Home‎ > ‎Meet the Dishes‎ > ‎

About Soups and Stews

Miyeok Guk ~ 미역국

A soup made from a type of seaweed called wakame, miyeok guk is traditionally eaten on birthdays because Koreans believe it will bring good fortune for the rest of the year.  The dish is also typically eaten by women who have given birth to a child because of the soup's rich iodine and nutrient content.  Miyeok guk is made by soaking dried wakame in water.  The soaked seaweed is then cooked in stock made with sauteed beef, water, sesame oil, and soy sauce.  In some regions of Korea that are situated near the ocean, beef is substituted with mussels or whitefish to make the stock.

Go to Miyeok Guk Recipe.

Tteok Guk ~ 떡국

Traditionally eaten on the morning of the New Year, tteokmandu guk consists of broth and thinly sliced tteok
Other ingredients commonly added to tteokmandu guk include sliced cooked egg, marinated meat (usually beef), dumplings, and dried seaweed.  Beef brisket is boiled for hours to make the stock, which is later strained to produce a clarified broth.  Long sticks of rice cake are sliced diagonally and boiled in the beef broth along with dumplings.  The dish is eaten on New Year's because it is believed to grant an additional year of life and bring good luck for the coming year.  As families gather for the New Year's celebration, older adults traditionally give their blessings, usually in the form of money and good wishes for the forthcoming year, to the children, who in turn perform a ceremonial bow of respect called sebae.

Go to Tteok Guk Recipe.

Maeuntang ~ 매운탕

is a hot, spicy fish soup made with gochujang, gochugaru, and a variety of vegetables.  The main ingredient is fresh or saltwater fish cut into several pieces.  Ground beef and green vegetables, such as watercress and garland chrysanthemum, are also added to the dish along with onions, radish, chilies, crown daisy, garlic, zucchini, and bean curd.  The soup is then seasoned with gochugaru, garlic, soy sauce, and additional gochujang.  Popular fish used in making maeuntang include red snapper, sea bass, yellow corvina, codfish, croakers, pollacks, carp, and trout.  Additional shellfish, such as crabs, clams, and oysters, may be added to this soup.

Go to Maeuntang Recipe.

Samgyetang ~ 삼계탕

is a chicken ginseng soup that consists of a whole young chicken stuffed with glutinous rice and boiled in a broth of Korean ginseng, dried jujube fruits, garlic, and ginger.  This dish is traditionally served in the summer for its supposed nutrients, which replace those lost through sweating and physical exertion during the hot summers in Korea.  Just as chicken soup is thought to cure common colds in the West, Koreans believe samgyetang heals physical ailments and prevents illness.  This dish combines proteins, minerals, and hormones from the whole chicken with the beneficial properties of ginseng, ginger, jujube, and garlic.  Whole, uncut ingredients supposedly maximize the nutrient content.

Go to Samgyetang Recipe.

Seolleongtang ~ 설렁탕

Made from cow soup bones, seolleongtang is a soup simply seasoned with salt, welsh onions, and ground black pepper.  This dish is typically cooked over a period of several hours to an entire day to allow the soup to gradually extract flavor from the bones.  Seolleongtang is normally eaten with rice, which may be added directly to the soup.

Go to Seolleongtang Recipe.

Doenjang Jjigae ~ 된장찌개

A variety of Korean stew, doenjang jjigae is prepared with doenjang  along with  vegetables, mushroom, seafood, and tofu.  Common vegetables used in making doenjang jjigae are zucchini, onions, and scallions.  It is regarded as one of the representative dishes of commoners' food in Korea.

Go to Doenjang Jjigae Recipe.

Kimchi Jjigae ~ 김치찌개

Another variety of Korean stew, kimchi jjigae is made with kimchi, scallions, onions, and diced tofu along with either pork or seafood.  This dish is cooked in Korean homes using older, more fermented kimchi to create a stronger taste and richer flavor.  Increased fermentation also leads to higher amounts of healthy bacteria in the kimchi.  Like most Korean dishes, kimchi jjigae is eaten communally from the center of the table.  It is cooked and served in a stone pot, which keeps the stew boiling hot.

Go to Kimchi Jjigae Recipe.

Sundubu Jjigae ~ 순두부 찌개

Sundubu jjigae is a hot, spicy stew made with tofu, seafood, vegetables, mushroom, onion, green onion, and either gochujang or gochugaru.  A raw egg is added to the boiling stew right before eating.  Sundubu jjigae is typically served with a bowl of cooked white rice.

Go to Sundubu Jjigae Recipe.

Back to Meet the Dishes.

Grace Kim
18 May 2009