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any restaurants here serve live raw baby octopus?


flowbee
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just got back from a whirlwind tour of seoul, singapore and tokyo. tried so many amazing dishes...will maybe post about it all after recovering from jet lag.

anyways, i tried "san nakji" (live raw baby octopus) for the first time at the noryangjin fish market in seoul and absolutely loved it! are there any restaurants in town that serve it?? or maybe some market that sells live baby octopus?

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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just got back from a whirlwind tour of seoul, singapore and tokyo. tried so many amazing dishes...will maybe post about it all after recovering from jet lag.

anyways, i tried "san nakji" (live raw baby octopus) for the first time at the noryangjin fish market in seoul and absolutely loved it! are there any restaurants in town that serve it?? or maybe some market that sells live baby octopus?

Did the tentacles cling to your tongue?

*shudder*

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just got back from a whirlwind tour of seoul, singapore and tokyo. tried so many amazing dishes...will maybe post about it all after recovering from jet lag.

anyways, i tried "san nakji" (live raw baby octopus) for the first time at the noryangjin fish market in seoul and absolutely loved it! are there any restaurants in town that serve it?? or maybe some market that sells live baby octopus?

Did the tentacles cling to your tongue?

*shudder*

I had the same thought- lift and chew quickly lest it stick to your tongue. I think this is more than I can bear. I wonder how Whole Foods would handle that?

Edited by Bill Miller (log)

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Um... I totally don't live anywhere near Vancouver, or BC, but the title of this thread caught my eye on the active topics page and oh god I wish I hadn't clicked. To each his own and it takes all kinds and all that, but how can you eat a live baby anything? I am well aware that it is my own cultural bias coloring these remarks, but I would love to know the story behind how you came to try live baby octopus.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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anyways, i tried "san nakji" (live raw baby octopus) for the first time at the noryangjin fish market in seoul and absolutely loved it!

What were your impressions of the flavor, and more importantly the chewiness of the baby octopus? Are they tender or chewy?

I would have zero problems with eating live baby octopus. Not much different than live shrimp.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I would have zero problems with eating live baby octopus. Not much different than live shrimp.

Hardly, as Octopus are highly intelligent- comparable to a domestic cat, whereas shrimp have a collection of nerve cells that barely qualifies as a brain.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Octopus are frequently used as bait when fishing - in the ocean octopus are eaten live by any number of larger fish. I've got no burning need to eat a live octopus, but since I've got no problem sticking them on a hook with the hope of catching dinner then I suppose I've got no problem with people snacking on them either.

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Hey, a chacun son gout- I am just saying that the Octopus is quite an intelligent animal. A shrimp is not.

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Hardly, as Octopus are highly intelligent- comparable to a domestic cat, whereas shrimp have a collection of nerve cells that barely qualifies as a brain.

Hardly, what? I'm saying I have no qualms about eating octopus. You're entitled to your own opinion, I'm entitled to mine. I also have no qualms about eating cow, sheep and horse.

If you'd like to argue animal/seafood politics, feel free to create a thread in the General Topics forum. The topic has been debated ad nauseum in other threads. Until then, this is a thread about the availability of live raw baby octopus and whether it is served in Vancouver.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Hardly, as Octopus are highly intelligent- comparable to a domestic cat, whereas shrimp have a collection of nerve cells that barely qualifies as a brain.

Hardly, what? I'm saying I have no qualms about eating octopus. You're entitled to your own opinion, I'm entitled to mine. I also have no qualms about eating cow, sheep and horse.

If you'd like to argue animal/seafood politics, feel free to create a thread in the General Topics forum. The topic has been debated ad nauseum in other threads. Until then, this is a thread about the availability of live raw baby octopus and whether it is served in Vancouver.

Hardly the same as eating live shrimp (which I have done by the way). See above.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Live Baby Octopus is something I've never seen on sale here although I only visited the H Mart seafood bar once.

One note on eating live babies-I wonder what size they are in Asian restaurants?

Here in BC I've seen ones that were as small as my thumbnail vomited up when ground fish hit the deck.

Something that small would go down easy I'm sure-might tickle a bit though. :rolleyes:

Edited by Sam Salmon (log)
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ok, i guess they're not quite babies...maybe toddlers i guess? the one i had was about 9 inches long. we bought it from the fish market (along with some awesome crab, snails, fish roe and shrimp the size of your hand) down on the ground floor, then brought them upstairs to one of the restaurants where they cook up your bounty for a nominal fee.

gallery_24789_3610_41269.jpg

i took a vid where they're actually moving and squirming...and as you can tell from my stupid grin, i LOVED them:

gallery_24789_3610_10336.jpg

it's comparable to eating raw squid, but different taste...actually, i'm still not sure i tasted anything--it was more textural. quite chewy, and you never actually chewed it up that much...it was kinda like gum. but together with the sesame oil/salt dipping sauce, i found it to be a heavenly experience. it also tasted great with kochujang (korean spicy red pepper paste). i read somewhere that you have to chew quickly, lest the suckers grab onto something. i had no problem chewing, savouring and swallowing :raz: the tentacles calm down after a while, but even half an hour later, i could give the remaining tentacles on the plate a stir with my chopsticks and they'd start squirming again. THAT'S freshness! (ironically tonight i steamed some cod that was still twitching when i bought it from the market)

i found out about this octopus dish from this fatman seoul post. i also saw anthony bourdain do it on a recent episode of "no reservations" where he goes to korea with his assistant nari.

i've also seen videos on the net where koreans eat the real baby octupi (about the size of your hand), and they wrap it around a pair of chopsticks and eat it whole. apparently choking accidents do happen with this dish.

i love sushi and raw oysters, so i consider this in the same realm of foodstuffs.

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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i found out about this octopus dish from this fatman seoul post. i also saw anthony bourdain do it on a recent episode of "no reservations" where he goes to korea with his assistant nari.

They also featured the live octopus on that reality show where teams travel around the world. (Sorry, I don't watch much TV.)

So I take it that the octopus was chewy enough that you still couldn't bite through the bigger tentacles? I'd still be game to try it one day.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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^ I've only seen one report of an issue with the tenticles sticking to the throat on the way down. Someone didn't chew enough. However I couldn't work up the nerve to try it in Seoul when I was there. Perhaps this will help motivate me when I'm there next :biggrin:

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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^

There is a scene in the Korean movie Oldboy where the hero, after being imprisoned for many years, goes directly after his release to a sushi restaurant where he eats a live octopus. The tentacles flop around his face while he is eating.

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LOL, I remember reading about a man describing his experience eating live baby octopus as "the closest thing to being pregnant" as he could still feel the tentacles moving around in his stomach - :blink: - Apparently you must chew carefully first, before swallowing ..

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  • 2 weeks later...

I looked for it in Vancouver in July, and my Korean relatives said it's not there.

I looked in Bangkok last week, too, and no dice (or whole for that matter).

Still, you could probably forage a few, maybe up on the Sunshine coast, and do your own? Or alternatively, T&T could probably arrange them for you. They can come up with most anything.

As a note on this, we had some years ago in Seoul. My wife, who only had Korean up to the age of 7 saw the sign, and immediately translated it as "mountain" (san) octopus, which got us some real odd looks.

Another great dish that's hard to find is kop chang, the big intestines, either stewed in a jong bul, or better yet grilled and taken with lots of soju in those places south of the Han.

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My korean friends actually had a family friend who died eating one of these baby octopus. He was so drunk while swallowing the live octopus that it got its revenge by hanging on to his throat. And yes, my friends still eat live octopi every chance they get... with los of soju.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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  • 1 month later...
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