Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Korea: markets and street food

The best thing about South Korea was by far the markets. Whether it was dried fish...
(of all shapes and sizes),
two-foot long sticks of cinnamon,
 or other dried bits,
  
big welcoming bowls of toasted silk worm larvae,
or heaping mounds of dried peppers, you could find it out on the streets of Korea.
 There were also outdoor clothing markets to buy everything you can imagine,
street vendors selling deep fried fish paste on a stick (it is far better than it sounds)
or a kind of fried potsticker stuffed with pork and cabbage.
One vendor after another.
This one selling these amazing fried dough balls stuffed with brown sugar...
to which they add some more sugar and sesame seeds. A-maaaa-zing!
 But of course Pusan, being located right on the Sea of Japan, is mostly about the fish markets. Here a is long row of vendors selling the day's fresh catch.
 In case you question the freshness of their fish, they demonstrate with bowls of live, just skinned squirming fish. This was the scene at every other one of these stands (warning, this is a bit disturbing)

video
Larger fish markets have big aquariums, where you can point to, or retrieve with a net, your next meal.
Be it king crab
or shellfish, the likes of which you've surely never seen. Just point to it and someone will cook it and serve it up at these yellow tables
Some of it was downright alien-looking.

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