Jonathon Gold on Seoul’s Noryangjin Marine Products Market

Jonathon Gold delivers his first piece for Gourmet on Seoul’s Noryangjin Marine Products Market:

A yawning structure in central Seoul, as large as several football stadiums laid end to end, it’s crammed snout-to-elbow with exotic sea creatures from every conceivable aquatic locale: acres of stingrays aligned precisely as roof tiles; gilt lengths of ribbonfish; regiments of pike; oceans of halibut; endless trays of pickled clams; and more kinds of jacks and mackerels and anchovies than could be identified with a libraryful of reference books...

There is a big auction area on the second floor of the 24-hour market, but almost all of the downstairs stalls are prepared to slice any one of their fish into sashimi for you on the spot—or better yet, to put your purchases into plastic bags and point you toward one of the cavelike seafood restaurants that line the north end of the complex, where they will serve up your sashimi in the traditional Korean style with sesame leaves, bean paste, sliced chiles, and raw garlic, and transform the rest of the creature into a seething cauldron of spicy, bright-red fish soup.

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