Given Busan’s proximity to the sea, it’s no wonder that its citizens have grown up eating seafood. Often, the fish is eaten entirely raw.
Korean raw fish, known as hoe (pronounced hwae), is different from Japanese sashimi in that it is consumed immediately after the fish is killed, whereas sashimi is left to first ripen. The most popular fish used for hoe are red seabream, flatfish, rockfish, gray mullet, along with gizzard in autumn and flounder in spring.
Hoe restaurants usually provide you with accompanying soy sauce and wasabi (from the Japanese style), gochujang (red chili pepper paste) with vinegar and doenjang (soybean paste) with sesame oil. Koreans typically eat hoe with the gochujang and vinegar, but the real Busan flavor is to mix the gochujang and doenjang together.
Regardless of your choice, the sauces and pastes are there to enhance the flavor. Of course, you will get more than enough side dishes, like sea squirts, sea cucumbers, vegetables, nuts and jeon (griddle cake made by frying a mix of ingredients in oil with wheat flour).
Millak Hoe Town is a live fish market and restaurant area located at the eastern end of Gwangalli Beach that operates around 120 hoe restaurants.
Since 1989, these restaurants have become the go-to place for those seeking raw fish in Busan. On the ground floor is the live fish market. You can choose the fish that you want and take it up to a restaurant or eat it outside since Hoe Town is close to Millak Waterside Park.
How to get there: Gwangan Station (Metro line 2), exit 3. Go straight along with the main street and turn left at the beach.