Bugeoguk is a delicious, savory, satisfying soup made with dried pollock. The best dried pollock is dried by the wind from the sea, which is called Hwangtae (황태). The fish are caught in the cold wintertime and hung out to dry. The fish dries out in the brisk ocean breeze and as the temperatures change from daytime to nighttime they freeze and thaw out the fish over and over. When it’s finally fully dried it has a unique texture that’s both flaky and spongy.
We use this fish in many dishes, but among all the recipes made with dried pollock, this soup is the most common and eaten in Koreans’ everyday meals. It’s considered to be a soup with a lot of health benefits that can boost your energy, is anti-toxic, anti-diabetes, anti-cancer, can beat high cholesterol and cure your hangover.
If you make this soup early in the morning for your husband or wife who is suffering from a severe hangover, you will get lots of credit.
“Hey, here’s some soup for you! Have some and be yourself again, for God’s sake!”
Ingredients (for 2 servings)
- 2 ounces (60 grams) shredded dried pollock
- 8 ounces peeled Korean radish or daikon, sliced thinly into bite size pieces
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or salt to your taste)
- 5 ounces of medium firm tofu (about 1 cup), cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 green onions, cut diagonally into bite size pieces
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Tear each strip of pollock into thin pieces about 2½ inches long, by hand.
- Heat up a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the pollock and toasted sesame oil and stir 2 to 3 minutes with a wooden spoon until the pollock turns light brown and fragrant.
- Add 6 cups water, radish, and garlic. Cover and cook for 15 to 17 minutes over medium high heat until the radish turns translucent.
- Stir in fish sauce and taste the soup. Add a little bit salt to your taste if you like. Add the tofu and green onion and gently pour the beaten egg into the boiling soup. Pour the egg all over the soup but don’t mix in in. Let it cook on top so we get strands and chunks of cooked egg.
- Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the egg is cooked.
- Remove from the heat and stir. Ladle soup into serving bowls and serve right away with rice, kimchi, and more side dishes if you desire.