Eating Live Octopus at Noryangjin Market

Professor Oh March 11, 2014 3

Who after watching “Old Boy” doesn’t want to try live octopus? While I don’t recommend Mr. Daesu’s rugged style of eating sannakji as you may choke to death, you can head to Noryangjin Fish Market and have your live octopus cut by the seafood vendor into bite size pieces. Or have it prepared at a local seafood restaurant.

I challenged not only myself but also my mother. Will these two ladies chicken out or grow some balls? Ahem. I mean, be brave enough to try live octopus for the first time in their lives? Watch KWOW episode 136 to find out.


Directions to Noryangjin Fish Market: exit 1 from the Noryangjin Station. Walk up the stairs to the bridge and cross to the other side. Turn left and walk down a couple flights of stairs.

63 city

While walking the bridge you will see 63 City, a tall golden skyscraper on your left. It was built in 1988 for the Summer Olympics and houses a sea world, IMAX theater, wax museum and art gallery. Trivia: Psy dances in front of 63 City in his “Gentleman” music video.

Before you walk down the last set of stairs, be sure to look over the Noryangjin Market. In one glimpse you’ll see the grid of seafood vendors.

noryangjin fish market

Plenty of vendors sell live octopus. Stroll around and choose your preferred size. Admire the diverse colors and textures of other seafood while you’re at it.

huge fresh shrimp

sea urchin

Then I came across an octopus with a cute butt. I decided to eat a smaller one from another tank.

cute butthole

Live octopus is commonly dipped in sesame oil before consumption. I decided to enjoy mine raw to the maximum without any additional flavors.

eating live octopus

The reason people go wild over live octopus? Even when cut, the legs and other parts continue to move. Their tentacles will stick to your fingers. Chew well when eating! Otherwise the moving parts may stick to your throat.

live octopus closeup

I assumed my mother would not try the live octopus. She actually peeled a sticky piece off the to-go box and placed it into her mouth. After some chewing and pensive thinking, she stated it was delicious.

mom eating live octopus

Would I try live octopus again? Perhaps if it’s prepared with sesame oil. Eating live octopus is an unique experience, but I did feel bad for eating the little guy. The vegan gods are after me now.


  1. Derrick Robertson March 16, 2014 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Hi Ramona,

    I was celebrating my birthday(March 14th) and I tried some octopus-not live-at sushi bar. Tasted pretty good :)

  2. Gabe Santiago March 12, 2014 at 12:34 am - Reply

    An octopus with a “cute butt”?! You have an interesting perspective on physical aesthetics, Prof. Previously viewing your Instagram A.V. posting; watching a squirming piece of tentacle, on your finger; *Fact: because of a decentralized neurological system, octopus are a sort of “Zombie” living dead of the sea. You & your Ma are very brave! Chew well before swallowing, or get tickled. Ha-ha! Will be watching! K-WOW!! ;;) ;;)

  3. Lea Bluemenstein March 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Proffessor Oh, it’s not nice to eat live animals and support their cruel killing by buying live octopus. I have heard a lot about this dish in Korea, but I really hoped that you are different from those people who support the cruel death of animals. Even if it is a sea animal, it’s so evil to cut it to peaces alive! I write it because I got the impression of you as an intelligent person, and I do hope you will change your attitude towards live octopus eating.
    Best wishes,

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