How to make jogaetang: Korean clam soup

photo of clams
Eunkyo Jo/Staff

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Korean cuisine often consists of soup, most popularly the soybean paste soup, seaweed soup and soft tofu soup. One of the less common yet one of my favorites is the clam soup, called jogaetang in Korean. Not only does it taste like a beach breeze, but it’s also so simple to make with only a few ingredients. Try out this recipe when you get a chance to buy fresh clam!

Ingredients:

  • Handful of clam
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 green onion, chopped or cut into one-inch pieces
  • (optional) 1 red pepper, chopped or whole

Part A: “Haegam” the clam

This step “cleanses” the clam, so that all the debris from the sea comes out. Putting clams into saltwater creates the effect of them being in the sea, allowing them to relax and let out the dirt.

  1. Rince the clam under cold water a few times, rubbing them with rubber gloves.
  2. Place the clam into a big bowl, and fill the water so that all clams are underwater.
  3. Add salt to the bowl. Stir to make sure salt dissolves evenly.
  4. Cover the bowl with black plastic or fabric to make sure no light passes.
  5. Let it sit for at least 2 hours.
  6. Pour out the dirty water and rinse several times.

Part B: Make the soup

The clam is now clean and ready to be cooked! The next step is to make the soup.

  1. Place the clam into a pot.
  2. Pour in water, just enough so that all clams are underwater.
  3. Let it boil; if any bubbles collect on the surface, scrape it with a spoon.
  4. Mix in the minced garlic, green onion and, if you like spicy, red pepper.
  5. Let it boil a little more, and you’re done!

This recipe should yield around 4 servings. For a hearty breakfast or lunch, serve with rice and squid jeotgal (fermented squid). For dinner after a long day, serve it with soju to release all your stress.

Contact Eunkyo Jo at [email protected].