Daegu Tang/Jiri (Mild Cod Fish Stew)

If you think all Korean stews are spicy and pungent, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The other day, my husband mentioned that we hadn’t had a fish stew for a while, and I instantly thought of this delicate stew made with cod fish, daegu. I love its subtle yet deep flavor! Cod fish is mild-flavored and has white flaky flesh. It’s a very popular choice for Korean fish stews. There are two distinct types of stew made with cod fish – spicy (daegu maeuntang) and mild (daegu jiri). Both dishes can be found at most Korean restaurants. Typically, anchovy stock is used for this dish to add depth to the stew. The broth should be light to highlight the natural taste of the fresh fish. Of course, the fish must be very fresh! Often, a couple of clams or shrimp are thrown in to add another layer of flavor to the broth. The main vegetables used in this dish are napa cabbage and white radish. You only need a little bit for this dish, so if you have to buy a whole cabbage and radish, use the leftovers for other dishes such as baechu guk and mu guk or namul. This stew is very refreshing and satisfying! It’s undoubtedly healthy as well. We always enjoy it. Hope you do too!

2 servings 
Ingredients:
1 pound cod fish (preferably steaks)

2 little neck clams
6 ounces tofu
1 or 2 leaves napa cabbage
2 ounces Korean radish
1 thin ginger slice
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
a handful of watercress or crown daisy leaves (ssukgat)
1 ounce enoki mushrooms (optional)
1 or 2 scallions
a slice of lemon (optional)
salt and pepper      

3 cups anchovy broth (Anchovy Stock II)

(You can also use soybean sprouts, zucchini, chile pepper, and/or shiitaki mushrooms.)

Clean the fish and clams.Clean the vegetables. Cut the cabbage and radish into bite sizes. Thinly slice the scallions.Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick small pieces.(The tofu is inadvertently omitted in this photo.)

Add the broth to a medium size pot along with the cabbage, radish, ginger, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Cook until the vegetables turn soft, about 3 minutes.

Drop in the fish, clams and tofu. When it comes to a boil again, reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the clams are open and the fish is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. (Do not overcook. The fish will continue to cook in the boiling hot broth while being served and eaten.)

Add the watercress or crown daisy leaves, enoki mushrooms, and scallions. Turn the heat off. Serve piping hot with the optional lemon slice on top.

Comments

  1. The soup looks very light and healthy! I love the addition of the lemon slice and I hope I can try this soon. The cod fish (called “tara” fish here) is also common for nabe (hot soup) in Japan, but I never see the lemon addition. Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish, Hyosun!

  2. I really like stews of all kinds and I can just imagine the amazing, deep flavour here. So fresh! So healthy!

  3. This soup looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. Come to think of it, I feel that way every time I read one of your post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love Anchovy broth, and this fish stew must be so delicious. I like how simple it is. It warms me up in this cold day! This is a beautiful bowl of stew, Hyosun!

  5. That looks beautiful! I must try this!

  6. This mild cod fish stew sounds like a wonderful dish. Thanks for this post.

  7. Hi Hyosun – that does look delicious, and mild … it’s always a good sign when the predominant colour in a dish isn’t “flame red” :D Looks just bursting with wonderful ingredients, and the lovely bit of watercress on top for a bit of peppery kick – perfect! :)

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  9. Looks really delicious, Hyosun! I love anchovy stock as it is so tasty and the stock can be made so easily. This is just the kind of dish to eat on a cold day.

  10. This looks so good! I was actually looking for a dongtae guk recipe (using fresh fish, not the dried)…. I swear my mom used to make it but I couldn’t find anything online. I was wondering if I’m just imagining it or maybe it was daegu and not dongtae?

    • Hi Soyon – Thanks! There is such a thing, called dongtae guk (or jjigae) made with fresh pollack. You can use the cooking method in this recipe to make guk (soup). Simply use more liquid and add some kongnamul and/or fully fermented kimchi. My favorite is dongtae jjigae with some kimchi in it. Hope this helps!

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