Spicy raw fish soup

Mulhoe 물회

When I stayed in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, I was very excited to be able to buy fresh fish on the beach every morning. The fish sold from fishermen’s boats were so fresh that some were still alive! I bought tuna and Spanish mackerel.

I decided to make mulhoe, something that I had been longing to make for many years but couldn’t, simply because I couldn’t find extremely fresh fish where I live. My dream came true once I saw the fish in Mexico.


I wanted to share this delicious special food with my new friends that I made there. I asked my friend Bob:

“Do you like raw fish? If so, I would like to invite you to brunch!”

He said: “Does a fish like water?” : )

I’ve always believed  food is more delicious when it’s shared with many people. The more, the better, especially any dish with raw fish. I wouldn’t like to chew raw fish alone by myself in a dark room. It already sounds miserable!

When I came home to New York, I made mulhoe again with top quality hoe (sashimi) grade tuna from the freezer section of a Korean grocery store. It turned out great! The photos below are from the day I made mulhoe in New York.

To fully enjoy this dish, I recommend you make it with noodles: set out small bowls for everyone and let them serve themselves. They should put  some spicy cold mulhoe in their bowl and add cooked thin noodles. The soup should be freezing cold and the taste is supposed to be spicy, sour, and a little sweet. You can use more or less hot pepper paste, sugar, or vinegar in this recipe, according to your taste.

Anybody who loves ceviche will love this dish. When you serve this with noodles, it will make a nice simple meal. Enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

1 pound of fresh fish (or frozen sashimi grade fish), hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, sugar, salt, vinegar, onion, garlic, lettuce, tomato, green chili peppers, roasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, water, and thin noodles.


  1. Slice 1 pound of fresh fish into thin strips ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long (about 0.5 cm wide and 6 cm long) and keep it in the refrigerator.
  2. Put 10 cups of water into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. When the water boils 15-20 minutes later, add 200 grams of thin noodles (somyeon). Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
  4. Cook the noodles with the lid closed for a few minutes.
  5. Taste a sample. The noodle shouldn’t have anything hard inside, but it shouldn’t be mushy.
  6. When the noodles are finished, drain and rinse them in cold water a couple of times until they’re cold and a little chewy. Drain them and set aside.

Make the cold broth:

  1. In a bowl, mix 4-5 cloves minced garlic, ¼ cup hot pepper paste, 2 tbs hot pepper flakes, 2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs kosher salt, ¼ cup vinegar, 2 tbs sesame oil, and 2 tbs roasted sesame seeds powder. Mix with a spoon.
  2. Thinly slice ½ cup’s worth of onion and ¼ cup’s worth of carrot. Slice 1 tomato, chop 3-4 green chili peppers and 2 cups’ worth of chopped lettuce, and add to the broth.
  3. Add 2 cups of ice cold water. Mix well then set aside.
    *tip: If you want to add ice cubes, use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of ice cubes.
  4. Add fish strips to the broth and mix well.
  5. Serve with the cooked noodles.




  1. medusagurlyeah Adelaide joined 1/14
    Posted April 29th, 2014 at 1:22 am | # |

    hi Maangchi,

    Can you please make Raw Squid Salad next time?

  2. jenlee216 Chicago joined 9/13
    Posted September 23rd, 2013 at 2:32 pm | # |

    OH MY GOSH you were in Puerto Escondido?! I was there last month and I fell in love. Is this Playa Angelito? I remember I had a lot of seafood there and since I lived in South Korea, I miss good, fresh seafood. (I live in Chicago now) but thanks for the video! I just need to find some fresh raw fish somehow…
    How did you like Puerto Escondido? Did everyone think you were Japanese? That happened to me a couple of times.

  3. esthercheah Malaysia joined 8/11
    Posted October 2nd, 2012 at 10:28 pm | # |

    Hihi! My friend and I will be traveling to Seoul and Jeju this November. Since we’ll be staying in homestays, I am wondering if I can pay back such generosity with some local Malaysian cooking. I intend to use Spanish Mackerel to make some fish cake yong tou foo style for repay my hosts. Do you mind if I ask what Spanish Mackerel is called in Korean? I intend to leave ‘Ahjumma’ out of my brains altogether and just go with “Agasshi, *spanish mackerel’ issoyeo?”

    Thank you for your great great tips!

  4. ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09
    Posted April 9th, 2012 at 8:07 am | # |

    Hai Maangchi,

    can I use hairtail fish?

  5. Dvalucard usa joined 8/11
    Posted August 26th, 2011 at 4:08 am | # |

    i love food!!!
    im glad i found ur website.

  6. oksipak California joined 1/11
    Posted March 20th, 2011 at 6:18 pm | # |

    Who’s the photographer of your food? This recipe and photos look very inviting! We lost our docks in the harbor during the recent Tsunami (March 11, 2011) so there will be no more fresh fish at the docks. However, I think I’m going to entice my husband with lots of Mandu so he will go fishing and catch fresh fish to make this particular recipe. ;)

    It must be a treat to have tourists try your recipes? LUCKY TOURISTS! :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 22nd, 2011 at 9:34 am | # |

      Your husband must be a big fan of your mandu! I’m looking forward to your mulhoe feedback. I take my food photos.

  7. peonygirl portland, oregon joined 8/09
    Posted March 19th, 2011 at 1:27 pm | # |

    I used to travel in Mexico alot with my family!! You make me miss it- now I want to go to Puerto Escondido!
    I noticed you used fresh lettuce and tomatoes and the water from the faucet. Is it considered safe to use the water and produce in Mexico now? Sometimes we used to get sooo sick from the water being contaminated.
    You are so adventuresome Maangchi. I love it!
    P.S. My 6 year old daughter thinks you like a teen ager- ha!ha!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 20th, 2011 at 7:12 am | # |

      “Is it considered safe to use the water and produce in Mexico now?..” Maybe I was lucky? I had no problem with the water. I always drink bottled water when I travel.
      “My 6 year old daughter thinks you like a teen ager” lol, thanks!

  8. Chris K. Germany, Aachen joined 1/11
    Posted March 18th, 2011 at 6:53 pm | # |

    Oh Maangchi!! :D This trip to Mexico was AWE-SOME right? :D I can see that you had sooo much fun :) I wish I was with you :D sorry if my english is bad today I got a very hard Work ;) .
    I will do this recipe with my Honey ^^ he is impressed about you and your cooking skill with fish! :D
    You`re such a good person :) .
    Hugs and greetz from germany :))

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 19th, 2011 at 1:31 am | # |

      Thank you Chris! I hope your mulhoe turns out very delicious!

  9. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11
    Posted March 18th, 2011 at 6:43 pm | # |

    I can’t wait to try this! I think it is very interesting that this recipe uses lettuce which is also used in hoedupbap (my most favorite Korean dinner).

  10. soko2usa Minnesota joined 4/09
    Posted March 18th, 2011 at 3:55 pm | # |

    Wow, now that looks like Korean gazpacho!

    Thank you for your videos!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 19th, 2011 at 1:32 am | # |

      yeah, you are right. Korean style gazpacho with raw fish! : )

  11. vb38 joined 7/10
    Posted March 18th, 2011 at 1:03 pm | # |

    Give me fresh fish ANYTIME of the day! That looks SUPER YUMILICIOUS!!!!! What can be better than cold, spicy, fish soup on a hot humid day!??!!!

Leave a Reply