Dried pollock soup

Bugeoguk 북어국

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)


  1. Tear each strip of pollock into thin pieces about 2½ inches long, by hand.
  2. 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.bugeoguk (Korean dried pollock soup: 북어국)
  3. Add 6 cups water, radish, and garlic. Cover and cook for 15 to 17 minutes over medium high heat until the radish turns translucent.bugeoguk (Korean dried pollock soup: 북어국)
  4. 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.bugeoguk (Korean dried pollock soup: 북어국)
  5. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the egg is cooked.bugeoguk (Korean dried pollock soup: 북어국)
  6. 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.bugeoguk (Korean dried pollock soup: 북어국)

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  1. docpark US joined 5/10 & has 17 comments

    Just made this for breakfast. It was amazing. Thank you for your work. It reminds me of the time I had gone drinking with my cousins in Korea and sweating out our hangovers with a sauna and some bugeoguk.

    Link to picture here http://fishism.org/2011/01/23/bugeoguk/

  2. delanaly Lawrence, KS joined 8/10 & has 1 comment

    We made this tonight and it is DELICIOUS! I will be taking some to work tomorrow for lunch, too. I love your website, Maangchi, thank you for sharing your recipes!

  3. Marisol Malaysia joined 8/10 & has 8 comments

    I love this soup so much and often cook for my husband and friend all the time.Thanks for sharing this soup with me.

  4. LuccaQ Buffalo,NY joined 6/10 & has 30 comments

    Mmmm so tasty. You’re right the smell in the house while cooking this is great! I don’t like to have my cat in the kitchen while cooking but he won’t leave when I make this! I love radish so I put some extra in. I also love spicy food so sometimes I add green chili at the end or even ground black pepper.

  5. Daryl Namhae, South Korea joined 10/08 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    I love dried pollock soup – I eat it all the time but I just can’t seem to make it well. I know it’s such a simple recipe but it always tastes a bit greasy and flavourless. I keep going back to the packets of instant soup but I really want to make my own – what am I doing wrong?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      “it always tastes a bit greasy and flavourless” no problem!
      When you stir fry dried pollack strips, use less sesame oil,then the soup won’t be greasy. It doesn’t have much flavour? Then add more dried pollack strips.

  6. ellalee NZL joined 6/10 & has 1 comment

    hello maangchi~
    i’m new to your recipes site but i love all your recipes here!
    i’m glad that i found your website =D
    i can cook more yummy food now !
    thank you =)

  7. my mom gave me half of a bag of dried pollack she got today (she uses it as an addition to her chinese stocks) so i’ll be making this in the near future!

    i see you mincing garlic a lot of the time, if not all the time, so let me share a tip with you i learned from Joanne Weir: to mince garlic really finely, first mince it with the back of your knife (i.e. turn your knife upside down), then mince it with the blade of your knife. hope this helps.

  8. chungshine Hinsdale, Illinois joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I love going through your website and making all the delicious dishes. I have a question about cutting radish. While I was watching your recent video for the pollack soup, you mentioned (in text) that you cut the radish and throw the inside part away. Why is that? I usually just cut the entire radish, but I am wondering if the outside is the tastier part. Please explain.

    Thank you so much and looking forward to watching more videos!


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      If your radish is fresh and good, you don’t have to throw away anything. The radish I used for the video was not fresh because I kept it in the fridge for more than 10 days.

      I’m copying and pasting the answer that I gave for my another reader here.
      “Yes, I found the inside of the radish that I used in the video was not good but the outside was ok. I still can use the inside but the texture of radish will turn out bad like chewing sponge if I use it in soup. Outside of the radish was ok, so I used only outside part.”

  9. osk1104 South korea (in kunsan) joined 4/10 & has 4 comments

    hello! maangchi.
    this is seung keun who is from south korea in gunsan.
    how have you been? I have been fine well.
    well, maangchi! actually,I need your help that will be my dream in the future. it is just small things as this connetion each other. I know you have done lots of activities as having special topic for korean foods. I think this is culture in the world. that is why I will give you some kind of information like custom of foods from korea including
    points of each area. I will do this with person who is the expert in korea. I hope you will be more professional and famous in the world.
    I respect you because have done this job that nobody try before.

  10. NachoM Chile! joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    MAANGCHIII! i’ve been following you since the first kimchi recipe.. but ive never signed up.. (little idiot D: lol ) i love your recipes! Im from chile, and sometimes is hard to find some supplies! T__T
    ive just made this niceee soup! yum yum
    hugs from Chile!

  11. Maangchi, I have a question, why do you throw away the middle of the radish in the video? Was the middle of the radish gone bad or should we throw away the middle of the radish when we cooking this dish?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      Yes, I found the inside of the radish that I used in the video was not good but the outside was ok. I still can use the inside but the texture of radish will turn out bad like chewing sponge if I use it in soup. Outside of the radish was ok, so I used only outside part. : )

  12. Brigitte Montreal,Canada joined 1/10 & has 29 comments

    Maangchi,after watching this video,when my parents lived together,I remember now when my mom used to make this for me!Its so good!I think Im gonna make it tomorow and send you the picture:D

  13. korea4me South Korea joined 10/09 & has 54 comments

    I love your hangover story. Very entertaining. LOL xxx

  14. nickaegis Malaysia (currently living in Russia) joined 6/10 & has 1 comment

    Had my dinner with this recipe, and its Yummylicious!
    But, I’m a bit hesitant to say if its the same bugeoguk, thats because I didnt use bugeo, but dried squid instead. After reading this recipe and seeing the video this morning, well, I get a litte excited and rushed to my nearest grocery store to buy all the necessary ingredients, everything was perfect except they run out of radish and didnt have dried pollock. To be honest, I searched for dried pollock at the dried food section for around 20 minutes and then spend around 10 minutes figuring how am I going to make bugeoguk without it. I never had it before, so its kinda hard to imagine substitute. In the end, I took the dried squid and some carrots for radish substitue. During my childhood, I used to call radish as white carrot. All the rest, I follow religiously with an addition of some ginger (I love ginger) and at last, with such wonderful recipe, my soup turned out great! It tasted delicious and I get a hint of wine, like when my mother used to cook crab soup or chicken soup, she always add some cooking wine. Hot soup with rice and some kimchi, mmhmmmmm!
    I believe the original one will taste much much MUCH delicious!

  15. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    I could use some of this soup today :)
    I can’t wait to try this one, I love beef and radish soup and this looks just as easy and delicious.

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