Sannakji (sliced raw octopus) is the exotic Korean food non-Koreans want to try most, according to a recent Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) survey.
From Nov. 23-29, the KTO conducted a poll of 944 members of Facebook and Weibo posting in English, Japanese and Chinese on the exotic Korean food they want to try most. Releasing the results on Dec. 24, the KTO said sannakji earned the most votes with 26 percent.
In a distant second was ganjang gejang (raw crab marinated in soy sauce) with 14.6 percent and a close third was the blood sausage sundae, which is made by boiling or steaming pig or cow intestines stuffed with various ingredients, with 14.2 percent. Rounding out the top six on the list were hongeo (fermented skate) with 10.3 percent, yukhoe (Korean raw beef) with 7.7 percent and cheonggukjang (fermented soybean paste stew) with 6.7 percent.
By language, most English-speaking respondents preferred ganjang gejang, sannakji and cheonggukjang. The Japanese surveyed preferred hongeo, sundae and sannakji, while the Chinese chose sannakji, ganjang gejang and sundae.
The purpose of the survey was not only to promote popular Korean foods including bibimbap and bulgogi but also highlight exotic and lesser-known Korean culinary gems.
“Many exotic Korean foods piquing foreign interest have become known through TV programs and YouTube,” said Je Sang-won, a manager at the KTO’s Global Content Division, adding that the tourism body will soon promote restaurants where people can visit and taste such foods.