Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul

Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, South Korea

Whenever people describe fish markets, they highlight the predawn chaos and the movement and flow of fish as the only ordered element amongst the pandemonium. I’ve been guilty of it myself. At three o’clock in the afternoon, Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul is a bastion of calm. The morning crowds have dispersed along with their creels of seafood but the remaining catch appears as fresh (or in many cases, as alive) as it was hours earlier. The occasional browser wanders amongst the aisles of assorted sea creatures in a noncommittal manner; vendors discuss their day, eat a late lunch and share bottles of soju; some prepare for the smallish after work crowd to pick over their remaining wares. There is no compulsion for the hard sell at this time of the day and commerce seems secondary.

Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, South Korea

Along the Noryangjin Station side of the market is a raised walkway offering birds-eye views of the fishy tableau, along which nestles a line of Japanese and Korean restaurants that capitalise on their proximity to seafood.

Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, South Korea

Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, South Korea

Closest to the walkway on the floor of the market seems to house the greatest concentration of live seafood: crabs, fish, shellfish, octopus and other horrors from the Deep.

Kraken on sale at Noryanjin Fish Market, Seoul, South Korea

Octopus come in all dimensions, ranging from thumb-sized to those capable of battling Neptune for undersea supremacy (above).

korean fish pastes at noryangjin market

On the far side of the market from the station, vendors specialise in Korean fish and shrimp pastes in varying degrees of degradation. The focus seems to be on chilli-hot pastes rather than unadulterated salty rotting fish.

Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, South Korea

The aisles of market stay damp from the melting ice, frequent hosing down and the slosh of fish in tanks. The above pufferfish were more subdued, but were the first that I’ve seen on sale for the purposes of eating, ever.

Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul, South Korea

Shellfish abound in phenomenal variety with bags of clams packed with seawater to keep them alive.

Location: Opposite Noryanjin Station in Seoul, accessible via the raised walkway from the train station.

4 Comments Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul

  1. Rick

    Love it. Somehow don’t think of The Horrors of the Deep are that disturbing. Great pictures and yummy food~

    You need some pictures of the fish shaped bread with red bean paste inside. They are just coming out now with the winter season. Mmm~

    Reply
  2. ann crowley

    Would you be interested in selling the right to use some of your photographs in a publication I am working on.
    Plese let me know
    Ann

    Reply
  3. Dianna

    love going 2 Noryangjin to get the fish fresh & sliced up to take home
    & make & large prawn w/ I am wanting to make gumbo…still loving living here
    in Seoul !!!

    Reply

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