Korean hangover soups
Known for their hard-drinking culture, Koreans are no strangers to intense hangovers. To beat their fatigue, Koreans rely on hangover soups, also known as haejang-guk.
People of all age-groups enjoy haejang-guks, and ahjussi are not the only ones who enjoy them. Here are 8 Korean hangover soups you should try to beat your soju-induced headaches.
1. Beef short rib soup – galbitang
It’s one of the go-to Korean hangover soups as its delicately clean taste is the perfect remedy for grogginess, and it has hearty ingredients that will help nourish your liver.
Here’s how to make a hearty bowl of galbitang:
Video credit: 백종원의 요리비책 Paik’s Cuisine
2. Ox blood hangover soup – seonji haejang-guk
Image credit: @kim_jongkwon_
Seonji haejang-guk is a stew that features congealed ox blood, which is similar to black pudding but may not sound the most appetising to most people.
Its rich taste is an acquired one, and it isn’t universally welcome even in Korea. However, it’s a popular choice among many middle aged men as the congealed blood’s soft and smooth texture glides down the gullet easily.
Image credit: @batrachoi
You can add some noodles or rice for a more filling meal, and the hearty ingredients will warm you up and ensure that you are well-nourished.
Watch this video to learn more about seonji haejang-guk.
Video credit: Olive
3. Napa cabbage soup – ugeoji-guk
Image credit: @hoho_mom2
Ugeoji-guk is a thin and light soup made with the outer leaves of napa cabbage, and it comprises simple ingredients so you can easily make it at home.
The other ingredients can include beef slices and bean sprouts as they go well with the sweet taste of the soup.
Follow this simple recipe to recreate ugeoji-guk on your own:
Video credit: 심방골주부 Korean Food Recipes
4. Bean sprout soup – kongnamul-guk
Image adapted from: @jachigirl_table
Kongnamul-guk is a classic Korean hangover soup as it is easy to prepare and is light enough for breakfast.
It’s frequently eaten in Korean homes, and it isn’t just used for curing hangovers.
It can be made with any type of broth such as beef or anchovy, or simply water.
If you’re more inclined towards food with stronger flavours, add some gochugaru (red chilli pepper flakes) for a spicy kick.
Image adapted from: @thanks_my_mate
Check out this recipe for kongnamul-guk so you can have it at home:
Video credit: 백종원의 요리비책 Paik’s Cuisine
5. Pufferfish soup – bok-guk
Bok-guk is a hot, brothy soup with pufferfish as its main ingredient.
Some restaurants don’t remove the eyes and the scales of the fish, so don’t be surprised if you see them poking through the surface of the soup.
Most restaurants will offer the soup in two different versions: maeuntang (spicy soup) and jiri (clear non-spicy soup), so you can opt for either based on your preference.
Bok-guk is especially popular in the port city of Busan, and there are many restaurants that specialise in them.
Here’s a video of a pufferfish soup mukbang to get your stomach rumbling:
Video credit: 이홍렬TV
6. Pork spine soup – bbyeo haejang-guk
Image credit: @tazo_pictures
Bbyeo haejang-guk is a rich and spicy soup piled high with tender chunks of pork that fall off the bone.
The piping hot broth has a nutty fragrance, with spices that will whisk your headache away and ensure that you are ready to conquer your day.
You can simply have it with a bowl of rice as the rich flavour of this soup needs no other supplement.
Check out this video of Yoo Jae-seok and Cho Sae-ho enjoying some bbyeo haejang-guk.
Video credit: tvN D ENT
7. Golden freshwater clam soup – jaecheop-guk
This soup may be a hard pass for those with a burning hatred of chives and green onions – you’re missing out.
Jaecheop-guk is a clear soup made by boiling small golden freshwater clams and simply seasoned with salt.
Although it only consists of a few ingredients, this soup is packed with the natural flavour of sweet golden clams.
Golden clams are also rich in taurine, an organic compound known to help reduce liver damage.
8. Dried pollock soup – bugeo-guk
Image credit: @gurasanniki
Bugeo-guk is a soup made with dried pollock, which is a rich source of proteins and amino acids and has detoxifying and soothing effects.
It’s a simple soup enjoyed by people of all ages, not just folks with hangovers, and you can add ingredients such as eggs and cucumber to complement the light flavours.
Fun fact: even though the dish is simple, bugeo-guk was one of the menu items served to President Obama at his lunch with South Korean President Lee Myong-bak during his visit to Seoul in 2009.
Here is a simple bugeo-guk recipe you can follow:
Video credit: 쿡피아 Cookpia
Korean hangover soups to wash away your soju blues
After indulging in soju or makgeolli, these piping hot Korean hangover soups will come to the rescue, rid you of your soju sins, and instantly rejuvenate you – or at the very least, it’ll fill your belly and keep you going till your hangover passes.
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- 8 Weirdest Korean foods
- 12 Traditional Korean foods
- 8 Korean convenience store recipies