Bugeoguk known as Korean ‘hangover’ soup
My computer fried a few weeks ago. It took some time to get a new one, learn its intricacies, and get back to writing.
A friend gave me a bag of Asian ingredients. Her daughter took up Korean cooking, then, switched gears and took up Indian cooking. She had this bag of goodies sitting around.
I fished through all the goodies. I came across a package of dried shredded pollock. I did some research and discovered it was used for various dishes and side dishes in Korean cooking. It is a staple in Korean cuisine because it is cheap protein.
I did some research for recipes and came across Bugeoguk, dried pollock soup. It is called hangover soup.
On one Korean-American cooking site, there was a saying. “If mama makes pollock soup in the morning, papa happy all day.” It referred, I guess, to papa waking up with a hangover, eating the soup, and feeling like a new man.
The soup is relatively easy to make. Prep is quick. Hydrating the pollock, slicing and dicing the other ingredients. After that, the soup takes about one-half hour to cook.
I did encounter one problem. One of the ingredients is daikon radish. My grocery store does not carry it. I was too lazy to walk one mile to the Asian markets in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. I had to look up substitutions. I came up with turnip and/or parsnip. I used one of each.
I found various recipes that included other root vegetables and potatoes. It appears this soup is made from whatever ingredients are available at the time.
I did add one ingredient. I like spicy soups. I added two thin sliced long hot green peppers to the soup for a kick. Jalapenos or any other hot pepper will do if you like heat.
2-3 ounces of shredded dried pollock, available in Asian markets
1 tbsp. sesame oil
4-6 cloves of garlic or to taste
1 medium size daikon radish or two or three other root vegetables and/or potatoes
1 or 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 or 2 splashes of fish sauce
2 long hot green peppers or one large Jalapeno
2 beaten large eggs
Fresh ground black pepper
In a large bowl hydrate the pollock in six cups of water. This should take about 30-45 minutes.
Drain the fish, reserving the water.
Chop the fish into bite sized pieces.
Over high heat add sesame seed oil to a medium sized pot.
Add the garlic.
Add the fish and saute for about 30 seconds.
Add the vegetables, season with salt and pepper. Stir for about one minute.
Pour the water into the pot and bring to a boil.
Add the soy and fish sauces.
Cover partially and let boil for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Beat the eggs thoroughly so the are light and fluffy.
Lower the heat and pour the eggs.
Let them set just a bit, then stir.
Garnish with scallion and more peppers if you like. Let the hot soup sit for a few minutes to soften the garnish.
Serve alone or with a side of rice and/or other pickled or spicy side dishes like kimchi.