Seafood Pancake in Dongnae District of Busan

If you are a beginner who just start to learn about Korean food then pajeon is probably one of the very first dishes that you get to try along with other popular dishes such as bulgogi and bibimbap.  Pajeon, or seafood pancake, is one of those classic Korean dishes that is enjoyed by so many. It’s simple, tasty, and has been around for many years.

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Dongnae-style pajeon served on brass plate

History tells that the famous Dongnae Pajeon, a regional style originated from Dongnae district of Busan, was presented on royal dining table back in Joseon Dynasty. It was first introduced to general public in 1930s when the neighbourhood of Dongnae was filled with taverns and bars serving government officials. The popular recipe then spread amongst merchants of Dongrae marketplace where the workers and peasants began to enjoy what was once only presented on royal tables. Continue reading

Must-Do in Busan: Help Yourselves to Fresh Seafood at Millak

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Another trip to Busan where we stayed at Gwangalli Beach

So another friend of mine is visiting from Vancouver and this one also wants to travel to Busan while she is here.  For some reason, my Korean friends from Canada are fascinated by the country’s largest port city and I do not blame them for it.  Most of these Koreans were born in Seoul and moved to Canada when they were little so they never had chance to visit so many places in Korea (just like myself).  However, they have seen and heard stories about how Busan is a big tourist spot and it makes sense that they attempt to squeeze in a short trip to Busan within few weeks of their stay in Korea.

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Street Food of Busan: Spicy Rice Cake at Gukje Market

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During my trip to Busan, I fell in love with the part of the city called Nampo-dong (남포동).  This is where history comes alive with so many traditional markets still thriving.  Markets such as Jagalchi Fish Market, Kangtong Market, and Gukje Market are all crowded with tourists due to their national fame.

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MilChi Sashimi: A Winter Delicacy in Busan

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Milchi sashimi (밀치회) at Jagalchi Market, Busan

Some people do not enjoy raw fish but I, for one, love sashimi.  Back in Canada, I enjoyed raw salmon and tuna but here in Korea the ones that I could get an easy access to are common white fish called wooreok and gwangeo.  Because I live in Daejeon where the nearest sea is about two-hour drive away I guess I was never able to experience exotic, unusual sashimi.  So it was indeed a delightful shock when I found myself in Busan and was faced with a fish called milchi (밀치) – something that I have never heard of in my entire life.

At the famous Jagalchi Fish Market (자갈치시장) in Busan, my friend and I grabbed a seat inside the old building referred to as Sashimi Center.  There is a newer and bigger building nearby that was built for the tourists but I always prefer something more traditional and local.  My friend is visiting from Vancouver but she is originally from Daegu, not too far from Busan.  We both wanted to try some sashimi in a way that locals do so we asked for the “chef’s recommendation”.

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Street Food in Busan: Fish Cake Croquettes at Gukje Market

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Oden Korokke at Gukje Market, Busan

I am currently spending an amazing weekend in Busan.  I have always wanted to revisit the biggest port city in Korea and finally I got a chance to come down here with a friend.  Last time I travelled to Busan was about nine years ago also with a friend from Canada.  Back then I had very little information about the city and we did not get to enjoy it to the fullest due to lack of knowledge.  This time, I have researched famous attractions and built a must-eat checklist for both of us before I threw myself on a KTX train.

As soon as I arrived at Busan Station I took the metro and went a few stations east to Jagalchi Station.  There are number of famous traditional markets within the walking distance of this metro station.  Although it was a Friday I did not expect a crowd on a chilly day in February but I was wrong.  The streets were filled with both tourists and locals proving how popular this part of town is.

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