The origins of nakji bokkeum date back to the 19th century, where octopus was either consumed raw, dried, or pan-fried. Dishes such as nakjisukhoe (leached octopus) and nakjibaeksuk (boiled octopus) were served during the 20th century, with octopus being consumed more frequently and proven to have health benefits, dishes with octopus were being developed such as yeonpotang (pellucid octopus soup) and nakji-bibimbap (mixed rice with octopus and vegetables).
Granny Park Mu-Sun is believed to be the creator of the dish, which was nicknamed as Mugyo-Dong. She first revealed the dish at a tavern at Korean Export Insurance Corporation in Seorin-dong, Seoul in 1965. Soon, restaurants adopted the dish and because of the large demand of the dish, she opened a branch named Nakji Center in 1972.
In Korea, nakji bokkeum is served spicy so people usually eat shellfish soup with it to reduce the sensation of hotness. Mugyo-dong in Seoul has been famous for its delicious nakji bokkeum restaurants since the 1960s.