Wednesday, April 02, 2014

More Sea Urchin at Noryangjin Market

Sea Urchin

This was the first thing that we had to get after getting off of the the plane in Seoul today: fresh sea urchin from Noryangjin, which fortunately is open late into the night. But the ones that we got above were quite a letdown. I don't know if it was because it was out of season (only one other fishmonger was selling them), but there really wasn't much richness in these, and in some cases they were downright bitter.

Prawns for Sale

We had much better luck with some clams that they stewed into a deliciously clear soup as well as some grilled prawns. Thankfully Google Translate was so awesome that it helped us ask the fishmongers for the variety with the best head fat. But in the process, it also made us appreciate places like the Naked Finn, which effectively curate all of the different varieties of prawns to get you the tastiest ones.

A Mysterious Sea Creature

BTW, does anyone know what the heck these things are? We bought one out of sheer curiosity, which they cut up for us and served raw. It kinda tasted like one might think it would: chewy with some inedible parts, but also surprisingly briny enough to still be kinda fun. I won't go out of my way for it again, but apparently these things *were* in season this time.


Anonymous said...

I tried asking for sea urchin in December, and was told that they are seasonal and best during the summer period, so yeah, definitely the wrong time for sea urchin. Next time order the abalone!! :)

Unknown said...

On my first trip to Korea, I headed straight for Samcheok, a coastal city and somehow chanced upon the fish market in the area. Best. Urchin. Ever.

I've heard plenty about the Noryangjin market so I expected better when I finally headed back to Seoul. It was summer too. The urchin that day were about 3/4 the size of the ones I saw at Samcheok and they're good - better than any in Singapore for sure - but they're NOTHING like the ones I had in Samcheok, not even close.

Next time you're in Korea, take a bus out! I'd assume the seafood to be better along most of the coastal cities and in any case, there's tons to see (and eat) in Samcheok.

bayya said...

The last pic are a variety of sea squirts called 'sea pineapple'.