Project Description

Jagalchi Market

Jagalchi Market is so famous that there is a saying: ‘You might not know Busan but you would know Jagalchi Market’. At the end of the 1930s, this area was reclaimed from the sea after 2 attempts, and before the reclamation, there was so much gravel that its name became ‘Jagalchi’.
The present day Jagalchi Market was renovated into a contemporary building in 2006 in the shape of a seagull. Living up to its name as the melting pot of the world’s biggest fisheries, you will be excited by various seafood and fish, including cod, herring, cutlass fish, shells and seaweeds caught off the shores of the South Sea. In addition, the endless restaurants offering raw fish and BBQ cuisines which can be eaten right on the spot will have you returning home with amazing memories. Furthermore, it is a perfect opportunity for tourists to experience the genuine warmth of Busan people by mingling together with ‘Jagalchi Aunties’, a name that refers to the female merchants. In the 1980s, the Jagalchi Aunties symbolized the women of South Korea for their strong vitality. Just as it is said the Jagalchi Aunties broke the dawn of Busan, it was their contributions that laid the foundation for its economy. In no time, this place has become culturally important to Busan and every October, a Jagalchi Aunties Contest is held during the ‘Jagalchi Culture and Tourism Festival’.

The cuisine of Jagalchi Market, eels

If you are in Jagalchi Market, one of the things that you can’t miss is the ‘eel’. Crispy and homely eel cuisines can be tasted in various places in Busan but out of all of them, Jagalchi Market is the origin of eel cuisine.
There are over 100 restaurants that offer grilled sea eel in Jagalchi market and strangely, majority of them are named after other regions. The reason for it is because Jagalchi Aunties who were refugees in the 1950s started selling grilled sea eel dishes in stalls and then passed down the stores to their children. Strictly speaking, the first-generation Jagalchi Aunties are actually not Busan natives but are natives of Jagalchi. The grilled sea eel dishes are traces of the hardships of Jagalchi Aunties who went through sufferings and poverty during the Korean War.
Sea eels cooked over briquette fire eaten with a cup of Soju is a thumbs-up experience. As it is well known, only South Korea enjoys eating sea eels. It has not been long since Koreans have started eating sea eels. When the refugees started flooding into Busan after the Korean War, people started to turn to sea eels for food. Although this dish reminds people of the era of poverty when food was scarce, the sea eel delicacy eaten with Korean gochujang has become a specialty of Jagalchi Market.
If you’re in Jagalchi Market, you must try the sea eel delicacy!