중앙데일리

Bracing restorative for the morning after

Soup differs throughout the nation but all believed to cure hangovers

Nov 14,2006
Haejang soup is said to taste better when served in an earthenware bowl. Haejang means to eat or drink something in the morning to relieve a hangover. The soup often contains different kinds of meat, vegetables and seasonings and can be easily eaten without side dishes, though kkakdugi, or sliced, pickled radish, goes well with it. Some eat the soup at night with alcohol and again the next morning to relieve the ill effects from their drinking.
“Haejang soup was the beginning of the Korean dining out culture,” said Chung Hae-kyung, a food and nutrition professor at Hoseo University.
Different types of haejang soup can be found all over the country. Besides its taste, the soup is affordable and widely available. It is usually sold in humble-looking restaurants and costs about 5,000 won ($5).
There was no concept of dining out during the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties, but taverns sold haejang soup as an accompaniment to drinks or as a complete meal. Though all share the same name, there are many types of haejang soup.
A blood sausage soup is sold on the streets of Cheongjin-dong, Seoul; bean sprout soup (kongnamul gukbap) in Jeonju; pork soup (dwaeji gukbap) in Busan; corbicula shell soup (jaecheop guk) in Seomjin; marsh snail soup (olgaengi guk) in inner Chungcheong province; and dried pollack soup (bukeo guk) in Gangwon province ― guk means soup and bap means rice.

Jeonju bean sprout soup: Rice can be added during or after the cooking process.
The streets leading to Nambu market in Jeonju, North Chungcheong province, are lined with restaurants whose signs advertise bean sprout soup. By 6:30 a.m. most weekdays, the restaurants contain more people having an early breakfast before heading to work than those trying to relieve a hangover.
There are two types of Jeonju bean sprout soup. Some restaurants boil bean sprouts and add them to the soup while others boil rice and bean sprouts together. The former is served with a boiled egg on the side while the latter comes with a fried egg. The former is also less hot and so can be eaten more quickly. Restaurant owners say Jeonju bean sprout soup was an invention of housewives trying to fix something quick for breakfast without many side dishes.
The bean sprouts in Jeonju are smaller and have fewer fine roots than those found in Seoul. That is why Jeonju bean sprout soup is so popular, the owner of the Waengijip restaurant said.

Sokcho dried pollack soup: This is a clean tasting soup made with soft fish.
A lot of Alaskan pollack is caught in the East Sea (Sea of Japan). The tradition of drying pollack was passed on by refugees from Hamgyong province, now in North Korea. During the Korean War (1950-1953), the refugees used to dry pollack on the Jinbu ridge, in Gangwon province.
“Pollack has soft inner flesh and absorbs water fast,” said Gwon Hyeok-seon, 46, a restaurant owner on Misi ridge. “The nutrients in the fish dissolve well in water, which makes for a good haejang soup.”
“The soup tastes better with tofu or egg in it. Powdered red pepper should be added just before it is ready to serve,” he said.

Busan pork soup: This soup is made of savory pork.
Walking along a street lined with pork soup restaurants in Seomyeon market, where the dish originated, you can hear many restaurant owners calling out to attract customers. The savory smell issuing from the restaurants is almost irresistible.
Pork soup in Busan uses only the meat, primarily from the fore hocks and bacon. If customers want intestines added to their soup, they should notify the restaurant in advance.
The soup is made by boiling bones for a long time to make a stock, while cooking the meat separately. Pickled shrimps are added for seasoning. To make gukbap, rice, seasoned leeks, bean paste, vinegar and soy sauce are added.
Throughout the Japanese occupation and the Korean War, pork soup was easily available when other food was scarce. The food is also popular in other areas of South Gyeongsang province.

Blood sausage soup: Blood sausage used to be a dish only for royalty.
Blood sausage, or sundae, is made by stuffing ground meat, tofu, bean sprout, green onion, blood jelly, noodles and shitake mushroom into a casing made of pig intestines and tying the ends before boiling it. This means that blood sausage contains fat, protein and carbohydrates as well as minerals and vitamins.
“Initially, blood sausage was a court cuisine,” said Yu Min-su, 51, a blood sausage restaurant owner in Sinchon, Seoul. “These days, meat is plentiful and it has become a food for everyone.”
Blood sausage is often dark brown, but there are lighter varieties that have a lower blood jelly content. Nowadays, noodles comprise most of the stuffing in blood sausage. This kind of blood sausage is cheap and can be easily found everywhere in Korea.
Recently Byeongcheon blood sausage, which originated in Chungcheong province and includes chopped cabbage, has become popular. Amppong blood sausage, which originated in the Jeolla provinces, uses the intestines of only female pigs.

Goesan marsh snail soup: A refreshing green soup made of chewy snail meat.
Marsh snails are called olgaengi (marsh snail) in the Chungcheong provinces dialect. They are called godi in the Gyeongsang provinces and daseulgi in Seoul. The marsh snail lives in fresh water and usually hides under rocks.
So Byeong-rae, 43, has run a haejang soup restaurant in Sajik-dong, Seoul, since leaving his hometown in Goesan, North Chungcheong province.
First clean the snails by soaking them in water before cooking. To make the soup, dissolve bean paste in water and bring to a boil. Take the flesh from the snails and cover in flour. Add the snail flesh and green vegetables, including leeks, to the boiling liquid. When the soup becomes thick and the snail meat loses any bitterness, it is ready to be eaten. Red pepper or Chinese pepper can also be added.
Chung Hae-kyung, a food and nutrition professor at Hoseo University said different varieties of haejang soup have different nutritional values. The outer leaves of cabbage used in blood soup are rich in fiber, he said, and bean sprouts contain asparagine, which is effective in breaking down alcohol.
Leeks added to corbicula shell soup, pork soup and marsh snail soup are known for their effectiveness in protecting the liver. Corbicula shell and marsh snail are also good for improving the function of the liver.
Dried pollack is rich in methionine, an essential amino acid, and is useful for soothing a tired liver. Blood sausage soup is rich in minerals such as iron and calcium and also carbohydrates, fat and protein.

Seoul blood soup: This is made of blood jelly and ox bone.
The most well-known neighborhood for haejang soup restaurants in Korea is Cheongjin-dong, in Jongno district, Seoul. Despite its fame, now there are only a few haejang soup restaurants open. A blood soup restaurant called Cheongjinok is the oldest establishment. Some customers slice the blood jelly and eat it while drinking alcohol.
According to Choi Jun-yong, 38, a third-generation restaurateur, when Cheongjin-dong was at its peak in the 1970s and ’80s, there were over 10 blood soup restaurants there. The area sees more customers in the early morning than late at night.
Cheongjin-dong’s haejang soup neighborhood was created in the late Joseon Dynasty. There was a market selling firewood nearby, and restaurants opened to serve the buyers and sellers.
To make the soup, ox bones are first boiled for 24 hours to make a stock, then rice, blood jelly, outer cabbage leaves, green onions and pig’s intestines are added. The soup is usually served in an earthenware bowl.

Seoul blood soup: This is made of blood jelly and ox bone.
The most well-known neighborhood for haejang soup restaurants in Korea is Cheongjin-dong, in Jongno district, Seoul. Despite its fame, now there are only a few haejang soup restaurants open. A blood soup restaurant called Cheongjinok is the oldest establishment. Some customers slice the blood jelly and eat it while drinking alcohol.
According to Choi Jun-yong, 38, a third-generation restaurateur, when Cheongjin-dong was at its peak in the 1970s and ’80s, there were over 10 blood soup restaurants there. The area sees more customers in the early morning than late at night.
Cheongjin-dong’s haejang soup neighborhood was created in the late Joseon Dynasty. There was a market selling firewood nearby, and restaurants opened to serve the buyers and sellers.
To make the soup, ox bones are first boiled for 24 hours to make a stock, then rice, blood jelly, outer cabbage leaves, green onions and pig’s intestines are added. The soup is usually served in an earthenware bowl.




by Yoo Jee-sang


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