Korean Sashimi: Doing It Raw

Today is my last Friday of 2013 in Korea, so it’s only appropriate that today’s Foodporn Friday post is a fresh catch straight from Korea! Korean sashimi, also called 회 (hway), is something that I’d avoided for over three years, assuming it to be a chewy, tentacled affair using fish that look like penises and smell little better than a Rafflesia plant.


Oh how wrong I was. Korean sashimi is a classy affair that my friend Dana and I were able to indulge on on the first night of our trip to the southern coast. You know, the trip where I was wowed by Suncheon Bay’s natural beauty and where I may have been temporarily possessed by a health-nut demon and voluntarily went hiking in Geumodo.


Korean sashimi

Doing it raw with Korean sashimi – but no need for a health check up afterwards.


Dana and I chowed down on Korean sashimi in a restaurant near Yeosu’s ferry terminal. Not a cheap affair, the bill for two hungry people runs to about 70,000 won. Our meal included not only a big plate of various kinds of Korean sashimi, but also mussels (we got a free refill, but that’s not to be expected), and then maeuntang (매운탕) after we finished the sashimi.


Korean sashimi on leaf

Korean sashimi, chili pepper paste and fresh veggies. Roll it in a ball, and it’s a party in your mouth!


The lady who ran the restaurant loved that I could speak Korean but Dana, who is ethnically Asian but very much American, was relying on me to translate as she spoke to him. She ate dinner with her husband and adult daughter on the table across from us, and instructed them to keep an eye on us to make sure that we had everything we needed. Cue lots of freebies that the other customers in the restaurant didn’t get, like the aforementioned mussels, and some extra sashimi.


Korean sashimi aww yeah

With the food you’re presented with is this good, cheesy posing is obligatory.


Korean sashimi feast

A fabulously fishy feast.


As Yeosu is a coastal city, the Korean sashimi that you find there is super fresh. Fish were taken out of a tank and sliced up just feet away from us. The various kinds of fish were all delicately flavoured, and when paired with soy sauce, wasabi, a kind of paste made from chilies, and the fresh, crispy vegetables served up at the table, an absolute delight. If you’re looking for a Korean sashimi restaurant in Yeosu, look around the harbour and see if you can find 남면횟집 (Nammyeon Hwayt-jip). The phone number is 061-665-7022. It’d be best to go with a Korean speaker, as the family that runs it don’t speak a lick of English. The exact address is 전라남도 여수시 교동 496 (Jeollanam-do, Yeosu-si, Gyodong 496).


Korean sashimi restaurant Yeosu

The Korean sashimi restaurant of glory in Yeosu. Love the owners here!


I wish that it hadn’t taken me three years to take the plunge and try Korean sashimi for the first time, although I’m glad that I did it in style in Yeosu. Maybe it’s a good thing that I discovered my love for Korean sashimi with only one month remaining in South Korea, given that it would no doubt develop into quite an expensive habit. My stomach and taste buds may be regretting my late epiphany of my love of Korean sashimi, but my wallet is certainly breathing a sigh of relief.


So there you have it, folks! Now, I want to hear from you! Have you ever tried Korean sashimi before? Or, have you tried raw fish from any other countries? Does it look like something you’d give a go? Let us know in the comments below, or shout out on Facebook or Twitter.

15 Responses to Korean Sashimi: Doing It Raw

  1. Erica says:

    OMG I LOVE SASHIMI. I want it. NAO.
    Erica just posted Win a Trip to Mexico!My Profile

    • IT’S SO GOOD! I was so surprised by how good the stuff here in Korea is. I don’t think I’d ever eat it in a city not by the coast, though. Needs to be by the seaside to make sure it’s super fresh!

  2. Wow looks like you had a feast and were treated like celebs!I I have yet to try raw fish but hopefully when I finally get to Japan I will have the real deal! Nice post Tom and the best of luck and fn on your impending travels!

    TomarHawk Tom just posted Foodporn Friday: ‘Variety Is The Spice Of Life’… Tasty Indian Fare – Part 6My Profile

  3. Scarlett says:

    Glad you enjoyed… although I can totally see why you left it so long – those TENTACLES. I just couldn’t get past them I don’t think xx
    Scarlett just posted Rupaul’s Drag Race: The Drinking GameMy Profile

  4. DomHyo says:

    It’s 3am and I’m hungry and this looks good. I was introduced to it last year and it was delicious!
    DomHyo just posted Episode #5My Profile

    • Glad that you like it, too! I don’t know what I was scared of. I always avoided the restaurants – glad I did in a way, as they’re much more expensive than good ole’ samgyeopsal!

  5. Aryn says:

    I’ve only had Korean food once and that was when I went to NYC. Even though I love Japanese and Chinese food I didn’t really care for Korean. Maybe I’ll have to go to Korea and try some authentic stuff!
    Aryn just posted Weekly Wonder: Socks in the LouvreMy Profile

  6. Maria says:

    Sounds like you’re part of the family now!
    Fantastic experience so glad you were open to it and I’m sure the fact that you spoke Korean helped to foster all that goodwill .
    Maria just posted Catch and ReleaseMy Profile

  7. George says:

    Korean sashimi? I’ve never heard before. Maybe because I have japanese background and I’ve been eating raw fish since I was born, lol. 😀
    I know that in Korean you can have live octopus. It that right? Have you ever tried? I don’t think I’d have the guts to do it, you know?

    • Yes, you can try live octopus and no, I never have! I hate squid and octopus. Plus, several people die every year from eating it, because they don’t chew it enough before they swallow, and the suckers on the tentacles stick to their throats and choke them. Bleargh!

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