Jagalchi’s Fishy Delights

Getting ready to head down to Busan this week to celebrate Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving-like holiday, with our family. I love Busan and usually when we head down there I pick something I want to see aside from the in-law’s house. I was looking back through some of my photos from other trips down to Busan and found these great photos from the Jagalchi Fish Market in Nampo-dong in Busan from 2009. It was probably my second or third time around there, but it was my first time with my husband, who was then my boyfriend. Based on the photos I took I was clearly interested in the particular fishy goods that were being sold.

Jagalchi Fish Market (자갈치시장) is the largest seafood market in the country.

Located in the port city of Busan, it is a must see when visiting this southern city. Each booth is run by an older woman, who may not seem so kind on the outside, but that’s just the strong southern demeanor. They seem used to foreigners ogling their fishy goods and snapping pictures without purchasing and just look the other way. Fishy water and maybe some fishy guts cover the small umbrella covered alley that winds through the market. Nearby, fresh fish restaurants sit for those wanting to enjoy a good lunch or dinner after eying all of the fish in the market.

Living in a country that is surrounded on three sides by water, means that I’ve had to get used to eating a lot more fish than I grew up on. Raw fish, cooked fish, dried fish, baked fish, fried fish… it’s all eaten here. Maybe it’s because I came from the American Midwest where fresh fish wasn’t so prevalent that one of my favorite things to do is walk around the fish market. Live octopus in buckets of water slowly pulling themselves over the edges trying to escape back to the ocean only to be caught by the old woman selling them, or octopus with tentacles as long as I am tall still get me gawking in wonder. Fish that I’ve never seen before and don’t have names in English other than the scientific biology class kind of names because Westerners don’t eat them and fish that I have seen but wouldn’t have imagined were edible hang drying in the booths that line the fish market. Buckets of shell fish, tanks of live fish squirming around, fish hanging to dry and more make for some great pictures and a good introduction into understanding Korean cuisine, especially the southern cuisine.

The next photos were from a trip down to the market in 2010. By this time it seems I was less interested in the particular fish and more interested in the women selling the fish. We probably won’t have time to go to Jagalchi fish market on this trip, but it’s always on my list if there’s time not only for taking photos but also for the fresh and delicious fish dishes that can be had there.


부산광역시 중구 남포동4가 37-1

37-1 4-ga Nampo-dong Joong-gu, Busan, Korea

Phone: 051-245-2594


Bus: 5-1 , 27 , 41 , 134, 8 , 9-1 , 17 , 26 , 70 , 87 , 103, 6 , 7 , 9 , 11 , 30 , 71 , 113, 61
Subway: Jagalchi Station Exit 10, turn right onto Jagalchi 3-gil Street

Admission: Free
Open all year round

Highlights: October is the Jagalchi Fish Festival

Hours: 8AM – 10PM

Website: http://www.jagalchimarket.org/

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  1. December 23, 2013

    […] had never eaten inside of the Jagalchi Fish Market main building before, but instead opted for walks through the wet, fish gut strewn umbrella covered alleys of the area. The old women crouching over their seafood goods with their wrinkly gruff facial expressions and […]

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