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:


5 thoughts on “Chica Vs. Food: Live Octopus

  1. I cannot believe someone decided it was a good idea to eat a LIVE octupus. If it is creepy crawly and crawls back up your throat and chokes you, what possible reason would you have to eat it. How long does it take to die while crawling around in your stomach? Why would you not chew it to kill it? If you swallow it whole, how do you taste it? Not ALL Korean ways should be shared with the rest of the world. This is one cultural practice they can keep for themselves. Jodi, I applaud you for trying new things and thank God you didn’t choke to death. How would I ever explain to people that my daughter choked to death from eating a live octupus. The next question would be “Why would she eat something live if it can choke her? Did she have some kind of mental condition???” Sometimes you just have to have the wisdom to say NO!!

    • Debbie! Ha it was actually pretty good. Mmm its not alive so it’s basically chewing it till it stops twitching. And now she will forever have that awesome memory of eating a moving piece of octopus 🙂

  2. Mom, Really? Hahaha… It’s really not alive, like Alex said. And absolutely all Korean ways should be shared with the rest of the world! That’s why Alex and I are here!!! To share in Korean ways, and to save money as well (not gonna lie).

    Haha… Alex is amazing at pushing me to do things I never thought possible. Even though eating the still moving octopus is gross, the chances of me DYING from eating it are slimmer than getting hit by lightening probably. You only live once! So Alex and I are living to the fullest, doing all the crazy things! Though, in comparison to eating this “live octopus”, something more dangerous in Korea is WALKING! Korean drivers are CRAZY! Should I stop walking, too Mom? 🙂 I live on the side of adventure! This is why were are here! 🙂 And Alex is right… I do have an “awesome” yet ridiculous and crazy memory of the weird things I eat here… I gotta admit, though I hate the pushing at the time, I’m always glad she gets me to do these crazy things. Makes me feel alive! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Chica Vs. Food: Chicken Hearts « From Korea With Love

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