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Type Guk
Place of origin Korea
Main ingredients Trout, black pepper
Cookbook: Sungeoguk  Media: Sungeoguk
Hangul 숭어국
Revised Romanization sung-eo guk
McCune–Reischauer sung-ŏ guk

Sungeoguk (Korean pronunciation: [sʰuːŋʌɡuk]) is a variety of guk, or Korean soup, made with trout and black pepper. It has a clear broth seasoned with salt, minced garlic, ginger juice, and chopped scallions.

During ancient times the trout caught in Pyongyang, Chungsan, Anju, Kangso, Ryonggang, Chongju, Kasan, Sunchon, Cholsan, and Uiju, which are now in North Korea, were famous for their flavor. Those from the Taedong River, where trout are abundant, were especially renowned.[1]

The soup dish is a representative dish in the cuisine of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, where the soup is called Taedonggang sungeoguk which means "trout soup from the Taedong River".[1] The dish is served as a courtesy for important guests visiting Pyongyang and the question, "How was the trout soup?" is commonly used to greet people returning from Pyongyang.[2]

Trout's role in Korean cuisine[edit]

Trout is mentioned in the Joseon era ichthyology book Jasaneobo (hangul:자산어보, hanja:玆山魚譜) as a fish of exceptional taste and nutritional value.[3] Trout is used in various dishes; grilled, steamed, in jjigae, with noodles, as jeon and hoe. Trout dishes such as sungeojjim (steamed trout) are served for special occasions. The taste of trout is slightly different from season to season. Trout caught in spring and winter have a sweet taste, summer trout taste plain, and autumn trout are fatty and savory.[4]


To prepare the dish, the scales, head, internal organs, and fins of a trout are removed. Once the fish is cleaned, it is chopped into 5 cm pieces. The fillets and peppercorns are put into a pot with boiling water and the foam is skimmed from the broth. As the trout is cooked, it is seasoned with salt, minced garlic and ginger juice. The cooked trout soup is served in a bowl garnished with chopped scallions or sometimes with cilantro.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ju, Wan-jung (주완중) (2000-06-12). '오마니의 맛' 관심 [Attention to "Mother's taste"] (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. 
  2. ^ 닮은 듯 색다른 매력을 간직한 북한의 음식 문화 (in Korean). Korea Knowledge Portal. 2009-06-19. 
  3. ^ 숭어찌개 [Sungeojjigae (trout jjigae)] (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  4. ^ a b 숭어국 [Sungeoguk (trout soup)] (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-12-08.