Spicy fish soup

Maeuntang 매운탕

4 servings. Total cooking hours: 1-1½ hours.


a red snapper (25 cm long), 4 clams, 4 large shrimp, Korean radish, 2 shiitake mushrooms, water, dried kelp,
minari (water dropwort), enoki mushroom, ssukgat (edible chrysanthemum), green onions, green chili pepper, red chili pepper,
cooking wine, garlic, onion, ginger, hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, salt


Make stock first!

  1. Soak 2 shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 3-4 hours and cut them into bite size in length.
  2. Soak 4-5 clams in cold salty water (2 cups of cold water +1 tbs salt) for at least 3-4 hours and wash them and set them aside.
  3. Cut  radish thinly into about 3×4 cm size, 0.2-0.3 cm in thickness.
  4. Place the sliced radish (about 1 cup), the pieces of mushroom, and some kelp in a pot.
  5. Pour 6-7 cups of water into the pot and boil it over high heat for 20 minutes.

Make maeuntang sauce:

  1. Place 7 cloves galic, ½ medium size onion, ½ tbs ginger, 2 tbs cooking wine (or soju), 2 tbs hot pepper flakes, 1 tbs hot pepper paste, 2 tbs fish sauce in the food processor and grind it for about 1 minute.
  2. Set it aside.

Prepare  fish:

  1. Put a red snapper on a cutting board and clean out guts, remove scales and fins. Wash it in cold water, cut it into chunks, and set it aside.
    *tip: to save time, you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you
  2. Prepare 4 large shrimp: remove the heads and intestines, wash them, and set aside.

Prepare vegetables:

  1. Clean ssukgat (edible chrysanthemum) and cut it into 7 cm long pieces.
  2. Clean minari (water dropwort) and cut it into 7 cm long pieces.
  3. Cut out the bottom part of enoki mushrooms and wash and split them.
  4. Slice some green onions, 1 green chili pepper, 1 red chili pepper,
  5. After boiling stock for 20 minutes, open the lid of the pot and take out kelp.
  6. Place chunks of the fish, shrimp, clams in the boiling stock.
  7. Add the maeuntang hot sauce and boil it all over medium heat for 30 minutes.
    *tip: It might boil over from time to time. Open the lid and remove the floating foam from the top and then close the lid halfway
  8. Add ½ ts of salt, enoki mushrooms, minari (water dropwort) and ssukgat (garland chrysanthemum), green chili pepper, red chili pepper, and boil a few more minutes before serving.

Your maeuntang is done!

Put some fish soup in a bowl for each person and provide each person with a bowl to collect fish bones and serve with rice and other side dishes.




  1. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 175 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    My husband and I (both German) just love Korean food and culture, and our Korean isn’t to bad (his talking, my cooking ;-)).

    I really like your site (just prepared yeolmu kimchi today).

    I do wonder – why do you cook your fish that long?
    Whenever I prepare maeuntang or haemulchongol, I heat it all up until the fish and seafood (and dubu) are just done – that takes only a few minutes.

    Luckily, there is an excellent store for fresh fish and seafood nearby!

    Bye, sanne.

  2. JChim Australia joined 4/14 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi
    I’m interested in 매운탕.
    Just want to ask that any recommendation to subsitute red snapper
    because red snapper is a kind of expensive fish.
    Thank you

  3. Rodhatte Copenhagen-Denmark joined 12/13 & has 6 comments

    I have made this recipe three times now, with whatever fish, that was on offer at the store (after asking the guy behind the counter, what he would recommend for use in a soup). I make him filet the fish but keep the bones and the fish head, and just remove them along with the kelp.

    TIP! -Kelp (kobu) is a bit expencive here, so I DO NOT throw the kelp away! There’s still some good taste left in it!!! Instead I put it in the fridge and boil it again the next day or the day after, along with a small handful of dried anchovies, and a couple of dried shiitake mushrooms. Then I remove the anchovies and kelp. In the end, I add some doenjang or japanese miso along with whatever vegetables I happen to have in the kitchen that day. The mushrooms, I chop into small strips and add back in the soup.

    PS! -Thank you for doing this site. I’ve followed along on youtube for quite some time, and done a few of the recipes (mostly this one, and you kimchi recipes, that are much better than any other I have found on the net)… I’m very happy to FINALLY have come by your site as well… It is a very good site, and everything is so well maintained. I love it!

  4. kfishing United States joined 9/12 & has 4 comments

    Loved this soup! The broth was so good and had many layers of flavor!
    The only thing I changed was i didn’t add shrimp i added squid that I cleaned myself! If turned out so so good! Also i just wanted to share that in my grocery store the Ssukgat was called Crown Daisy.
    Thank You Maangchi!

  5. Kachie520 Vancouver, Canada joined 6/12 & has 5 comments

    I’ve just finished making this soup. It tastes great! I used the red snapper fillet instead of a whole fish, so it was very easy to make. Thank you, Maangchi! I love your recipe!!

  6. janicedale Australia joined 2/12 & has 16 comments

    This is a perfect recipe for me since I love spices. This recipe is also a healthy food because it contains fish, vegetables and other spices. We can actually add some oyster or other seafood. Thank you for sharing this recipe and I would love to share this to my family.Hope they would like spices too.

  7. ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09 & has 45 comments

    can I skip the cooking wine?

  8. mchung83 chicago joined 3/12 & has 1 comment

    Who needs to get married!??!? I have maangchi.com!

  9. Redrose Cheongju city south korea joined 2/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi I’m Rose, filipina and have a Korean husband! I’m happy to learn with your recipes it’s very easy to learn and my husband like my cook. I have a question I’d like to cook this meountang but I don’t have blender wat will I do to make the sauce of maeuntang and I dont have kelp! Please help me tnx keep up the good work

  10. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Made this soup for dinner , it was delicious !!! I replaced minari with spinach and enoki mushroom with button mushroom . Everything turned out really good , we really enjoyed this soup , thank you Maangchi !!

  11. funnymouse1412 joined 2/11 & has 1 comment

    I made this last Wednesday, and it was banging…will def make this delicious dish again …Thanks so much (I cooked without kelp so dont know what it tastes like with it ^^)

  12. imcwistene joined 11/10 & has 1 comment

    hi Maangchi unni,
    i live in the caribbean so i doubt i can find ssukgat and minari…can i sub those items with something else? maybe with celery and parsley? i don’t know…i really want to make this dish but i’m not sure if its possible without those herbs?

  13. tastesofhome joined 11/10 & has 10 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Just wanted to say thanks for your maeuntang recipe – my family really loved the soup although I did adapt your recipe according to availability of some of the ingredients but it still turned out great :) I also featured it on my blog since it was so yummy! (photos of the soup I made at link)


    Hope I did your recipe justice!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,216 comments

      yay, your maeuntang looks so delicious! “.. Gochujang is essentially made of red chilli powder, glutinous rice powder mixed with powdered fermented soybeans and salt.” It sounds like you know a lot about Korean cuisine! Let me twit about your maeuntang blog! : )

      • tastesofhome joined 11/10 & has 10 comments

        Maangchi, thanks so much for your encouraging words! I just have been doing some research on Korean cuisine (reading/ internet and of of course your blog!) hehe I can’t wait to try out more of your recipes. Thanks again :)

  14. hellokitty08 joined 5/10 & has 35 comments

    Hello Maangchi. I LOVE your site. I love spicy food but my husband does not like spicy food. So I wanted to know if there is a way I can make this non spicy?? Thank you.

  15. annak727 los angeles/milano joined 6/10 & has 2 comments

    unni, when u get a chance, can you maybe add the recipe for the spicy crab soup (kot-gae-tang)? Do u use a similar sauce as maeuntang? thank u! ^^Y

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