Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market in Seoul needs no further introduction. The popular fish market has appeared in many Korean variety shows and is now one of the top tourist destination in Seoul.
What makes Noryangjin Fish Market so well-received among both locals and travelers is the wide selection of fresh seafood on offer. Some head there to buy seafood back home but many more choose to have them steamed and cooked in various ways at the restaurants nearby.
Having a seafood feast at Noryangjin Fish Market is an eye-opening experience no one should miss out on, but it may be intimidating for first timers and those who are not able to speak Korean. Follow our tips in this guide and you will be able to conquer Noryangjin Fish Market like a pro!
We have also included a rough estimate of the prices of fresh seafood as well as cooking services at the restaurants in Noryangjin Fish Market.
#1 WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR
As with all fish markets, it is advisable to wear proper footwear so that you would not slip when walking because the floors can get very wet. Sneakers or boots are good choices as they have firmer grip. As there are puddles of water everywhere, it is recommended to wear old shoes that you would not mind them getting dirty.
#2 NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT? JUST ASK.
For those who know Mandarin, there is no harm in asking in Mandarin; we found out that many stall vendors are able to understand that language. If not, simply use your body language to convey your messages. Most of them are more than willing to help you.
#3 WALK AROUND THE FISH MARKET BEFORE YOU DECIDE
There are many stalls in the market and the offerings are homogeneous, so do not be pressured to buy seafood from the first stall you “spotted”. Instead, take your time to walk around the market and understand the average market prices before you get something.
#4 DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BARGAIN
Even if you are not able to speak Korean, there is always the calculator to help you out. Key in the prices that you are willing to fork out for and negotiate with the seller. The more you buy, the higher your chances are at getting more discounts from them. We met a really friendly stall owner who gave us free seafood on top of what we ordered from her!
#4 EXPECTED PRICES
While prices are largely similar across the board, here is what you can probably expect for various types of seafood:
Abalone – four (small) for W10,000/ S$11.94 or one (big) for W3,000 to W20,000/ S$3.58 to S$23.89
Clams – one serving for W10,000/ S$11.94
King Crab – one for W45,000/ S$53.76
Live Octopus – three for W10,000/ S$11.94
Lobster – one for W75,000/ S$89.60
Prawn – five for W10,000/ S$11.94
Sea Urchin – two for W10,000/ S$11.94
Do note that these are just prices for the seafood and it is not inclusive of cooking services which are charged separately.
#5 DECIDE ON WHICH COOKING STYLE YOU PREFER
Most of the stalls have a partnership with the restaurants so there will be someone who will bring you there. All you have to do is to select your seafood and let them handle the rest.
At the restaurant, decide on which cooking style you prefer and the in-house chefs will whip them up for you at a fixed price. There is a standard cover charge of W3,000 per person as service fee.
The best way to enjoy fresh seafood is to have them steamed and lock in all the natural juices—all of us at the table were raving about the sweet and tender lobster meat. Just look at the fleshy claw!
Depending on the size of the catch, cooking prices vary as well. The restaurant we were at charges W8,000/ S$9.55) per kg to steam lobsters. For the size of our lobster, we had to pay W16,000/ S$19.11.
Our steamed King Crab set us back at W16,000/ S$19.11 for the steaming but it was worth every penny. We cracked open the shell to reveal extremely juicy crab meat which was good on its own without the need for dipping sauce.
You can also have your seafood done in sashimi style. For those who have yet to try ‘live’ octopus, Noryangjin Fish Market is a great place to start! Do not be alarmed at its movements as the octopus is not alive anymore and these are just muscular contractions.
Have it with sticky sesame sauce for an elevated taste.
Craving for something comforting? Top up W10,000/ S$11.94 for their seafood stew. It was a mixture of spicy and savoury tones which became even more rich in flavour after the addition of seafood. Those who are visiting during winter must order this seafood hot pot to keep warm!
Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market
Daily: 24 Hours
Nearest Station: Noryangjin