you chomp through the tentacles they don’t really stand a chance wiggling around or sticking to anything anymore! And I havent felt any strange wiggling since so I think I am in the clear. Now I’ve tried live octopus but I still can’t say I’ve eaten escargot! I’m glad you got the postcard…and I am glad Skootch enjoyed it as well! haha
      Good luck with the golf you might have some real competition soon.
      Thanks for all your support for my blog and life here Jill!! 🙂

  2. Bill Arant permalink
    April 13, 2011 8:17 pm


    The fish doesn’t get any fresher than that!! You are brave.


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