Monday, September 15, 2014

Maeuntang - spicy fish soup

On Saturday, as we drove along El Camino in Santa Clara, we passed by Korean Secret Garden restaurant. This one wasn't a title of the popular drama but actually was a restaurant. Years ago, we went there to check out maeuntang - spicy fish soup. Now that I thought about it again, I started drooling. So I decided to make it.

As any cooking, first thing first was to look for a recipe. When it comes to Korean food, I would always try Maangchi. So the recipe here was taken from Maanchi with a few variants here and there.

Next page for recipe

yield : 4 servings
Ingredients for broth :
1 medium size Korean radish, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced about 1/3 inch thick.
3-4 pieces of dried kelp (from Korean market)
7-8 cups water
2-3 medium size dried shiitake mushroom

Ingredients for sauce :
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 inch of ginger root, peeled, sliced thinly
1 medium size onion, peeled, quartered
3 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs coarse chili powder
2 tbs cooking wine

Ingredients for soup:
1 medium size striped bass fish, cleaned, gutted, cut into 3 pieces (have your fishmonger did it for you to save time and save your kitchen from fishy smell).
6-8 medium size prawn (shelled and deveined).
4 cuttlefish fillet, sliced about 1/3 inch wide.
4-6 cups chrysanthemum (korean : ssukgat) or (chinese : tongho), removed the thick branch
5-6 green onion, cut into 3 inch long
1 pack of enoki mushroom, cut the root (dirty part) away. Separate them in smaller bunches.

Method :
Put all the broth ingredients in a big size pot. Bring it to a boil and turn it low to let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Then set it aside until you're ready to enjoy the soup. You can prepare this step a few hours ahead.

Just before serving the soup, grind all the ingredients for sauce into liquid form and pour it into the broth pot. Turn on the stove to high heat. Put in the fish pieces, prawn and cuttlefish slices. Just when it started to boil, taste the soup and put additional seasoning as needed. More fish sauce and/or chili powder to your taste. Then put in the chrysanthemum, enoki and green onion. Turn off the heat and your maeuntang is ready to be enjoyed. Serve with rice and other side dishes.