Learn how to prepare dried pollack soup (bugeoguk). This lesser-known Korean soup dish is notable for its refreshing taste, concentrated flavor, and chewy texture from dried pollack. It is also a common hangover treatment in Korea.

Dried pollack is a traditional Korean dish made from pollack fish (also known as pollock). Bugeo () and hwangtae () are names used in Korean cuisine to describe it, although they are not the same.

“Bugeo” refers to pollack that has been briefly dried by a sea breeze, and “Hwangtae” refers to pollack dried by a mountain breeze. This unique drying environment entails the fish going through natural freezing and thawing cycles during dry winter, which allows for slow drying, resulting in a chewy and spongy texture with a concentrated flavor when rehydrated. This procedure is also known to give hwangtae golden flesh.

Dried pollack is a staple in many Korean households because of its flexibility. It can be added to soups, side meals, or eaten plain as a sipping snack.In terms of storage, I’ve discovered that putting it in the freezer helps to keep it fresh and avoids any unpleasant shocks.


Dried pollack soup, or Bugeo-Guk (북어국), is a savory meal made with dried pollack. Its flavor profile is enhanced by the addition of soybean sprouts and radish, which contribute a crisp, refreshing taste. Tofu or egg are frequently added to improve the soup’s texture and heartiness.

Bugeo and hwangtae, two varieties of dried pollack, are common ingredients in Korean cuisine. Despite its widespread use, hwangtae is frequently appreciated for its distinct flavor and texture.

Although Bugeo-Guk is the generic title for this soup, regardless of the type of dried pollack used, it can be specifically named Hwangtae-Guk  when utilizing hwangtae. This soup is known for its energizing, cleansing, and calming properties, making it a popular hangover cure.




– Brief overview of dried pollack soup (북어국, “bugeoguk” in Korean) and its significance in Korean cuisine.
– Introduction to the article’s exploration of the dish’s history, ingredients, preparation methods, nutritional benefits, cultural significance, and variations.

**1. Origins and History:**

– Trace the origins of dried pollack soup in Korean culinary tradition, dating back centuries.
– Discuss the historical and cultural significance of the dish, including its role in Korean home cooking, festive occasions, and traditional medicine practices.

**2. Ingredients:**

– Detailed description of the key ingredients: dried pollack (bugeo), radish, garlic, green onions, and Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang).
– Suggestions for sourcing high-quality ingredients and possible substitutions for regional availability.


**3. Cooking Method:**

– Step-by-step instructions for preparing dried pollack soup, including soaking and rehydrating the dried pollack, preparing the broth, and simmering the soup.
– Tips for achieving optimal flavor and texture, such as adjusting seasoning and garnishing with additional ingredients like chili flakes or sesame oil.

**4. Flavor Profile and Nutritional Benefits:**

– Explore the flavor profile of dried pollack soup, characterized by its delicate yet savory taste and subtle umami notes.
– Highlight the nutritional benefits of dried pollack, including its high protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals.
– Discuss the health benefits associated with consuming dried pollack soup, such as improved heart health, bone strength, and immune function.

**5. Cultural Significance and Traditions:**

– Examine the cultural significance of dried pollack soup in Korean society, including its association with warmth, comfort, and hospitality.
– Discuss traditional customs and rituals surrounding the preparation and consumption of dried pollack soup, particularly during festive occasions and family gatherings.

**6. Regional Variations and Adaptations:**

– Explore regional variations of dried pollack soup across Korea, highlighting differences in ingredients, flavor profiles, and cooking methods.
– Discuss modern adaptations of the dish, including fusion recipes and creative reinterpretations by contemporary chefs.

**7. Serving Suggestions and Pairings:**

– Provide suggestions for serving dried pollack soup as part of a traditional Korean meal, alongside rice, kimchi, and other banchan (side dishes).
– Explore complementary flavors and pairings, such as steamed vegetables, pickled radish, or spicy tofu stew (soondubu jjigae).

**8. Culinary Tips and Tricks:**

– Share expert tips and tricks for preparing dried pollack soup, such as selecting the right cut of dried pollack and adjusting seasoning to taste.
– Address common pitfalls and troubleshooting advice for beginner cooks attempting the dish for the first time.

**9. Health Considerations and Dietary Restrictions:**

– Discuss considerations for individuals with dietary restrictions or preferences, such as gluten-free or low-sodium diets.
– Provide alternatives or modifications to the recipe to accommodate specific dietary needs while preserving the integrity of the dish.

**10. Conclusion:**

– Recap the highlights of the article and the appeal of dried pollack soup in Korean cuisine.
– Encourage readers to explore the culinary delights of dried pollack soup at home or at Korean restaurants, appreciating its rich history, nutritional benefits, and cultural significance.


1. **What is Dried Pollack Soup (Bugeoguk) and Where Does it Originate?**
– Dried Pollack Soup, known as “Bugeoguk” in Korean, is a traditional Korean soup made with rehydrated dried pollack (bugeo) and various seasonings. It originates from Korean culinary traditions, with a history dating back centuries.

2. **How is Dried Pollack Soup Prepared?**
– Dried Pollack Soup is typically prepared by soaking dried pollack in water to rehydrate it, then simmering it with ingredients such as radish, garlic, green onions, and Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang) to create a flavorful broth.

3. **What Does Dried Pollack Soup Taste Like?**
– Dried Pollack Soup has a delicate yet savory flavor profile, with subtle umami notes from the rehydrated pollack. The broth is often light and refreshing, with hints of sweetness from the radish and depth from the garlic and green onions.

4. **What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Dried Pollack Soup?**
– Dried Pollack Soup is a nutritious dish rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. It provides essential nutrients for bone health, heart health, and immune function, making it a wholesome addition to a balanced diet.

5. **Can I Use Fresh Pollack Instead of Dried Pollack in the Soup?**
– While dried pollack is traditionally used in the soup for its concentrated flavor and longer shelf life, you can use fresh pollack if preferred. However, the flavor and texture of the soup may differ slightly.

6. **Are There Any Variations of Dried Pollack Soup?**
– Yes, there are regional variations of Dried Pollack Soup across Korea, each with its own unique ingredients and flavor profiles. Some variations may include additional ingredients such as mushrooms, tofu, or vegetables.

7. **Is Dried Pollack Soup Gluten-Free?**
– Yes, Dried Pollack Soup is typically gluten-free, as long as gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat-based soy sauce are not used. Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang) is naturally gluten-free and can be used as a substitute.

8. **Can I Make Dried Pollack Soup Ahead of Time?**
– Yes, Dried Pollack Soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop before serving, adding additional seasonings if needed.

9. **What Are Some Common Side Dishes Served with Dried Pollack Soup?**
– Common side dishes served with Dried Pollack Soup include steamed rice, kimchi, pickled radish (kkakdugi), and assorted Korean banchan (side dishes). These side dishes complement the flavors of the soup and create a well-rounded meal.

10. **Is Dried Pollack Soup Suitable for Vegetarians or Vegans?**
– Dried Pollack Soup is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans as it contains dried pollack, which is a type of fish. However, you can explore vegetarian or vegan alternatives by using plant-based ingredients such as tofu or mushrooms in the soup.

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