Don't Eat Jellyfish in Korea

25 Nov 2008
Posted by Jordan
Jordan's picture

An email we got today from Matthew:

Forgot to say this before... I guess that this is mostly for Marisa, since I couldn't dissuade Jordan, but here goes anyway:

Don't eat jellyfish.

(In my case, I had no idea what it was---it was whitish, translucent, stringy, and sort of viscous-looking, but that description applied to half of the things on the table, and I assumed that like the others it was some kind of plant starch or obscure vegetable or fruit or even ginseng with something funny done to it. But it was actually jellyfish.)

Um. In Korea it's only considered good if it still stings.


So don't eat it.

(Intentionally burning yourself with spicy foods is odd enough to me, but intentionally stinging yourself with jellyfish poison? No matter how mild the poison is, this seems weird.)


PS: The Koreans told me that it was a Japanese dish. That's true, but I have never ever heard of the Japanese leaving bits of the tentacles in so that it stings you... they just spice it with miso and stuff.

I'm not kidding here. In Korea, don't eat jellyfish.


I seem to have unintentionally annexed this blog. My apologies.

Yet another comment from

Yet another comment from "Matthew". So I take it your not going to try Fugu with me in Japan?

the gauntlet has been thrown down - the jellyfish challenge

Well, Jordan, I guess Matthew has thrown the gauntlet, issuing you a cultural (TCK) challenge. I assume that you will rise to the occasion (much as you did when eating the demon icore that Matthew gave you, which nearly destroyed your digestive system)...

In fact, when I visit Korea in the spring (in sha'allah), I may rise to the challenge myself...

I think you're right, Doug.

I think you're right, Doug. That totally sounds like one of those things that no matter how bad someone says it is, and despite the fact that you believe them, part of you (or part of me, at any rate) just screams, "But I MUST!"


@Matt: Hah, triple-post wonder! Anyway... no, I most certainly am planning to eat fugu with you. Even if we get one of really hoity-toity chefs who leaves some of the poison in the fish, it shouldn't be as unpleasant as the jellyfish. Fugu poison causes numbness (and mild tingling like your mouth's fallen asleep); jellyfish poison causes painful stinging.

@Others: I'm not sure where one would go to intentionally get jellyfish here. in my case some Koreans took me to a high-class restaurant and they happened to put it on the table. (The Koreans didn't eat it.) Since it's a side dish I'm not really sure if you can order it or request it; at most traditional Korean restaurants you go in, ask for a meal, and eat what they give you.

Annexation and Such

@Matthew #1: If you're not going to have your own blog, well, your emails might just end up on ours. Is that a threat? Hm... take it as you will. Tongue out

Swimming Jelly

I'd just like to add that I feel no need to prove anything and therefore won't be eating jellyfish. I can think of few things I like less than jellyfish. Where are their brains? They're like swimming jelly.