Generally, Koreans are not too picky about their seafood and will consume just about anything fished out of the sea. Koreans consume a wide variety of seafood including fish, shellfish, squid and octopus just to name a few. The following list contains several of the best Korean dishes that feature or highlight seafood as a main component of the dish.
This is one of Korea’s most loved seafood dishes and one of the more daring choices for foreigners who are seeking a new culinary experience. The name of the dish can be translated as “octopus stir-fry” which accurately describes the essence of the dish, since the vegetables that are incorporated into the mix can vary from one restaurant to the next. Basically, octopus tentacles are cut into pieces of about an inch in length and stir fried with the addition of an assortment of vegetables. Another key ingredient is the stir-fry sauce, which is mainly comprised of gochujang (hot chili pepper paste) and this gives the dish its signature spicy sweet flavor. Nakji bokkeum is one of Korea’s favorite dishes and one of the most spicy. So beware!
This is another spicy seafood dish which is more along the lines of a casserole or a stew. The dish is prepared in a stone bowl heated over a fire or grill and consists of a broth containing boiled cod fish, chopped daikon, soybean sprout, garlic, ginger, tofu and green onion, among other ingredients. This eclectic mix of ingredients results in a tasty broth that is further enhanced with the addition of gochujang and red chili pepper flakes, which also impart a bright red color to the soup. This dish is moderately spicy is usually eaten with a complimentary bowl of rice.
This is also a popular stew that Koreans enjoy on a regular basis. It is one version of soondubu jigae, which is a stew consisting of soft tofu and vegetables in a beef-based broth having gochujang and red chili pepper flakes. Haemool soondubu is created with the addition of various kinds of seafood (shrimp, clams, squid) into soondubu jigae and the combination of rich flavors and textures make a heavenly meal. The stew arrives at the table still boiling in a stone bowl and an egg is brought out as well, which the patron can crack and drop into the boiling soup. The contents are then mixed to disperse the egg. The patron may specify the level of spiciness to the dish from mild to very hot. The flavor of the dish usually will not be compromised in sacrificing the spicy element so people of all different tolerances to heat can enjoy this meal thoroughly.