Gulguk (Oyster Soup)

Gulguk (Oyster soup)
Oysters (gul, 굴) are widely used in Korean cuisine. They are delicious with bossam, and in so many other dishes such as jjigae, hot pot, pajeon, rice, kimchi, musaengchae, etc. Oysters take these dishes to the next level of flavor. Oysters are also great in soups! Although there are many minor variations, Korean oyster soups (gulguk, 굴국) are simple, refreshingly clear, and incredibly briny!

Due to their high nutritional value, oysters are often called “the milk of the sea”. They contain several essential vitamins and minerals including protein, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and zinc. See more.

In Korea, fresh oysters are plentiful and relatively inexpensive, especially during the cold months when oysters are in season. Around here, fresh oysters are quite pricey and sometimes hard to find. I usually get jarred oysters in the refrigerated section of grocery stores, or sometimes resort to frozen ones in Korean markets.

Interestingly, according to this photo essay by Bloomberg, The World of Oysters: How South Korea’s Sea Farms Feed Global Appetites, Korea is the World’s second largest exporter of oysters. Be sure to check out the essay. The photos are amazing!

Gulguk (Oyster Soup)

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