Warm Yourself Up This Winter with These Delicious and Comforting Korean Soup Dishes

When the wind is cool and damp, roads are blanketed with snow, and frost took over the trees in South Korea, you know it’s time for skiing and ice fishing.

But do you know what else brings joy in this weather especially after a long day of icy outdoor activities? A bowl of hot, flavorful soup you can slurp by the fireplace. If you need some comfort during the chilliest time of the year, here are some of the best Korean soups you can try.



Haejang-guk (Hangover Soup)

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Haejang-guk is popularly known as hangover soup. It is a general term that means “soup to chase a hangover” and refers to all kinds of guk or soup that can be used as hangover cure. The typical ingredients are dried Napa cabbage, vegetables, and meat. Seonjiguk, which has sliced congealed ox blood, and Sundaeguk, made of blood sausage, are two types of Haejang-guk.



Mu Doenjang Guk (Radish Soup)

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The anchovy-dashima stock and Korean soybean paste make the radish soup tasty. Radish is rich in vitamin C and can strengthen one’s immunity, making it a perfect winter food that can keep the flu and cold away. This soup is also low in calories and high in fiber.



Galbitang (Beef Short Rib Soup)

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Relish in this flavorful soup, which is cooked by slowly simmering the beef for about four to five hours. The ribs are sliced into 5-6 cm pieces. Radish and fresh green onions are added. 



Sigeumchi guk (Spinach soup)

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Here’s a refreshing soup made in a clam-based broth. To cook this, mix a small amount of fermented soybean paste and the mild briny flavor of the clams. Starch water can also make this mixture more flavorful.



Dduk Guk/Tteok Guk (Rice Cake Soup) 

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Savor this traditional soup that blends the flavors of rice cake, ground beef, and vegetables like seaweed and onion.  



Kongnamul Guk (Soybean Sprout Soup)

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Vitamin C, protein, B vitamin folate, and fiber are among the nutrients you can get from eating soybean sprout soup. This bowl has the root ends of the sprouts and you may add red chili pepper powder to add some spice. 



Yukgaejang/ Yukgyejang (Spicy Beef Soup)

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Enjoy this delicious classic soup made with beef brisket, bean sprouts, green onions, and gosari (optional). Its broth has Korean chili powder, and you can always adjust the level of spiciness.



Bukeoguk (Dried Pollock Soup)

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Also known as bukeo or hwangtae, Bukeoguk is made with dried pollock. You can get a lot of proteins and amino acids from eating dried pollock. The pollock is sautéed in sesame oil and can be made with scallions and eggs. You can add radish, soybean sprouts, potatoes, or tofu. The soup also releases detoxifying and soothing effects, making it a popular hangover cure in Korea. This is also one of the dishes that former US President Barack Obama tried during his visit in Seoul in 2009. 



Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)

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Miyeok guk is made with dried miyeok, a sea vegetable or edible seaweed. This soup is often eaten by mothers weeks after giving birth because of the nutrients it contains.  



Yeong gye baeksuk (Chicken Soup)

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This healthy soup has cornish game hen or young chicken and is sprinkled with lots of garlic. Garlic is good for the body especially during the cold and flu season. 



Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)

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The quintessential and hearty cold-weather soup you should definitely try in Korea, Samgyetang is made with a whole young chicken cooked in a savory broth infused with the flavors of jujube and ginseng.  


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*Featured image by Luxpho via Shutterstock