Sannakji Is A Live Octopus Dish That May Shock the Most Adventurous Eaters

Photo: © Scott Mcgill / EyeEm

If you're a stickler for fresh sushi and have a flair for the dramatic, you may be in for an unexpected and controversial treat. Sannakji, otherwise known as "wriggling octopus," has been making the Facebook rounds on various YouTube videos for its heebie jeebies-inducing preparation and consumption. This live animal entree, most commonly found in Seoul, features a chopped up baby octopus that is still moving—we repeat, still moving. We'll break it down for you below.

What is Sannakji?

A Korean raw dish, or hoe in Korean, that features a young live octopus cut into small pieces and served immediately. This is not the food to eat after a screening of Finding Dory.

How is Sannakji Prepared?

With a really sharp knife and a fearless chef. Many Korean natives also eat the octopus whole by wrapping it around chopsticks and popping it into their mouths like oversized Tootsie Roll pops.

What does Sannakji Taste Like?

The flavor is extremely mild, but it's the slimy and chewy texture that attracts culinary daredevils. Traditionally, the legs are served with sesame oil and seeds to complement the dish's ocean-fresh aroma. For some heat, add red chili paste (because we're sure that's not going to piss off the moving legs even more).

Where to Find Sannakji

Korean restaurants, both internationally and domestically. You'll have to do some serious research for the latter, but a few New York and LA restaurants have found room for it on their menus. Globetrotters can also venture to Seoul’s famous Noryangjin Fish Market for a quick bite.

How to Eat Sannakji

Very carefully. Approximately six people die each year by choking (those suction cups are not going down without a fight!). Make sure you chew, and chew and chew a little more to ensure that you won't have the most preventable and embarrassing death in human history.

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