Lunch at the Incheon Complex Fish Market and introduction to South Korean conviviality

The Incheon Complex Fish Market (인천 종합어시장 in Korean) is a major tourist attraction, as it gathers more than 500 shops, selling no less than 150 kinds of seafood products (dried and fresh). If you wonder where to get some fresh fish at Incheon, this is the place for you.

Shops from the market sell fresh fishes directly delivered from local fishermen. Visitors can purchase raw fishes (sashimi) that are already pre-cut from the shops or request one of the many restaurants to cut or cook the products for them. Compared to the Busan Jagalchi Market, all shops and restaurants are located on the ground floor.

Our lunch menu

As we wanted to try out some local specialties, we bought a King Crab (60,000 won/kg, approx. 54 usd/kg), abalones (3 for 10,000 won, approx. 9 usd) and some sea cucumbers (2 for 10,000 won).
Please note that those prices are not fixed, as they change depending on arrivals and market conditions.

We paid for our seafood at the shop and were brought to a restaurant the seller works with, since we did not know which restaurant to go to. There are different ways to serve seafoods in Korea (raw, baked, fried, steamed) so make sure you inform the restaurant if you want your dish to be cooked a particular way.

As an example, we expected the sea cucumber to be cooked, but the lady from the restaurant cut it and served it raw. As we were not used to the taste, we later requested them to steam it.

Raw sea cucumbers

The restaurant then asked us if we wanted to steam or bake the abalones with butter. As locals usually bake them, we went for it. This was my first time trying baked abalones and it was so delicious. I used to eat them steamed when I was in Hong Kong, so I did not know we could cook it this way.

Now, I won’t be able to go back to the steamed abalones.

Delicious baked abalones

The best part of the lunch started when the king crab was brought to us.

The restaurant pre-cut all the parts of the crab for us to eat it more easily. It also provided us with gloves and wet towels, so we could keep our hands clean.

The meat was really tender, as you can see:

It was recommended by the restaurant lady to keep the crab sauce so that they could make some fried rice with it.

They took back the crab when we finished eating the meat and came back with this wonderful fried rice:

Fried rice, cooked with the remaining king crab sauce

A great moment with our table neighbors

During our lunch, we were sitting in a private room along with a table of 2 Koreans.

As they noticed that we were on a culinary discovery, they kindly offered us to try their dish: a steamed octopus. My husband explained that it would be considered as rude to decline an offer from someone older than us, so we accepted with pleasure. Our table also returned the kind gesture by paying them some beers (they were already enjoying some soju).

It was a lovely introduction to the South Korean conviviality.

How much did the restaurant charge us?

The restaurant charged us the following:

  • 2,000 won/person (approx. 1.8 usd) for setting up the table and serving us some side dishes such as kimchi, salad and sauce,
  • 10,000 won (approx. 9 usd) for baking the abalones with butter,
  • 7,000 won/kg (approx. 6 usd) for steaming the king crab.

Overall, we ended up spending around 270,000 won (approx. 242 usd) for the lunch. As we were 4 people, we found the price quite reasonable considering the freshness and tastiness of the products.

Useful information

Here are some useful information if you plan to visit the Incheon Complex Fish Market :

Address:
37, Yeonanbudu-ro 33beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon
인천광역시 중구 연안부두로33번길 37 (항동7가)
Operating Hours
05:00-21:00
Closed
Salted seafood area: First Tuesday of the month
Dried seafood area: First and third Wednesday of the month
Other stores: Open all year round


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