From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chueo-tang served with perilla seed powder
Alternative namesLoach soup
Place of originKorea
Associated cuisineKorean cuisine
Main ingredientsPond loach
Korean name
Revised Romanizationchueo-tang

Chueo-tang (추어탕; 鰍魚湯) or loach soup[1] is a tang (soup) made from pond loach, a freshwater fish.[2][3] The southwestern Korean city of Namwon is known for its version of the dish.[4][5][6]


Chueo (추어; 鰍魚) is a nickname for pond loach, called mikkuraji (미꾸라지) in Korean. Tang (; ) means soup.

History and tradition[edit]

As irrigated rice paddies are drained after chubun (autumnal equinox), chubby pond loaches, ready for hibernation, are easily caught in the ditches dug around paddy fields.[7] Chueo-tang (추어탕) is often a featured dish in banquets for the elderly.[7]

In Hanyang (now Seoul) during the Joseon era, the guild of licensed panhandlers mandated that its members beg only for bap (cooked rice), not banchan (side dishes) or guk (soup).[7] (The practice was intended to maintain dignity and differentiate members from unlicensed beggars.) As an accompaniment to the rice, Panhandlers hunted pond loaches and made chueo-tang. They were also granted the exclusive rights to sell chueo-tang in the city.[7]


Pond loaches are boiled in water until very tender, and sieved to remove bones and skins.[8] The sieved flesh along with beef or chicken broth is then boiled again and seasoned with gochujang (chili paste), doenjang (soybean paste), grated ginger, and ground black pepper.[8] Vegetable ingredients include mung bean sprouts, Asian royal fern, scallions, napa cabbages, and mustard greens.[8] The soup is often served with ground chopi peppercorns, along with Korean mint leaves (in Yeongnam region) or perilla powder (in Honam region).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Loach Soup Recipe". Simple Chinese Food. 2021-09-17.
  2. ^ "주요 한식명(200개) 로마자 표기 및 번역(영, 중, 일) 표준안" (PDF). National Institute of Korean Language (in Korean). 30 July 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  3. ^ Jeon, Yuri (19 July 2016). "Top 10 Korean Delicacies to Battle the Heat". 10 Magazine. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ Crawford, Matthew (6 January 2017). "Take It Slow In The Historic City Of Namwon". 10 Magazine. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  5. ^ Choi, He-suk (17 July 2013). "Soaking in history and culture along the Jirisan trail". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  6. ^ Kim, Rahn (21 May 2015). "'Tasty roads'". The Korea Times. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Han, Bok Jin (2005). "Chueo-tang" 추어탕. Uri eumsik baek gaji 1 우리 음식 백가지 1 [One Hundred Essential Korean Dishes Vol. 1] (in Korean). Hyeonamsa. ISBN 89-323-1291-5 – via Naver.
  8. ^ a b c "chueo-tang" 추어탕. Doopedia (in Korean). Doosan Corporation. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  9. ^ Hansen, Barbara (28 May 2014). "Chueotang, the Korean Soup That Will Make You Gorgeous, Even If It's Not". LA Weekly. Retrieved 17 May 2017.