Author Archives: Max Lee

Sorae Pogu Fish Market in Incheon Korea! – Part 4

Near the docks where the fishing boats are coming in, there’s even more stores that sell literally fresh shrimps just off the boat. These shrimps are actually live still, moving around. Check out these fish just fresh off the boat, can you spot the shark here?  Since these fish are more fresh than inside the fish market, you will have to pay a bit more. (and haggle of course) It’s only 11:45AM now, there’s still a lot of people at this market, that tells you how crazy Koreans are about fresh fish. Check out soy-marinated raw crabs, these are my favorite, called Gae-jang in Korean. These Korean blue crabs are literally everywhere! Click Here to Read Part 5! Go back to Part 3

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Sorae Pogu Fish Market in Incheon Korea! – Part 3

Once we reached the end of Sorae Pogu fish market, we came to the dock where the actual fishing boats were coming back with fresh fish. I decided to take a closer look at these Korean fishing boats. By seeing the nets and some shrimps, I think this boat was a shrimp boat. As you can tell, they kinda rigged up everything here but I guess it works well by judging how much fish is at the market. We also ran into this store that had like 50 different types of Korean shells.  That’s a lot of shells if you ask me, maybe at least 2 weeks to try them all! The store name is “Shell Heaven”, I can’t really disagree with that I guess. These Korean blue crabs are wildy popular among Korean people, it’s a traditional icon almost.  If you’ve watched Forest Gump you will know what I mean, Koreans make Crab Spicy sashimi, Crab soup, Crab salad, etc…etc… Click Here to Read Part 4! Go back to Part 2

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Sorae Pogu Fish Market in Incheon Korea! – Part 2

When we actually arrived at the center of Sorae Pogu fish market, we were delighted with all kinds of fresh fish they had. Everyone kept yelling at us to buy their stuff, just typical Korean-style of trying to get customers interested in buying their fish. Check out some of these fresh shrimps, fresh off the boat. Koreans love to eat Sashimi with live fish, here’s some live fish you can eat sashimi with.   They have virtually no Korean sashimi outside Korea, I believe this is mainly due to the fact that Korean fish doesn’t live in the U.S. waters.   There’s like a thousand different types of Korean fish sashimi the world doesn’t know about. Of course, Koreans don’t eat everything live, they also make fish soup, fried fish, etc…etc… Check out some of these native, Korean crabs.  They are very similar to the blue crabs in the U.S. but of course, it tastes better for Korean food. Koreans also eat all types of fish intestines and, here’s a store we spotted that sold them. Koreans like to marinate the fish intestines and eggs with Korean hot pepper flavor, doesn’t it look yummy? By the way, these fish intestines … Continue reading

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Sorae Pogu Fish Market in Incheon Korea! – Part 1

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Sora Pogu fish market in Incheon, Korea is one of the coolest places to get some “real” Korean Hae (회), sorta like Japanese sashimi but with Korean fish.  Not that many tourists know about this fish market (and I might be the first one to tell the world about it) but this fish market is “the” place to visit if you come to South Korea. Upon arrival, I didn’t really get to see the fish market but just a bunch of seafood restaurants. (and a delivery truck pictured above)  This was actually my first time to the Sorae Pogu market and my aunt is a long-time resident of Incheon who took me here. What I was about to see (the fish market) was going to be very exciting. (if you are into fish and seafood that is) While walking to the Sorae Pogu fish market, we saw a bunch of offers for some seafood snacks and some fresh, local Makkuli (Korean rice wine).  I should have sat down for some, now I regret it everyday for not day-time drinking. Upon walking further towards the center of the fish market, we noticed more and more fish shops like shown above.  When … Continue reading

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How to Find a Restroom in Korea!

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If it’s your first time to South Korea, you might have a hard time finding a restroom because it’s a bit different than in the U.S. First of all, Koreans call restrooms “Toilet”. So, your best bet is looking for signs for “Toilet”. Second, if you are in Seoul, Korea or any urban city, you can easily find a public restroom in a building. Most buildings have restrooms on the 2nd floor and most of them are usually not locked. If you need to go to the bathroom bad and you are in the streets of Seoul or any other city, just go into any building and walk up the stairs to the second or third floor until you find a bathroom. And one more tip, for ladies especially, carry a travel-size toilet paper with you as not all public restrooms in Korea have toilet paper. Also, the best toilets in Korea are in malls.  Just go to the nearest mall (that looks nice) and you can expect some nice toilets and toilet paper too. It’s a really simple Korean fact but a lot of tourist might not know this so, just a tip when you have to go pee … Continue reading

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Han Woo – “Real” Korean BBQ!

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Han Woo is a local, native cattle/cow, it has a slightly lighter color than regular brown cattle. In South Korea, Han Woo is very expensive as there’s not so many of them but Han Woo is one of the most delicious beef in the whole world, in my opinion. Han Woo beef also boasts the lowest cholesterol levels in beef in the world and also has, believe it or not, plenty of Omega 3 fats, that is unbelievably good beef. The Han Woo, compared to some beef in the U.S., is much more smooth and tasty. Of course, you can only get Han Woo in Korea, they don’t export it. In South Korea, most people eat either Australian imported beef or the Han Woo. Australian beef isn’t bad either but it’s certainly not a fresh as Han Woo. In my recent trip to Korea, I had the pleasure of eating Han Woo, it is indeed very good. If you are steak-addict like me, you will certainly make sure to eat some Han Woo, “the real Korean BBQ” they call it, in Korea. Also, most Korean BBQ restaurants will use “real”, fresh charcoal, not some kind of gas like here in … Continue reading

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Korean Street Food!

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(An array of different Korean hot dogs, can you spot the french fries dog?  That’s just the tip of the iceburg.) One of the best things about South Korea is that they have street food everywhere, I mean “everywhere”.  Literally on every other block, you will see a bunch of street food trucks, tents, etc…etc… (Dukpogi (떡복기) shown above) There’s also many, many different types of street food.  Probably the most popular street food is the Dukpogi.  “Duk” means rice cake, “pogi” means mixed.  Together, it means spicy mixed rice cake in thick Korean chili sauce.   Also, many street food retailers will put some fish cake with the Dukpogi, which tastes very good as well. You can learn to make this Dukpogi at home but it won’t taste the same as if you eat it in the streets of Korea. Also, another popular street food is the Mandu(만두) or dumplings in English.  When you are hungry and you see this Mandu, you cannot resist eating it.  Besides, it’s cheap, make a dollar or two for a small serving. I used to work in Korea for a year couple years back.  At least one day out of the week, I … Continue reading

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My Favorite Korean Food – Live Octopus

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Probably the single thing I miss about Korea the most is the live octopus.  This is my favorite food of all time, I grew up eating live octopus when I was young and it’s really great with soju. When I arrived in Korea, my mom asked me what I wanted to eat, I said, “Sannakji” (산낙지), which means live octopus. Let me clear up some of the mis-understandings and rumors here.  Koreans don’t actually eat “live” octopus.  The head of the octopus has been cut beforehand and the tentacles naturally move but it’s not actually “live”. We don’t know why what the tentacles still “function”, but that’s why I love live octopus, it sticks on your tongue.  Just make sure you chew all the way before swallowing otherwise you can choke to death as it happens in Korea to several every year. And you want to eat live octopus “fresh”, preferably at a live octopus specialty restaurants.  In Korea, there’s live octopus restaurants that specialize in that and that only.  Also, you can get live octopus at fish markets, which are super fresh, I will have a blog post on that too later. I know PETA has been posting bunch … Continue reading

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Arriving In Korea, Incheon Airport

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On November 12th 2010, I was sitting in my apartment kitchen here in San Francisco.  All of the sudden, I wanted to go to Korea, where I grew up until I was 9 years old.  Like they say in San Francisco that you left your heart in San Francisco, I must have left my heart in Korea. Anyways, like 3AM in the morning on the 12th, I bought a ticket on Expedia from SFO to Incheon (Seoul), Korea that left around 12PM.   I didn’t get much sleep and barely made it to the airport. Somehow, I was able to get in touch with my mom who lives in Korea, and she came to the airport to pick me up. Upon arrival, I guess I missed Korea very much, it’s a wonderful feeling when you can be somewhere where they speak your own language, drive Korean cars, and practically everything is Korean. So, this is me in my mom’s car, us leaving the Incheon airport.  You see, the international airport for Seoul, Korea used to be in Seoul but they built a new airport about 15 years ago in Incheon, so you have to drive about an hour before you … Continue reading

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