The first time we tasted king crab, we were instantly in love. (We seem to fall in love with food a lot.) The outrageous prices, though, inhibited us from enjoying the delicacy often. Until… we found the source! Bieung Seafood Market is located at the Gunsan Seawall, about 15-20 minutes from base. The market has tons of vendors all trying to earn your business.
As soon as you enter, a swarm of men and women will pull you in and show off their products: king crab, snow crab, prawns, lobsters… etc. Some will even try to entertain you! We had one man simulate a race between a king crab and giant lobster. His asking price was too high, though. You have to know to hold out until the very last vendor and then go to the lowest price. Koreans like working with rounded numbers, so jumping from ￦213,000 to ￦200,000 isn’t hard.
The first time we went, we got a 5.5 kg king crab for ￦200,000. It’s a lot of money, but it’s also a WHOLE LOTTA crab! Between the three of us, we finally finished the darn thing and was plenty full.
The second time around, king crab wasn’t in season. Prices averaged ￦75,000/kg (compared to ￦36,000 in the summer.) We opted for lobster (￦35,000/kg) and snow crab (￦45,000/kg) instead.
After picking out your crustacean, the vendor sends it upstairs where the restaurants are. They give you a number, you find your restaurant and then you wait. Enjoy some drinks and side dishes while you sit in anticipation. The glory that beholds you when your crab/lobster finally arrive is comparable to seeing your firstborn for the first time. (Ha. Not that I would know, but I imagine it’d be something like that.)
We’re stuck in winter and high king crab prices, but come summer time… boy oh boy!
Korean Name: 비응항
Address: Gunsan Saemangeum Seawall