Eat local: Jagalchi (Seafood) Market, Busan, South Korea (2019)

One of the main streets in Busan, South Korea, the country’s second-largest city and one of Lonely Planet’s top cities to visit in Southeast Asia a year ago

One of the main streets in Busan, South Korea, the country’s second-largest city and one of Lonely Planet’s top cities to visit in Southeast Asia a year ago

 

“Home to majestic mountains, glistening beaches, steaming hot springs and fantastic seafood, South Korea’s second-largest city [population 3.4 million] is a rollicking port town with tons to offer.  From casual tent bars and chic designer cafes to fish markets teeming with every species imaginable, Busan (부산) has something for all tastes.  Rugged mountain ranges slice through the urban landscape, and events such as the Busan International Film Festival [early October 2019] underscore the city’s desire to be a global meeting place.” – www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Busan captivates visitors with its intriguing history, artistic spirit, delicious street food, and cosmopolitan personality.  Important sights to see include the poignant United Nations Memorial Park and sacred Buddha relics at Tongdosa Temple.  Locals and visitors can enjoy a hike along the stunning coast of Taejongdae Park and explore regional history at the Busan Museum.  You don’t have to be a cook or chef to marvel at the unrivaled selection of fresh fish at the massive Jagalchi Market – the largest in South Korea.  Experiences as varied as wandering the winding alleys of Gamcheon Culture Village (now a creative community of brightly painted houses on the slope of a coastal mountain, originally home to refugees during and after the Korean War) or indulging in the local cuisine along Gwangbokdong Food Street show that Busan delivers great opportunities for exploration.

 

Archway over the entrance to a shopping street leading to BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) Square, Busan, South Korea

Archway over the entrance to a shopping street leading to BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) Square, Busan, South Korea

 

A pedestrian shopping street near BIFF Square lined with food carts in advance of the opening of the 2019 Busan International Film Festival, Busan, South Korea

A pedestrian shopping street near BIFF Square lined with food carts in advance of the opening of the 2019 Busan International Film Festival, Busan, South Korea

 

A downtown street food vendor with typical South Korean snacks , Busan, South Korea

A downtown street food vendor with typical South Korean snacks , Busan, South Korea

 

A street full of fish and seafood stores and restaurants, across from the Jagalchi Seafood Market in downtown Busan, South Korea

A street full of fish and seafood stores and restaurants, across from the Jagalchi Seafood Market in downtown Busan, South Korea

 

The street-side front aisle (one of three), nearly one city-block long, lined with fish and seafood vendors in Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

The street-side front aisle (one of three), nearly one city-block long, lined with fish and seafood vendors in Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

 

Shoppers and chefs can wander the first floor of South Korea’s largest fish and seafood market for an unrivaled selection of raw, dried, and cooked varieties.  The majority of vendors are traditionally female and have earned the nickname Jagalchi Ajumma (married woman).  The second floor of the market features various seafood restaurants that will cook seafood purchased on the first floor and serve it at seats in their restaurant.

 

Beautifully colorful scallops front and center amid an array of octopus, clams and crab in a stall at Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

Beautifully colorful scallops front and center amid an array of octopus, clams and crab in a stall at Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

 

A variety of fresh and smoked fish in a stall at Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

A variety of fresh and smoked fish in a stall at Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

 

Fresh Asian abalone (very expensive!), Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

Fresh Asian abalone (very expensive!), Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

 

A variety of shrimp and prawns at a stall in Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

A variety of shrimp and prawns at a stall in Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

 

A vendor – a Jagalchi Ajumma (married woman) – cleaning squid at her stall in Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

A vendor – a Jagalchi Ajumma (married woman) – cleaning squid at her stall in Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

 

This crab looked like it just finished yoga and was saying “Namaste”, Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

This crab looked like it just finished yoga and was saying “Namaste”, Jagalchi Seafood Market, Busan, South Korea

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Ōmi-chō Market and Morimori Sushi, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

One of the 170 vendors in the famed Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan, that has been supporting Kanazawa’s gastronomic culture since the middle of the 18th century

One of the 170 vendors in the famed Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan, that has been supporting Kanazawa’s gastronomic culture since the middle of the 18th century

 

From our ship in the port, one day in Kanazawa we headed downtown mid-day and went to the famed Ōmi-chō Market where there is a dizzying array of local produce and fresh seafood.  We planned our time there so we could get a number at Morimori Sushi (restaurant) and shop while we waited for our turn to be seated (see below).  The market has directly supported Kanazawa’s gastronomic culture since the middle of the 18th century.  It has more than 170 vendors selling local delicacies, clothing, fruits, Kaga vegetables, seafood and meats.  Additionally, there are several restaurants and ramen shops within the market building.  We splurged at the market and bought some beautiful sliced wagy-like beef for a home cooked dinner in our apartment, with special local mushrooms and fresh vegetables.

 

An array of beautiful (and colorful) fresh produce at a vendor’s stall in Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

An array of beautiful (and colorful) fresh produce at a vendor’s stall in Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Notice the packaging of these melons – quite special, with prices to match (US$18 to US$30, EACH!) -- Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

Notice the packaging of these melons – quite special, with prices to match (US$18 to US$30, EACH!) — Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

While you’re splurging, how about one crab for US$80? -- Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

While you’re splurging, how about one crab for US$80? — Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Then there’s the wagyu-like beef slices, which are about US$40 per pound (it’s actually priced in Japanese Yen per kilogram (2.2 pounds)), Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

Then there’s the wagyu-like beef slices, which are about US$40 per pound (it’s actually priced in Japanese Yen per kilogram (2.2 pounds)), Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

We ended up paying about US7.50 for one of these special local mushrooms to accompany our lightly pan seared (in lard in a cast iron skillet) wagyu-like beef

We ended up paying about US7.50 for one of these special local mushrooms to accompany our lightly pan seared (in lard in a cast iron skillet) wagyu-like beef slices – it was quite different from button mushrooms and porcini and king mushrooms, and had a nice spiciness; Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Morimori Sushi is Kanazawa’s most recommended conveyer-belt sushi restaurant, offering sushi of outstanding freshness; Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

Morimori Sushi is Kanazawa’s most recommended conveyer-belt sushi restaurant, offering sushi of outstanding freshness; Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan – here the intrepid traveler is receiving a platter of specially ordered tuna (maguro and toro) for lunch

 

Morimori Sushi is Kanazawa’s most recommended conveyer-belt sushi restaurant, offering sushi of outstanding freshness.  We were forewarned that there is always a line to get in, so we arrived earlier than our desired luncheon time, put in our names, got a ticket with a number, and then shopped in Ōmi-chō market for a half hour before our turn came up to be seated at the counter.  In addition to selecting items from the conveyer belt, diners can (and we mostly did) order from an online iPad menu.

 

Tuna (five kinds, including toro (fatty tuna belly)) on a platter at Morimori Sushi, Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

Tuna (five kinds, including toro (fatty tuna belly)) on a platter at Morimori Sushi, Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Delicious, sweet shrimp (ebi) sushi at Morimori Sushi, Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

Delicious, sweet shrimp (ebi) sushi at Morimori Sushi, Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

It has to be special when you pay US$23 for five nicely boxed apple pears at the Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

It has to be special when you pay US$23 for five nicely boxed apple pears at the Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Local seafood delicacies and other prepared foods, including tofu; Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

Local seafood delicacies and other prepared foods, including tofu; Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

We saw only one sake store in all of Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

We saw only one sake store in all of Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan

 

We returned to our favorite food vendor from our previous visit, selling yellowtail tataki and salmon tataki, which we had thoroughly enjoyed – this time we bought several (frozen and vacuum packed, so it travels well!); Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa

We returned to our favorite food vendor from our previous visit, selling yellowtail tataki and salmon tataki, which we had thoroughly enjoyed – this time we bought several (frozen and vacuum packed, so it travels well!); Ōmi-chō Market, Kanazawa, Honshu Island, Japan [Tataki is a Japanese food preparation method where the meat or fish is very briefly seared over a hot flame (or in a pan) and then thinly sliced and seasoned with ginger (ground or pounded) and served with soy sauce and garnishes, like sashimi.]

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

Panorama of Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan, taken from the top of Mt. Hakodate -- renowned for its view of the surrounding bay and city -- that we climbed early in the morning on the o

Panorama of Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan, taken from the top of Mt. Hakodate — renowned for its view of the surrounding bay and city — that we climbed early in the morning on the one clear day of our visit

 

Sprawled across the southern tip of Hokkaido prefecture’s peninsula, Hakodate was one of the first ports to open up to foreign trade after the end of Japan’s era of isolation.  Traders moved in and foreign influences are still visible in constructions such as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Chinese Memorial Hall, and the Old British Consulate.  Western-style homes from that era mark the Motomachi District, located at the foot of wooded Mount Hakodate.  The top of the mountain entices with spectacular views of town, especially on clear days and in the evenings.  Japan’s first Western-style fortress, star-shaped Fort Goryokakucho (now known as Goryokaku Park), is a popular spot during cherry blossom time.  The morning market near the city’s main station is a great place to explore for fresh produce and a variety of seafood such as sea urchin, salmon eggs and crabs.

 

The trail up Mt. Hakadote (1,096 feet - 334 meters high) in early April was covered with snow on the third of the trail that was shaded, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

The trail up Mt. Hakodate (1,096 feet / 334 meters high) in early April was covered with snow on the third of the trail that was shaded, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

 

A view of the west bay from Mt. Hakadote with our ship docked (mid-left, above the large, red, right-hand crane in the foreground), Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan; note the snow on the

A view of the west bay from Mt. Hakodate with our ship docked (mid-left, above the large, red, right-hand crane in the foreground), Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan; note the snow on the mountains surrounding the city

 

Two red Torii gates in front of miniature Shinto shrines on the hillside below Mt. Hakodate, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

Two red Torii gates in front of miniature Shinto shrines on the hillside below Mt. Hakodate, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

 

The Hakodate Orthodox Church was founded by the Russian Consulate in 1859 with the existing church, adorned with distinctive copper domes and spires, dating back to 1916; Hakodate, Hokka

The Hakodate Orthodox Church was founded by the Russian Consulate in 1859 with the existing church, adorned with distinctive copper domes and spires, dating back to 1916; Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

 

A panorama of the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward -- a beautiful example of colonial-style architecture from 1910; the majestic main hall and rooms are reserved for special guests such

A panorama of the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward — a beautiful example of colonial-style architecture from 1910; the majestic main hall and rooms are reserved for special guests such as members of the imperial family and the emperor; Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

 

The view from The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward‘s main hall_s balcony, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

The view from The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward‘s main hall’s balcony, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan

 

The colorful inside of one of Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan_s main retail seafood, fish and food stores

The colorful inside of one of Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan’s main retail seafood, fish and food stores

 

At the morning market, giant local crabs for sale were alive and trying to climb out of their outdoor tanks, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan; later for lunch at Gaya Restaurant we had a

At the morning market, giant local crabs for sale were alive and trying to climb out of their outdoor tanks, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan; later for lunch at Gaya Restaurant we had a cooked crab leg that was around 24 inches (61 cm) long and delicious

 

These sweet and quite tasty “hairy crabs” are very popular in Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan; a medium size crab sells for approximately US$40 and a larger crab can go for as much

These sweet and quite tasty “hairy crabs” are very popular in Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan; a medium size crab sells for approximately US$40 and a larger crab can go for as much as US$70 to US$90!

 

A panorama of Goryokaku Fort taken from the top of the modern, concrete Goryokaku Tower; the pentagon-style citadel was Japan_s first Western-style fort and the site is now home to an

A panorama of Goryokaku Fort taken from the top of the modern, concrete Goryokaku Tower; the pentagon-style citadel was Japan’s first Western-style fort and the site is now home to an urban park, Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan; in about a month the 1,600 cherry trees planted in the fort during the Taisho era will come into full bloom

 

Sunset on our last evening in Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan, before sailing south to Honshu Island for our next port, Tokyo

Sunset on our last evening in Hakodate, Hokkaido Island, Japan, before sailing south to Honshu Island for our next port, Tokyo

 

Eat local: Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

Le Surcouf, in the center of the old town specializes in Fruits de Mer (seafood), Homard (lobster) and poissons (fresh fish), Roscoff, Brittany, France

Le Surcouf, in the center of the old town specializes in Fruits de Mer (seafood), Homard (lobster) and poissons (fresh fish), Roscoff, Brittany, France

 

Roscoff, France, on the Brittany coast, has several nice restaurants in the town.  We chose a seafood restaurant specializing in Fruits de Mer (seafood), Homard (lobster) and poissons (fresh fish), Le Surcouf, in the center of the old town.

 

The fresh salt water tank full of Homard Bleu (blue lobsters from the coast of Brittany) and fresh local crabs, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

The fresh salt water tank full of Homard Bleu (blue lobsters from the coast of Brittany) and fresh local crabs, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

 

When we entered, we were very excited to see the fresh salt water tank full of Homard Bleu (blue lobsters from the coast of Brittany) and fresh local crabs.

 

An appetizer salad of Coquille St. Jacques (scallops, with their roe), Crevettes (shrimp) and Artichaut (artichoke hearts), Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France--

An appetizer salad of Coquille St. Jacques (scallops, with their roe), Crevettes (shrimp) and Artichaut (artichoke hearts), Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France–

 

Soupe de Poissons (Breton fish soup) with Sauce Rouille, Gruyere cheese and Croûtons, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

Soupe de Poissons (Breton fish soup) with Sauce Rouille, Gruyere cheese and Croûtons, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

 

The intrepid explorer bibbed up for Homard Bleu, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

The intrepid explorer bibbed up for Homard Bleu, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

 

Homard Bleu a la Le Surcouf (Brittany blue lobster prepared by the chef in his style), Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

Homard Bleu a la Le Surcouf (Brittany blue lobster prepared by the chef in his style), Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

 

Local torteau (Breton crab), served cold with homemade mayonnaise, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

Local torteau (Breton crab), served cold with homemade mayonnaise, Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

 

All of our dishes were excellent — and we knew the seafood was fresh, as the waitress showed us the Homard Bleu and torteau after she removed them from the salt water tank at the front of the restaurant.  And our dessert (photograph below) was light, airy and delicious.

 

Our shared dessert was Des îles flottantes (floating islands of meringue with Crème Anglaise), Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France

Our shared dessert was Des îles flottantes (floating islands of meringue with Crème Anglaise), Le Surcouf, Roscoff, Brittany, France