Winter in Korea can be rough. Especially recently, the temperatures have been constantly below 0 here. This is the perfect time of the year to get familiar with the endless soup and stew variety that Korea has to offer.
Here are the best Korean stews and soups to survive a long and bitter cold winter.
Uhmook tang (어묵탕), Fish cake soup
This soup is one of the most popular street foods during winter and even throughout the entire year. The combination of the soft fish cakes on a stick in a flavorful broth paired with other vegetables. The fish cakes vary in size and shape from flat slices to round balls. These cakes are also found in ddeokbokki (떡볶이) or by themselves as a typical “anju”, drinking food.
Dongtae jjigae (동태찌개), Pollock stew
If you’re not familiar with pollock, it’s a type of fish similar to cod, which is the main ingredient of this deliciousness in a bowl. Korean Jjigae stews are a flavorful experience with many ingredients melting together in the pot: radish, green onion, tofu, bean sprouts and anchovies. Crown daisy (쑥갓) creates a herbal flavor that is especially soothing on a cold winter night.
Tteokguk (떡국), Rice cake soup
This soup variety is traditionally eaten for Lunar New Year in Korea. It is made of the broth and thin rice cakes. It is said to bring good look for the new year when it is eaten during New Year’s. It is usually served with eggs, thin slices of meat, and dried seaweed.
Galbitang (갈비탕), Beef ribs soup
If you are looking for a meaty treat, this soup is your winner! It is made from beef short ribs and stewing beef, as well as onions and many other ingredients. This soup dates back to table settings for Korean royals at court from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and has been popular ever since. It is also often served at wedding ceremonies.
Sundubu Jjigae (순두부찌개), Uncurdled Tofu Stew
One of my favorites of all time, and not only in winter: sundubu jjigae! This delicious stew consists of uncurdled tofu, many vegetables, including mushrooms and onions. There are even varieties with seafood (oysters mussels, clams, or shrimp) and optional meat! However, no matter which type you try, you will always taste the gochujang (chili paste) and gochu garu (chili powder). A raw egg is oftentimes poured on top of the jjigae right before serving it.