Bugeoguk: Korean Pollack Soup

bugeoguk

My mother-in-law introduced me to dried pollock, a type of dried fish used commonly in Korean cooking. She initially told me that I could just cook the fish along with some carrots and onions. I tried doing that but the soup wasn’t as flavorful as she described. I decided to make something the Koreans would make. Bugeoguk is known as a “hangover soup” in Korea.

The ingredients are fairly simple and the soup doesn’t take too long to make. I chose this recipe because it uses an anchovy and kelp stock. Some recipes just use plain water but from prior cooking experience, I’ve found that using stocks as a base for clear soups is very crucial. The second time I made this, I gave some to a Korean friend to taste. She said it does taste authentic, so at least I’m on the right track. I would highly suggest watching the YouTube video of this recipe (link below).

Bugeoguk (Dried Pollack Soup)

(taken and adapted from here)

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the anchovy broth:

  • 10 dried anchovies
  • 1 piece dried kelp (about 2×2 inches)
  • 5 cups water (1.5 litres)

For the soup:

  • 5 cups anchovy broth
  • 40g dried pollock, shredded (rinse in water and pat dry)
  • 100g Korean white radish, wash, peel and cut into thin squares
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 block of soft/medium firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 stalk spring/green onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Korean soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. To prepare the broth: Heat heavy bottom pot and add anchovies. Dry fry for about 3 minutes. Then add water and kelp. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove kelp and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Remove anchovies and set broth aside.
  4. To make the soup: Heat heavy-bottom pot and add sesame oil. Add pollock and radish, fry for about a minute.
  5. Add the broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the tofu, green onions and garlic. Boil for another minute.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce.
  8. Drizzle beaten egg over soup, stir gently and boil till egg is cooked.
  9. Turn off heat and serve with rice.
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