Saturday, 24 March 2012

Seoul Trip 2012: Bogeo (복어)

Our travels in Seoul have actually opened our eyes to the world of Korean cuisine. We have eaten so many Korean delicacies and dishes that we were quite sure nothing would ever be able to blow our minds. We just did not know how wrong we could be.

Speaking of blow, have you heard about something called the blowfish? Well, it's also known as the puffer fish and more popularly known by its Japanese name 'fugu'.

'Fugu' sounds like the sound it makes when it blows up. *fugufugufugu*

Well, in Korea, it's known as the 'bogeo' (복어). Now, you may have heard many things about eating puffer fish, and how it's incredibly poisonous and that you are one bite away from killing yourself. These are fears which any normal person would have, so it wasn't weird that all of us Buggers had the same fears.

Hello, I want to kill you today.

So I have no idea what led us to push open the door to a cozy little restaurant which specializes in bogeo. It wasn't like we didn't have a choice. There was another restaurant which had good Korean BBQ just opposite the road. But we forged ahead still.

We must have looked like a right bunch of foreigners because when we sat down, we couldn't order anything. Even Marcus, with all his 'Korean', didn't know what to order. So imagine this scenario. Sitting down in a restaurant in the middle of Seoul, preparing to order a dish which may just be our last meal. And we didn't know what we were ordering.

How could we? The menu looked like this!

 Looking at the pictures didn't help much because any one of these dishes can be fatal.

Don't even start.

Luckily a nice man, who was himself eating the bogeo, helped us out. Add in a stranger who was helping you order a dish that was potentially fatal and you have the plot to every Hong Kong movie ever produced.

So when the 'bokguk' (복국), which is basically a puffer fish soup (HEAVENS! They even made soup from it!) came, we were initially very terrified.

But the lady boss of the restaurant was very nice to us. She taught us how to properly wrap the bogeo up with rice and seaweed slices, add in different condiments and how to pray that the person who was cleaning the puffer fish was in a good mood that day.


The steaming bowl of bokguk.

That was probably what we were doing the whole time.

ECF praying before putting the bogeo in his mouth.

The conclusion, bogeo is really delicious. It actually tastes a lot like chicken, y'know, if chicken could accidentally kill you within 10 minutes of eating it. Most of what makes the bogeo so delicious is probably due to the fact that you could just be eating your last meal. Every bite could potentially be your last.

Could this be our last bite?

So like us, you would fully savor the taste and flavor of every bite. The seaweed and the rice (which came at no additional cost because the lady boss was very, very nice to us) as well as the kimchi gave it an additional flavor as well.

Here we are eating our bogeo praying very hard that we won't die.

Of course, the fact that we can post this blog post up means that we survived eating bogeo. But we aren't really considered daredevils because the real puffer fish eaters have to actually sign a lease form which places the liability of them dying solely on themselves and not the cooks. We didn't have to sign anything which actually makes us wusses. But, eating something so potentially dangerous like the puffer fish is probably one of the highlights of our Korea trip.


I actually want more bogeo.



  1. I enjoy reading your blog.



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