Busan trip-Does Korean eat live octopus?

Second day in Busan I went to the Korean sea food restaurant. Before the Sashimi which is the main dish, many sea food side dishes were served.


Until now I received the question “Does Korean eat live octopus?” quite often from foreigners. In my case sometimes I eat live octopus only when I have chance to eat. I could eat because there is very little food that I could not eat including foreign food.:) I don’t enjoy eating live octopus that much. Also in this time, I ordered Sashimi for the main dish and live octopus was served as one of the side dishes.

Today I will honestly say my thought why some Korean enjoy eating octopus and what is an attractive taste for some Korean even the moving could seem gross.

1.Live octopus is chewy.

I think Korean like chewy food then other people. Korean frequently eat Korean rice cake(떡) and there are diverse Korean cuisine which has the rice cake(떡) for the ingredient such as Tteok-guk(떡국),Tteok-bok-ki(떡볶이), Chap-ssal-tteok(찹살떡)…etc. Live octopus is also chewy that this is the taste what many Korean enjoy.

2.Octopus is Good for health

In live octopus there are many good ingredients such as protein, iron, vitamin…etc. and it also has stamina that it could help to find refreshment for body. Accordingly some people eat live octopus to boost up energy.
But, live octopus and the cooked octopus Korean food such as octopus soup(낙지연포탕) has same effect for health that if you don’t like live octopus you can try different Korean octopus food.

This is Octopus soup(낙지연포탕) cooking video.

3.Korean enjoy the combination of live octopus and the sauce taste

When I see in internet how foreigners try eating live octopus, many of them eat it itself without any sauce and say it is not tasty… I will introduce how Korean eat live octopus and which taste Korean enjoy.

In Korean food SAUCE is really important. Many famous Korean restaurant has their special sauce method and this is a big reason why they got popular. It also applies in live octopus. 99% of Korean eat live octopus after dipping it in a sauce. We don’t eat itself. General Korean live octopus sauce is Sesame oil with crushed garlic or Red chilli-pepper or Ssam-jang.

BUT! If you have chance to eat live octopus, please be careful when eating it. They move even it be cut and if you swallow not sliced octopus which is not totally chewed, they could move to your airway. Until now few people died in each year while eating the live octopus and block. If you would like to try the live octopus, I recommend to eat the one which were cut in small pieces to avoid the danger.

Thanks for reading.:)

2 thoughts on “Busan trip-Does Korean eat live octopus?

  1. Awesome article Somi! I remembered eating the live octopus during my first trip to Korea. It taste slimy and it wouldn’t taste great without the sauce.

    • Wow! You tried live octopus before! Eating with sauce is better for me too. Thanks for reading Kari.:)

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