Fish markets in Korea
Well-known for its delicious seafood dishes, South Korea is home to many fish markets that sell a wide variety of fresh and affordable seafood. Fish markets in Korea are paradise for seafood lovers as you can cook your freshly caught seafood on the spot.
1. Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market – 노량진수산시장
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Spanning over 8 floors, Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market is one of Korea’s largest fish markets.
Daily auctions are held within the market where the public can get seafood at affordable prices. Better yet, the market has been renovated to be indoors for a comfortable shopping experience.
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The seafood in Korean fish markets is kept live in aquariums, so the seafood is just as fresh at 9pm as it is at 3am.
The various stalls here price their seafood differently, so you can explore the market for the best prices.
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King crabs can sell for KRW130,000 (~USD107.65) per kg – how much you want to buy is entirely up to you.
For a unique dining experience, buy any live seafood of your choice on the ground floor and bring it to any restaurant on the 2nd floor for preparation.
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Most live seafood stores will also have their own restaurants upstairs, and they may bring you directly there to get your seafood cooked.
From grilling to steaming, the restaurants can prepare the seafood in various ways, and you can pair it with some soju as you sit down to enjoy this delectable combination.
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Besides having your fill at the restaurants, you can also bring your children along and gift them an eye-opening experience. Fish markets are a popular destination for families and a great place to immerse yourself in a different culture.
Address: 674, Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Open 24 hours, Daily
2. Mokpo Fish Market – 목포종합수산시장
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Located near a fishing port, Mokpo Fish Market is a modern seafood market that is known for selling fermented fish and fresh octopus.
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At the Mokpo Fish Market, you’ll be able to try everything from yangnyeom gejang (spicy marinated raw crab) to hongeo (fermented skate).
If you’ve heard of hongeo, you’ll know that it is notorious for its pungent smell. However, fans of the dish are passionate about their love for the fermented fish, so you should try it for yourself before drawing a verdict.
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At this market, you’ll also be able to dine at the seaside while gazing into the sunset and savouring the freshly prepared seafood.
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The Mokpo Fish Market is a 10-minute walk from the Mokpo Station, and also has parking spaces for the convenience of shoppers.
Address: 4-12 Gwang-dong 1(il)-ga, Mokpo-si, Jeollanam-do
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 9am-5pm
3. Jeju Dongmun Fish Market – 제주동문수산시장
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Jeju Dongmun Fish Market is the largest market on Jeju-do, as it includes a street market, a traditional market, and a fish market.
The markets sell everything from household goods to street food, and it is especially bustling at night.
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If you’re an adventurous person who enjoys trying new foods, the Jeju Dongmun Fish Market is a good place to start as it specialises in selling seafood unique to Jeju, such as Jeju sea snails (KRW15,000, ~USD12.42), and Jeju red sea cucumber (KRW20,000, ~USD16.56).
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At night, the market is mainly a street food haven, and you can stuff your face with grilled octopus, tteokbokki (spicy rice cake), and rice rolls.
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The boiled prawn is one of the most popular dishes to get here, and it will make for the perfect side dish with your ramyeon.
Address: 64-1 Gwandeong-ro, Ido 1(il)-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 9am-8pm, Daily
4. Sokcho Tourist Fish Market – 속초관광수산시장
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Sokcho Fish Market is located right beside the sea and offers everything from processed to fresh seafood.
You can spend a day at the market as you dig into seafood dishes prepared by the locals. More adventurous folks will want to rent a canoe to go to the Abai Village for a fun-filled itinerary.
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The market is divided into several alleys, such as a seafood alley and a vegetable and fruit alley, so you can navigate through the market with ease.
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If raw seafood isn’t up your alley, you can also dig into various types of fried seafood. Sokcho is known for their fried food, after all.
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With the seafood you’ve caught, you can head to the restaurants nearby to have a meal and take a break. What’s more comforting than a piping hot bowl of seafood ramyeon in the cold weather, right?
Address: 16 Jungang-ro 147beon-gil, Jungang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Opening hours: 8am-10pm, Daily
5. Jagalchi Fish Market – 자갈치수산시장
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Located at the edge of Nampo Port, Jagalchi Fish Market is one of the 10 famous landmarks in Busan as it is often frequented by tourists.
Fun fact: its name is derived from jagal (meaning “gravel” or “pebble” in Korean) as this market was once surrounded by many pebbles.
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Seafood is transported from local fishing boats to the market daily to guarantee freshness, and the prices at the fish markets are cheaper than those at the supermarkets.
Many Korean families are regulars at the Jagalchi market, and it is where they get their supply of fish and octopus.
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The market is split into indoor and outdoor sections, and the indoor market mainly sells live sea creatures, while the outdoor market sells dried and processed seafood.
The indoor market has 7 floors, and you can find restaurants on the 2nd to 4th floors of the building.
On the 3rd floor, there is even a noraebang (karaoke room) where you can hang out with your friends after your seafood feast. The market is the ideal stopover to experience the daily life of Koreans.
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Address: 52 Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
Opening hours: 10.30am-8pm, Daily
6. Yeosu Fish Market – 여수수산시장
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Yeosu Fish Market specialises in selling fresh seafood caught from the southern coast of Korea, and the tanks use filtered seawater to maintain the freshness of the fish.
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The market spans 2 floors, and the ground floor sells fresh seafood whilst the 2nd floor houses the restaurants.
You can try your luck at bargaining for a better price for your seafood, and if the ahjummas like you, they may just offer you a better deal.
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Since the market is right next to a port, you’ll be able to get a panoramic view of Yeosu, which is famous for its stunning views of the sea.
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Raw fish in Korea is called “hwe”, although some stall owners might call it sashimi as the word is more familiar to tourists.
Unlike Japanese sashimi, however, hwe is firmer and fresher, with a lighter taste. The most common types of hwe are rockfish, salmon, and tuna.
Address: 680 Gyo-dong, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do
Opening hours: 6am-10pm, Daily
7. Mapo Agricultural & Marine Products Market – 마포농수산물시장
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Located in Seoul, the Mapo Agricultural & Marine Products Market is smaller in comparison to the Noryangjin Fish Market, but it still has a wide variety of seafood such as fresh abalone and stingray.
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When it comes to seafood staples, you can’t miss out on fresh oysters and salmon. At the market, you won’t break the bank as you can get oysters from as low as KRW5,000 (~USD2.48).
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The market also has an area dedicated to fruit wholesalers. Here, you can get your hands on juicy Korean pears and oranges.
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Don’t leave the Mapo Agricultural & Marine Products Market without trying their steamed king crab as many restaurant stalls will stir-fry the crab’s roe with rice and then serve the dish in the shells of the crab.
Address: 235 Woldeukeom-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 7am-8pm, Daily
Fish markets in Korea to check out on your next vacation
If you are interested in having an authentic cultural experience in Korea, head down to any of these fish markets and try out these exotic kinds of seafood.
While you’re planning your trip, you should also read this Mangwon guide and about 11 things to do in Jeju. For those who are just visiting the country’s capital city, you won’t want to miss out on dropping by these 10 trendy neighbourhoods in Seoul too.
Cover image adapted from: @yyyeojiii via Instagram, @iamyoujac via Instagram, @02.eat via Instagram
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