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The Best Korean Savory Soups


Soup is an integral part of Korean cuisine and can be served and eaten at every meal of the day. They can enjoyed as the main course, a side dish, a post-barbecue tummy soother, or even a snack. If I could choose my last meal on earth, it would definitely include a Korean soup or a stew.

1. Stuffed Chicken Soup with Ginseng (Sam Gae Tang)

Korean Stuffed Chicken Soup with ginseng (Sam Gae Tang) is a delicious, fragrant soup that is surprisingly easy to make. In Korea, it is sometimes made as a restorative when people are sick or weak like chicken soup is used in the West, but it's more traditionally eaten and enjoyed during the summer months. Koreans like to drink hot soup or stews during the summer months in an effort to fight the heat with heat.

2. Ox Bone Soup (Seollangtang)

Naomi Imatome

A milky white soup made of long-simmered ox leg bones, seollangtang is a Korean soup that is easy to make but requires a lot of time. I usually simmer my seollangtang for at least 8 hours, but it's thick and best if you can simmer it for 10 hours. The aroma of seollangtang (or sulung tang) is rich and meaty, and the broth sticks to the roof of your mouth.

You can just serve it with rice and kimchi, or you can make it with radish and add sliced brisket meat and noodles. Seollangtang is usually served almost bland, so that each person can add their own amount of salt, pepper, and scallions.

3. Korean Rice Cake Soup (Duk Gook)

Korean Rice Cake Soup
Naomi Imatome
Korean Duk Gook, a soup filled with soft Korean rice cakes (Dduk), is always eaten on New Year's Day. Soothing and simple, it takes less than 30 minutes if you use pre-made or store-bought broth. It's also common to add dumplings and/or sliced beef to the soup for a heartier dish.

4. Korean Bean Sprout Soup (Kongnamul Gook)

Korean bean sprout soup, which is both cheap and easy to make, has a light and refreshing flavor. Healthy, full of vitamin C, and low in calories, it's also supposed to be good for hangovers. Add a splash of red pepper flakes (kochukaru) and it's great for colds as well.

5. Spicy Beef Soup (Yukaejang)

Naomi Imatome
Yuk Gae Jang is a hearty Korean soup that warms you from your lips to your toes. Full of meat and vegetables, it's fiery red, bold, and spicy. Yuk Gae Jang is a one-pot meal that requires very little hands-on time but tastes like you've spent all day making it.

6. Spinach Clam Soup Recipe (Jogae Sigumchi Gook)

Naomi Imatome
This simple spinach soup is an easy recipe of homey comfort. Jogae Sigumchi Gook (jogae kuk) takes less than thirty minutes, but it's delicious, flavorful, and full of nutrients and vitamins.

7. Seaweed Soup (Miyuk gook)

Known as the “birthday soup” in Korea, seaweed soup is also given to post-partum mothers recovering from childbirth. Naturally low in calories and fat and high in calcium, iron, and protein, it is a light and healthy soup good for any meal of the day.

8. Korean Cabbage Soup Recipe (Baechu Gook)

Korean Cabbage Soup (Baechu Gook)
Naomi Imatome
This cabbage soup is not often found in restaurants but is a staple in Korean households. Healthy, low-fat, and rich in nutrients and vitamins, Baechu Gook is Korean comfort food and is especially popular in the winter months.

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