Seafood menu items to try on Jeju Island

We’re in the process of updating our article for Muslim travelers to Jeju Island. Here’s the second of a four-part introduction to Korean cuisine, continuing with delicious seafood options. We’ll have more vegetable & seafood and non-pork items for you in the coming weeks. And as always, please let us know what you think in the comments section below. Thank you!

Jeju specialties

Spicy braised hairtail (galchi jorim 갈치조림): The hairtail is a Jeju specialty and delicacy. It’s got plenty of bones, so beware of that. But the flesh itself is very nutrious. It’s prepared much like the mackerel version with width-wise cuts that are braised in a spicy, salty soy sauce that never overpowers the fish itself. You may find there is kimchi, sliced onions, and potatoes in the mix as well. Fresh lettuce and white cabbage leaves can be used as crispy, refreshing wraps.

Spicy cold fish soup (mulhoe 물회): Mulhoe served on Jeju differs from versions on the mainland in that the ingredients may include uncooked soybean paste and a special fermented barley vinegar. Both of these ingredients were most commonly used on Jeju because they were plentiful and durable on an island that was once relatively barren and harsh. As for the raw fish, you can choose between mitra squid (hanchi), damselfish (jari), and even abalone and tilefish (okdom) among others. The julienned carrots and cucumber really bring a crispness to the meal along with the ice cubes. It’s the perfect dish in summer!


Abalone stew in a hot stone bowl (jeonbok ttukbaegi 전복뚝배기): Abalone grow well in Jeju waters. The haenyeo (Jeju women divers) traditionally harvest them. Cooked together on a bed of rice, the infused abalone flavor is rich and memorable. Unlike the subtler taste of abalone porridge, this might not be a dish for everyone. It’s worth a try, though.

Rice porridge with abalone (jeonbok juk 전복죽): This hearty porridge is made with chopped abalone and (if you’re lucky) served with one or two whole ones on top. Sesame oil and salt finish the flavoring. It’s a comfort food the whole family can enjoy.

Cooked fish

Grilled fish (saengseongui 생선구이): The types of fish often depend on the season, but you’ll find mackerel, cutlass fish, saury and other species generally available. The fish tends to be cut in half and grilled with a simple sprinkling of salt or a light brushing of soy sauce or red pepper paste.

Braised mackerel (godeungeo jorim 고등어조림): Thick slices of mackerel cut width-wise are braised in a spicy, salty soy sauce that never overpowers the delicious flavor of the fish itself. You may find there is kimchi, sliced onions, and potatoes in the mix as well. Fresh lettuce and white cabbage leaves can be used as crispy, refreshing wraps.

Raw fish

Sliced raw fish (saengseonhoe 생선회): Raw fish cuisine is an art. The quality of the tuna, yellowtail, salmon, etc., the temperature of the sliced fish, the skill of the chef, the presentation, all come together with a dab of soy sauce with or without the spicy wasabi radish mince. Living on or visiting an island like Jeju certainly has its perks!

Seafood soups

Noodle soup (kalguksu 칼국수): The “kal” in kalguksu means knife… as the noodles are rolled flour dough that are sliced into thin strips and served with boiled zucchini, potatoes and various seafood options. It’s a surprisingly hearty meal!

Spicy seafood soup (haemultang 해물탕): If you like seafood, then you’ll love the combination of fresh fish, crab, octopus, shrimp, sometimes abalone, and more. It’s spicy, to be sure, but this doesn’t overpower the flavor of the seafood.

Anchovy noodle soup (meolchi guksu 멸치국수): Even a cursory glance at a restaurant menu in Korea and you’ll notice there are a lot of pork dishes. On Jeju Island, pork noodle soup, or gogi guksu, is a classic dish. If you’re not looking for a pork meal, but still are in the mood for noodles, then a great option (often found at pork noodle soup restaurants) is the anchovy version!

Rice dishes

Spicy braised seafood (haemul jjim 해물찜): Mixed in with a spicy red pepper sauce, enjoy large chewy pieces of fresh squid, crab, clams, shrimp and more on a steaming bed of soybean sprouts.

Spicy stir-fried squid with rice (ojingeo deopbap 오징어덮밥): The onions, carrots and red pepper sauce blend beautifully for this marinated squid stir-fry. It’s served with steamed rice and the usual sides.

Stir-fried octopus (nakji bokkeum 낙지볶음): Spicy from the red pepper paste and chopped garlic, the octopus pieces burst with flavor along with cooked carrots, onions, crispy white cabbage, and more.


Banquet noodles (janchi guksu 잔치국수): A savory anchovy broth and a variety of garnishes hold this noodle dish together – one that is commonly served at Korean celebrations.


Seafood and green onion pancake (해물파전): Fresh, long green onions are cut in two and added to a flour mixture that includes chopped squid and clams. It is fried and served with a soy sauce/vinegar dipping sauce. A family favorite.
Seaweed laver (gim 김): Seaweed laver with a light dusting of salt and oil is a favorite addition to white rice. Picking it up with chopsticks, though, takes practice.

Japanese food

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