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Original Atlas Sliced Episode – Eating Live, Squirming Octopus in Seoul

This is an original Atlas Sliced post and episode that no longer pertains to the new Atlas Sliced. I’m keeping it on here to give you a taste of what Atlas Sliced used to be. All other episodes will be in “Traveler Success Stories.”

If you want to see me and my friends eating live octopus suctioning to everything and wriggling about, look no further.

After two years in Seoul, I am leaving tomorrow for a three-month journey around India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. There was no way I was going leave Seoul without trying live octopus. Some people consider it a delicacy, so I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

The fish market from above

A couple weeks ago, my friends and I went to a wholesale fish market called Noryangjin Fish Market. It has all different types of seafood, such as sea cucumber, urchins, rays, octopi, squid, you name it. We picked out what we wanted, and the vendors put it in a bag. For fish, they chopped it up and then gave it to us in a bag. For octopi, they put them in a bag with water, so that the creatures were still alive.

Octopus and other seafood

Once we had our bags (full of fish, octopi, and prawns), we went to an underground restaurant that was teeming with people eating all different kinds of seafood.

Picking out the seafood

After eating some fish soup and some shrimp, they brought out the octopi. The octopi had just been freshly chopped; therefore, they were still writhing and wriggling around.

Delicious shrimp

The verdict: Except for one person at the table, we all agreed that it tasted like salty snot. It was very chewy, and we had to be careful to chew a lot, so that the suckers wouldn’t stick to our mouths. They suctioned so much to everything that when my boyfriend put one of the tentacles on a nearby bottle, it stayed on the bottle.

Tentacle sticking to a bottle

- Chew carefully.
- Do it if you want a unique experience.
- Don’t expect it taste good.

Happy eating!

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  • Heather E. Nelson

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  • Jermaine

    That made me cringe more than Fear Factor ever did. Ew!

    • Alexa Hart

      Haha! I take it you’re not going to try it any time soon?

  • Aaron G.

    The best part of the octopus eating video is in the background. There seems to be a native…watching you guys eat the live octopus…and the look on his face after one of you puts it in his mouth is priceless…like “Oh my god, look what those white people just did!” (at 4:10-4:21)

    • Alexa Hart

      Hahaha! Yeah, some Koreans love it, and some hate it. He was probably super surprised that white people were doing it.

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