Koreans enjoy broth dishes for almost every meal, and there are a variety of broth dishes in Korean cuisine. Guk is cooked with enough liquid to fully immerse all solid ingredients. Tang is a soup variation that is cooked by simmering the main ingredient for a long period of time. Jjigae is less watery, seasoned much stronger than soups, and is often served in a stone pot. And jeongol is served in a wide and shallow pot with seasoned meat or seafood and other ingredients nicely arranged. Jeongol is cooked right on the table with broth being added as necessary.
GOOD FOR EVERYDAY MEALS AS WELL AS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Doenjangjjigae (soybean paste stew) and kimchijjigae (kimchi stew) are typical broth dishes Koreans enjoy almost every day. These are Korean “soul foods” much loved for their deep and savory flavors. Soybean paste and kimchi are the representatives of traditional fermented foods that are very well known for their great taste and nutritional properties. While soybean paste stew or kimchi stew can be considered common dishes good for everyday meals, meat and seafood based fancier dishes like jeongol are great for special occasions, or for inviting guests.
A BOWLFUL OF FLAVOR, HEALTH AND WARMTH
The mixture of healthy ingredients make Korean broth dishes a nutritional treat. On a long and exhausting day, Koreans usually fuel up with a bowl of seolleongtang (ox bone soup) which is made by simmering beef and bones for over a day to bring out the best flavors and nutrients which are known to help digestion. On hot summer days, samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup), which is made by stuffing a whole chicken with ginseng, garlic, sticky rice and other healthy ingredients and simmering, is a great way to beat the heat. There are also special soups for special days. Miyeokguk (seaweed soup) is also known as “birthday soup” and is usually served for breakfast on a person’s birthday. And on the first day of a new year, usually lunar new year, tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup) will be on the table to wish the best of luck and fortune for the year.