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
    Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 11:38 am | # |

    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
    Posted April 21st, 2014 at 5:06 am | # |

    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
    Posted December 18th, 2013 at 8:32 pm | # |

    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!

    • Rodhatte Copenhagen-Denmark joined 12/13
      Posted December 18th, 2013 at 8:38 pm | # |

      PPS, I meant KOMBU not kobu.

  4. kfishing United States joined 9/12
    Posted September 11th, 2012 at 10:03 pm | # |

    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
    Posted June 3rd, 2012 at 1:08 am | # |

    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!!

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