Chica Vs. Food: Live Octopus

Sannakji (산낙지)

Eating live octopus is a delicacy here in Korea, and considered a healthy dish to consume. Who would have thought eating veggies and fruits is passé 😉 According to the USDA Nutrient Database (2007), cooked octopus contains approximately 139 calories per three ounce portion, and is a source of vitamin B3, B12, potassium, phosphorus and selenium. As for uncooked? I don’t really know.

Now great care must be taken when eating them, seeing as their tenticles are still moving when the dish is served. They are smart creatures, and have been known to be a choking hazard, like my friend Mihwa will tell you. Here’s a vid of an octopus escaping, a reminder of how squirmy these creatures are:

So officially the dish is called Sannakji. It consists of live nakji (낙지, a small octopus) that has been cut into small pieces and served immediately. It is usually seasoned with sesame oil and sesame seeds which I’m guessing making it an easier process to swallow. It can also be served whole, but I’m ok with just having the little pieces seeing as they are still moving and I have to eat it. So, here goes:


Live Octopus/ Sannakji:


Busan here we come!

Mihwa, Yeon Jung, Jodi and I decided a break was needed so we booked a two day trip to Busan (부산), Korea’s second largest city. This is where the 2002 FIFA World Cup occurred. The best part about this big city is the beach, its nestled right next to it and has a large port that can get you to Japan in just a few hours. Sweeeet. On the map you’ll see that from Taegu (as Daegu is sometimes spelled) isn’t too far from Busan. It’s just a short 2 hours train ride there, if not less.

How do you compare Busan to Seoul? Well, I’ve come to conclude that Seoul is just plain overwhelming. I’m from NYC and still I find it to be a crazy city to be in mostly because of the language difference. They do sure beat us in train efficiency, cleanliness and clearcut maps and directions when you are there. Busan is smaller but still feels like a large city, having multiple downtown areas, unlike Daegu with its one main area.

Music by: The Donnas “Dancing with Myself”
The Dollyrots “Because I am Awesome”

Miwha and Yeon Jung both work for Kyobo Bookstore, kinda like a Barnes and Noble equivalent. Luckily, the store has a partnership with a hotel in Haeundae, the beach area near Busan so we got a discount when we booked it. Awesome!

Haeundae (해운대) is where one of the most popular beaches in Korea is. During the summer it is jammed packed, and the winter? Well, in the winter the Polar Bear Club, similar to the one in Coney Island in Brooklyn, makes a dash for the cold water on January 1st when the water is around 0°C.

Needless to say, here is a video from our stay at the hotel there: