Looking for an easy and delicious way to spice up your next meal? Try making Korean mussel soup – Honghap Tang! Made with fresh mussels, green onions, garlic and salt, this light and refreshing dish is popular in Korea, especially as a side dish to Korean alcohol, soju. Follow the steps below to make your own delicious Korean mussel soup.
What is Korean clam chowder?
Mussels are a type of shellfish commonly used in Korean cuisine, especially in clam soup or clam stew. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, but they do take some effort to clean. In those periods between late autumn and early spring, you can enjoy the tastiest mussels in Korean soup.
Korean mussel soup (Honghap-Tang, 홍합탕) is light and refreshing. It is best known for its rich and flavorful milky broth. To make the mussel soup, fresh mussels are cooked with green onions, sliced garlic and salt in water. This dish is one of the most popular side dishes with Korean alcohol, soju.
My best cooking tips
Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for perfect Korean mussel soup.
- You have to buy mussels with shells to make the stock and the soup. Frozen mussels, especially without shells, don’t work quite the same way in this recipe. The mussels I bought are below – fresh blue mussels from a seafood restaurant.
- One of the highlights of Korean mussel soup is its pure taste. To achieve this, mussels must be thoroughly washed, including removing the beards to preserve the flavor. More tips on cleaning follow in the post below.
- Use chopped garlic instead of minced garlic. You could also use a disposable filter bag to arrange all your aromatic vegetables in such a way that you can easily throw them away once all the flavor has come out. This will help make the soup clear and smooth to swallow.
- If you want to make the soup spicy, add some chopped chillies at the end. But don’t use Thai peppers, because the flavor profile doesn’t go well with this soup. Korean Cheongyang chili pepper (청양고추) would suit best. That said, I personally prefer this soup without chili so that I can enjoy the mild, refreshing taste of the soup. Peppers can change the flavor profile quite a bit, even with a small amount.
As I mentioned before, cleaning mussels is the most important step in making delicious, clean-tasting soup. Read on for my suggestions.
1. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from broken shells. Place the mussels in a large bowl and run cold water over them. Discard any broken or cracked shells and rinse the mussels well.
2. Use another mussel shell under running water to scrub the mussel shells of any dirt or seaweed. Be careful not to break the shells by applying too much pressure while scrubbing. If there are byssus threads (known as beards), grab them tightly and pull them toward the shell hinge until they come out.
3. Place all cleaned mussels in a new bowl and rinse again with cold running water.
If you have fresh mussels that have already been cleaned following the steps above, but you don’t need them for this soup, I recommend steaming them and then freezing them in a vacuum bag. They are best used within 2 to 3 months.
Then I sometimes add these to my instant ramen noodles to further flesh out the flavor, and it goes wonderfully. You can also add other dishes of your choice.
Other Korean Soup Recipes You May Like
Traditionally, bowls of soup and stew have been a staple of Korean cuisine. They are usually served with every meal, so there is an abundance of this type of food. Try some of the most popular Korean soup recipes below!
Ingredients for Korean Mussel Soup
- 1 kg peeled mussels, cleaned
- 1 green onion, white part
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 7 cups of water
- 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tsp fine salt
- (Optional) chillies, green or red, thinly sliced and seeded, for garnish
* 1 tablet = 15 ml, 1 cup = 250 ml
How do you make Korean mussel soup?
1. In a large saucepan, add the mussels, green onions, garlic cloves, and water. Cook over medium heat until the mussels are fully cooked. (Clams will open their shells when done. It should take 10 to 15 minutes. Discard any that didn’t open.) Skim off any foam that forms.
2. Remove the green onion and garlic from the soup and add the white vinegar and salt.
3. Garnish the soup with chili peppers (optional) and serve with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes. You can also serve this as a drinking snack with soju.
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- In a large saucepan, add the mussels, green onions, garlic cloves, and water. Cook over medium heat until the mussels are fully cooked. (Mussels will open their shells when ready. It should take 10 to 15 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened.) Skim off any foam that forms
- Remove the green onion and garlic from the soup and add the white vinegar and salt.
- Garnish the soup with chili peppers (optional) and serve with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes. You can also serve this as a drinking snack with soju.
Calories: 112 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Protein : 15g | Thick : 3g | Saturated fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated fat: 1 g | cholesterol: 36 mg | Sodium: 967 mg | Potassium: 419 mg | Fiber : 0.1g | Sugar: 0.1 g |Vitamin A: 234 IU | Vitamin C : 11mg | Calcium : 50mg | Iron : 5mg
The nutritional information shown is an estimate from an online nutritional calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.