Korean Spicy Fish Stew (Maeuntang) Recipe

If you're in search of a spicy soup to warm your body then look no further than maeuntang. It's a traditional Korean spiced fish soup which packs the hotness. The soup's fire comes from gochujang (a delicious fermented chili that is funky, rice paste, soybeans, that is sweet salty, spicy and sweet flavor) as well as gochugaru (red chilli peppers that provide bright but subtle fiery heat). Traditionally, it is made with anchovy broth We tried making maeuntang with more readily accessible chicken broth that made the soup have the body and rich flavor it required.

We discovered that adding garlic, ginger as well as scallions and the traditional side dish such as kimchi (for the acidity as well as fermented flavor) in the soup as well as simmering pieces of red snapper made a delicious tasty, flavorful, and rich broth that was derived from the ocean and not as bland and delicious like the chicken soup. Adding cubes of tofu and slices of zucchini--traditional mix-ins for this soup--provided mild bites to counteract the heat of our fiery broth. If you are unable to locate Korean Chile Flakes, use 3/4 teaspoon paprika , and 1 teaspoon of red pepperflakes. Serving with wedges of lime If you like.

Serving: 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup kimchi, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon gochujang
1 tablespoon Korean chile flakes (gochugaru)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 (1½-pound) skinless red snapper fillet, 1 inch thick, cut into 2-inch pieces
7 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick
4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves


1. In a Dutch oven on medium-high heat until it is glowing. Add ginger and garlic, and simmer until fragrant, around 30 seconds. Stir in the broth gochujang and kimchi as well as chilli flakes and pepper and bring to a simmer.

2. Mix in fish, tofu zucchini and scallions. Reducing the heat to a gentle simmer and reduce the heat to medium then cover and cook until fish breaks apart when gently poked with a cutting knife, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

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