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Cooking With Bwog: Dried Pollack Soup

Today’s Cooking with Bwog is dried pollack soup, or bukgeoguk, a Korean recipe by yours truly, EIC Youngweon Lee. It’s good for hangovers and as a comforting lunch. 

Hangover cure soups are a big part of Korean cuisine, and I love eating them for lunch, whether I’m hungover or not. There isn’t one special recipe for hangover soups; they’re just piping hot, packed with nutrients, and good for your body and soul. Dried pollack soup is one typical hangover soup with a simple, quick recipe. Serve with rice to heal your tired body.

Ingredients

  • Dried pollack (sold at HMart – put as much as you want)
  • Sesame oil
  • Bean sprouts (about a handful)
  • Korean radish (or daikon – just a little bit)
  • Soy sauce or fish sauce
  • Salt
  • Green onion or scallion
  • Salted fermented shrimp (saeujeot – optional, sold at HMart)
  • Minced garlic (optional)
  • Tofu (optional)
  • Egg (optional)
  • Hot pepper (optional)
  • Rice water (optional – this refers to the water you washed your rice in)

Cut the radish into small, thin slices and the tofu into blocks. Chop the green onion or scallion and the hot pepper. Tear up the dried pollack into bite-sized pieces and lightly rinse it under running water for a few seconds. Heat up your pot, put some sesame oil in it, and sautée the pollack and radish well. Add the rice water (or regular water, if you don’t have rice water) and soy sauce (or fish sauce), minced garlic, and saeujeot (if you have some) to taste. When it starts boiling, add bean sprouts, tofu, and hot pepper. Add salt to taste if it’s bland. If you want an egg in it, beat one and add it in. Let it boil a little bit, add the chopped green onions or scallion, and serve with rice.

For your information, I used normal Kikkoman soy sauce (the kind they have at Ferris), but it’s better if you use fish sauce or Korean soup soy sauce (guk-ganjang). I added minced garlic just because, but the original recipe I referred to didn’t use garlic. I did include some tofu, but no egg. I added one small hot pepper because I wanted my soup to be spicy, but leave it out if you don’t want spicy soup. The original recipe didn’t include it. The rice water has starch and nutrients from the rice and makes your soup taste better, apparently, but the original recipe used plain water. The only things you really need in this are the dried pollack, Korean radish, and bean sprouts.

Dried pollack soup via Youngweon Lee

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