Sunday, December 13, 2009
Quick and Easy Winter Soup - Bukeo Guk (Dried Pollack Soup)
On a cold winter day, nothing beats a bowl of hot soup for a satisfying meal. Made with dried pollack (bukeo), this soup is full of unique flavor while it is easy to make. It can be made simply with bukeo, eggs and scallions, or expanded slightly to include Korean radish (or potatoes), bean sprouts, and/or dubu (tofu). Despite the simplicity of the dish, bukeo guk (with tofu) was one of the elaborate menu items served to President Obama at his luncheon with the South Korean President, Lee Myong-bak, during his recent visit to Seoul. Warm up with a bowl of bukeo guk and experience the same delicious soup President Obama enjoyed.
3 oz dried pollack strips - 1 cup soaked (sold in any Korean market)
1 small potato (or equal amount of Korean radish)
6 oz tofu (dubu)
1 egg lightly beaten
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce (preferably soy sauce made for soup - gukganjang)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups water (including the water used to soak the pollack)
Rinse and soak the dried pollack strips in warm water for about 20 minutes and tear into bite sizes (1 - 2 inches). Lightly squeeze out water from the soaked pollack.
Cut the potato in half lengthwise and slice into thin (1/4-inch thick) half-moon shapes. Cut tofu into 1/2 inch thick bite-size pieces. Cut the scallions into 1-inch lengths.
In a medium pot, sauté the pollack in the sesame oil (about 3-4 minutes), seasoning with a pinch of salt. (If using Korean radish, sauté it with the pollack.)
Add the water and soy sauce to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, tofu, and garlic to the pot and boil for 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Be careful not to overcook the potato.
Add the scallions and drizzle the lightly beaten egg over the boiling soup. Turn the heat off as soon as the scallions are slightly wilted. Serve with a bowl of rice and kimchi.