bburi trip: Sorae Port, Incheon

Hi! Sonja here. Seoyoung and I both live in Seoul, which has its own great fish market, but this day we decided to head 45 minutes westward to Sorae Port (소래포구) in Incheon. Sorae Port is known for its shallow inlet that brings small boats directly to the docks for super fresh catches, and their fish market edges right up against the docks.

Our goal for the day: Clams! And sajogae in particular (read more here). The saejogae are out in full force today, piled up in tanks all around the market. There’s a kind of pearly pinkness to them that almost looks like a faint blush. I wonder if they’re feeling a little shy, but then a clam yawns and sticks its giant tongue out at us. (메롱~)

Saejogae: egg cockles, or bird clams

Sorae Port is crowded and bustling. We meet a 70-year-old grandmother and Seoyoung buys some dried fish from her. We see stacks of dried gim, a kind of seaweed, and Seoyoung buys a bagful. We see an interesting kind of crustacean, and Seoyoung buys a bag of those (did I mention that Seoyoung likes shopping at markets?). Finally, we buy a mixed bag of several kinds of clams from a particularly helpful (or enterprising) ajumma who walks us to a restaurant where we can grill our bivalves on the spot. I love that about fish markets—there are always restaurants a few steps away so you can eat your seafood on the spot.

Once they’re cooked, there’s no need for marinade or dipping sauces—these clams are juicy and full of oceany, sweet flavor. Some of them we do wrap with ssamjang and perilla leaves, others we eat straightaway. (By the way, a tip for clam grilling I learned the hard way: don’t keep the shells on too long, because some of them will POP, scattering shell bits everywhere.)

The saejogae is the small pink-hued clam on the bottom left
Can you spot the saejogae? (answer in the alt text ^^)


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