Wednesday, November 4, 2020

[Food] Muneo (문어, Octopus)


[Food] Muneo (문어, Octopus)

Octopus is the symbol of a villain in western culture but it's a symbol of high expense and taste in Korean culture. Due to its boneless, eight-legged and countless sucking discs, you may think octopus is disgusting, but you may change your mind after tasting fresh octopus :)

Octopus lives in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. The smallest octopus grows less than 3cm while the biggest kind of octopus (Giant Pacific Octopus) grows as large as 10m and weighs 272kg. This interesting 'cephalopod' is very clever; as smart as a dog (according to some ichthyologist), and is a master of camouflage.

Nevertheless, octopus is a very delicious seafood to Koreans. Koreans prefer octopus to be parboiled to give a tender, chewy and fresh taste which is a contrast to squid or calamari. Octopus is usually caught in the East Sea with Yeongju city in Gyeongbuk province being the most famous city for octopus. There are so many shops and restaurants that sell fresh or parboiled octopus in Yeongju Central Market :)

It may feel slimy and slippery in your mouth, but it will surprise you as you slowly chew it. I didn't like octopus either, but now I'm very fond of it after first tasting parboiled octopus a few years ago :)

If you can find any edible and affordable octopus in your market, take it home and parboil it :) Slice them into thin pieces, with soy sauce, vinegar or sour and spicy sauce (e.g. sriracha sauce) :) Enjoy.

Bon Appétit!

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