Korean Oyster Soup (Gulguk)

Phew! Okay, since last checking in, I’ve completed all of my photos for my upcoming book, Paleo Take Out, and the manuscript is with the editor. I’m happy to announce that the book will feature over 150 recipes! That’s a far cry from the 45-60 recipes I started with last year, and I’m really excited to get this book in your hands. Paleo Take Out will be out in all bookstores starting in June, and I’ll be sure to share more info as I put the finishing touches on it.

Starting today, I’m bundling a preview copy of Paleo Take Out with every purchase of The Safe Starch Cookbook. The preview book features 10 recipes from Paleo Take Out plus three that didn’t make the cut (initially I planned on having 5-10 not make the cut, but I found a way to squeeze them into the book!). One of those recipes also happens to be today’s recipe, which I think you’ll enjoy – Korean Oyster Soup.

Gulguk (굴국) is a quick and tasty soup, often considered a cure for hangovers. It’s sometimes served with cooked white rice dropped in at the end, at which point it’s called Gulgukbap (굴국밥). But if you’re not a rice eater, don’t worry – it’s just as tasty without the rice, or with some spiraled vegetable or kelp noodles thrown in at the end.

One last note – that Virtual Ultimate Health Summit I mentioned last week is now live through March 13th. I recorded my segment last week and had a lot of fun with it; we discussed food, history, and culture, and I think you folks will really enjoy my talk. Plus there are 17 other panelists involved, too! Okay, soup time.

Korean Oyster Soup (Gulguk)

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup daikon radish, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
4-6 shitaake mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp korean red pepper (1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes okay)
1 tsp tamari (coconut aminos okay)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8oz pkg raw oysters
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
white pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp)

2 green onions, sliced into 2″ pieces

to serve:
cooked white rice or
spiralized zucchini or squash or
kelp noodles

1. In a pot, bring the chicken broth and water to a boil. Add the daikon and return to a boil, then reduce heat to med/low and simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Add the mushrooms, red pepper, tamari, and garlic and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add the oysters and rice noodles, and simmer for 1 minute. Next, add the bean sprouts, fish sauce, and sesame oil; taste the soup and add salt and white pepper as needed. Once the soup tastes good, add the green onions and serve.

** This dish is only slightly spicy; to kick it up a notch, add more chili powder.

** For even more flavor and nutrients, consider adding anchovies, cabbage, seaweed, white mushrooms, carrots, or a bit of ginger.

For everyone that bought The Safe Starch Cookbook before today, I sent you that same preview copy of Paleo Take Out last night (check your spam folder just in case). If you bought The Safe Starch Cookbook as part of the Family Resolution Revolution bundle, please send me an email with the discount code mentioned in the book, and I’ll send the Paleo Take Out preview over to you.

22 thoughts on “Korean Oyster Soup (Gulguk)

  1. Looks very delicious. For some reason I thought bean sprouts are a soy product. Not sure why, but I’ve been leaving it out of pho :)


    1. DW, there are two types of bean sprouts, those made with mung beans and those made with soybeans. So you were half right! The soybean sprouts have a large yellow half-bean still attached to them, we eat the mung bean sprouts. There isn’t much data out there about any toxin profile of bean sprouts, but we’ve never felt bad after eating them, and since they aren’t commonly/culturally associated with digestive distress I figure they’re okay in moderation.


  2. Are you sure you’re not Korean? I’m Korean, and though I don’t make this at home, it is one the dishes I often have for lunch as there is a great kulkukbab joint near my office. Your recipe looks great, and I am happy to find somebody who appreciates Korean food other than bibimbap or bulgoki! Seafood is the best in Korea!


  3. This was fantastic! I had mixed frozen seafood from Costco in my freezer so I used it instead of oysters. Other than that, I followed it exactly. I will “season to taste” tomorrow night for the leftovers. Oh, I served with spiraled zucchini. It was a hit and I really appreciate the tips on serving options like “to serve: cooked white rice or spiralized zucchini or squash or kelp noodles” so I was able to use the zucchini I had on hand. Thank you!!


  4. I live in Korea for 2 years and just wanted to say thankyou for spreading to Korean food gospel to a wider audience. Their cuisine is so healthy and remarkably different from both Chinese and Japanese.

    If I was able to request a recipe it would be a paleo Dak Galbi

    For others who love this soup, some other great Korean ones are seolleongtang and samgyetang.

    Thanks again!


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