-Cycle 1, Item 357-
28 December 2010
Steamed King Crab
* * * * *
at Jangteo Sikdang (장터식당)
(Noryangjin Wholesale Seafood Market)
One of my favorite dining options involves the seafood market at Noryangjin, the central wholesale distribution center for all the imported and maybe domestic seafood in the city (and maybe the country?). The wholesale activities, like auctioning tunas and such, occur during the wee hours, but a section of the market is open during the evening for retail business and allows regular people to come and buy whatever's available for sale--a long row of stalls with aquariums brimming with shellfish, like crab, shrimp, lobsters, but also a few fish varieties popular for sashimi. Adjacent to this area, several restaurants are open for shoppers/diners to bring their purchases from the market and eat them within. If it's a fish for sashimi-style dining, which is prepared and sliced at the stall and brought onto the premises, the restaurant will just charge a 2,000-won setting fee per person. With the bones of the fish, the restaurant will make a stew if requested, usually for about 10,000 won. If it's a crab or lobster or shrimp, the restaurant will steam it, also for a small fee, usually around 10,000 won for a large crab. All in all, it's much cheaper than a restaurant, and certainly more fun, though some don't like the hassle. I do.
On my birthday, with 9 meals remaining, I could think of no better place to celebrate. The main item was an Alaskan King Crab, a whopping 3.8-kg specimen that cost 160,000 won. I'd felt up the legs prior to purchase, making sure that they were firm with flesh on the inside, so, upon cutting the crab open, we were happy to discover sweet chunks of meat that were so immensely thick and fluffy that they seemed fake, like imitation krab sticks. With the juice from the crab, the restaurant made a sort of rice porridge that was amazing. We also had sashimi of half a yellowtail for 50,000 won, along with a stew from the bones. The restaurant charge, which included booze and setting fees for 7, came out to an additional 50,000 won. 260,000 won for a feast like that: not bad. Happy birthday to me.
8 meals left to go.