[Home Cooking] Gulguk (Oyster soup)

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : Feb 25, 2017 - 02:10
  • Updated : Feb 25, 2017 - 02:10
Oysters are in season, and they are great in soups. This oyster soup is simple, refreshingly clear, and incredibly briny.

The recipe uses two main ingredients -- oysters and radish. The oysters impart a strong briny flavor, so you don’t need to use a flavorful broth such as anchovy broth as a soup base. I simply add a small piece of dried kelp (dashima) to boost umami, and use salt to season to highlight the briny flavor of oysters. You can use a little bit of soup soy sauce if you want.

The radish makes the soup even more refreshing. Napa cabbage and soybean sprouts (kongnamul) can be good additions as well. You can even add some tofu if you want to make the soup a bit more substantial. 

Gulguk (Oyster soup) (Korean Bapsang)


300 grams shucked oysters

400 grams Korean radish (mu)

1 scallion

1 small piece dried kelp, dashima (about a 7-centimeter square)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt and pepper

Clean the oysters by gently swishing around in salted water. Drain. Rinse again in clean water and drain again.

Cut the radish into thin, bite size pieces (about 3-centimeter square). Thinly slice the scallions crosswise.

Add 6 cups of water, the radish and dried kelp to a medium size pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium high, and cook until the radish is softened, about 5 minutes.

Remove the kelp, and drop the oysters in. Add the garlic, and season with salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper. Cook for another minute after the soup comes to a boil again, removing the scum. Do not overcook oysters. Add the scallions right before turning off the heat.

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