Korean Rice soup “Gukbap”
Every country has its own cultures and characteristics…but when it comes to food, Korea is one of the best.
Food is always a good subject even when it is not considered as a tourism culture.
I’ve been thinking what to eat today between autumn and winter, Gukbap suddenly crossed my mind. So I want to tell you about Gukbap that goes well with a cup of Soju in the evening like today.
Korean food Gukbap actually refers to Guk(soup) mixed with Bap(rice). Guk cannot be missed when it comes to Korean food, and when it’s mixed with rice, it is called Gukbap. But sometimes, this rule does not apply. So I’ll introduce one by one.
For example, the most common Korean stews are Kimchi-jjigae(Kimchi stew) and Deonjang-jjigae(bean paste stew), and the most common soups are Miyeok-guk(seaweed soup) and Deonjang-guk(bean paste soup). You can tell the difference between Guk and Jjigae by the ratio of solid food and liquid. If it has many solid food chunks in liquid, it’s called Jjigae while Guk has more liquid than Jjigae.. But I think stickiness(viscosity) should also be considered when we distinguish Deonjang-jjigae from Deonjang-guk. Because I’ve never heard Miyeok-guk being called Miyeok-jjigae.
I lost track a little bit…Anyways, any popular Guk and Jjigae mixed with rice would be a great Gukbap for Korean people. Then…what’s so special that we call it Gukbap?
You could easily see Korean people mixing soup with rice but we don’t call them all Gukbap. Then what exact condition of soup is called Gukbap? Well…I think that Guk or Jjigae should be pre-cooked and rice should be mixed when the soup is almost cooked. If you add rice after it’s cooked, it’s just an eating habit while Gukbap should have rice soaked in it. Rice is softer in soup, easy to swallow, and rice is a part of chunks that is soaked and seasoned with soup.
This Gukbap is Seonji-gukbap(ox blood rice soup) with clear liquid. This Gukbap’s main ingredient is clotted blood from cows. The sauce is served on top of it so that you could choose to mix it for your own appetite.
Kongnamul-gukbap(bean sprout and rice soup) is a popular Gukbap menu in Korea. It’s especially popular for people who have hangover because aspartic acid contained in bean sprout is known to be helpful for relieving hangover. Drinking hot soup alone makes us feel relaxed and fresh after drinking as well.
Someori-gukbap(ox head rice soup) is famous for various ingredients with beef in it. It looks a little white and half clear as well. And you shouldn’t forget to eat Kimchi with this clear liquid soup.
There’s also a soup that looks a bit spicy. It resembles Yukgaejang(hot spicy meat stew) but this one has less vegetables(especially bracken) and more of other ingredients.
For Gukbap with beef in it, there are two types, Gyeongsang-do style that looks spicy and Jeolla-do style that does not look spicy at all. Most of Gukbap looks red because of chili powder and the most popular ones have sweet, salty and complicated tastes.
Look and Walk has already introduced Kongnamul-gukbap and Dwaeji-gukbap(pork and rice soup), which is famous in Busan.
Kongnamul-gukbap(bean sprout and rice soup)- http://blog.lookandwalk.com/ko/blog/foodguide/2898
Dwaeji-gukbap(pork and rice soup) – http://blog.lookandwalk.com/ko/blog/foodguide/2919
On a chilly day like this…how about having a bowl of Gukbap?