Eating live seafood- what’s it like?Posted: July 31, 2013
I’ve always been curious about eating live seafood like octopus and squid, how do you eat it? What does it taste like? Is it freaky? So I asked my friends from Korea and Japan about eating live seafood and they told me quite a bit actually. Some replies were online so I have had to edit the text a little and some I received in person. All of them have tried live seafood at least once in their life, this is what they told me!
I talked to my friend Yui from Japan about seafood and she asked me if I’d eaten octopus (cooked) before. I said I hadn’t and that it looked a bit scary and she said it’s good but it “only looks bad!” She said there’s also たこのおどりぐい (Tako no odori gui) which means literally ‘octopus that’s dancing food’ and that there are few people who challenge themselves to eat it. I asked her to elaborate on eating live seafood a bit more and she explained to me (in Japanese).
“There are mainly living octopus and squid/cuttlefish, shrimp/prawn/lobster etc and the these things you eat are called odorigui, dancing food! Say, octopus, you eat it’s leg in thin broiled seaweed in case it starts shaking. When I eat the moving octopus it sticks to my mouth.”
Another Japanese friend of mine, who will go by the name Rice, explained that he had eaten live seafood but couldn’t remember in detail as he was very young. He did explain that “we call that odorigui. Odori means dance and gui means food so food dances in your mouth when you are eating it!”
I asked my friend from Korea, Jungwon, what she thought of eating live seafood and she said: “OH YEAH! It is delicious when we eat that with 초장(Chojang).”
Chojang is a special sweet and spicy red-chilli pepper sauce.
“I didnt like it when I was young, but maybe I am being old…hahaha. It just feels somewhat good when we are chewing that. And I use many sauce so I can feel just sauce!! But finally, it is delicious *.*”
Finally, my other friend from Korea, J.W, elaborated nicely after I asked him if he’s eaten live seafood before. “Yes I’ve eaten a live piece of small octopus. I’m not that into it though.” How does it taste? “Well it doesn’t taste bad because you have it with some sesame oil that has some salt in it so it tastes aromatic. You have it on a plate, yes it’s hard to chew but they
are served to be cut into small pieces so that you can eat them smoothly.”
Here I got a little confuzzled because he said it’s cut into small pieces and so I assumed after it’s been cut up it would be dead. Apparently not.
“Ahhhh it’s still alive but you know what? It means fresh, and when you chew in your mouth its almost gone. You don’t have to worry about it at all lol just very small pieces you’d swallow.”
Are there lots of places to eat live seafood in Korea?
“Yeah there are some but not everywhere on the street lol eating live octopus is somewhat common here but it doesn’t mean we love it. On the other hand there are also some koreans who cant handle it.”
So I guess summarised, in Japan it’s slightly less common to eat moving seafood than it is in Korea, but that does not mean it’s rare, good GOD no. Both countries have different styles of serving and eating and I suppose Korea is more on the hot and spicy side of the sauce than the cool seaweed in Japan. But who knows! It’s not like I’ve interviewed the whole population, in fact I probably could have done with a few more opinions, so this is not a generalized summary it’s just based on my friends experiences. If I hear of any more from other friends I will add it to this post and share it in an update. 🙂 Later guys!
(You can find tons of videos of people eating live seafood on youtube so check it out!)