Recipe Maeuntang Korean Salmon Head with Kimchi Soup in Spicy Sour Chili Broth

kimchi soup salmon fish head recipe maeuntang korean hot chili fish stew broth

Salmon Head with Kimchi Soup in Spicy Sour Chili Broth

Recipe Spicy Salmon Head and Kimchi Soup a.k.a Korean Maeuntang Soup. We used to called it as Sup Kepala Salmon Asam Pedas dengan Sayur Kimchi  Salmon fish head is the best part of it, beside it’s cheap, its very versetile; grilled, boiled, stewed, deep fried, you name it. It’s obviuous that that fish head is way much more appreciated by we all Asian. I even thought i even can be a friend who didn’t like fish head. Salmon is delicious with it’s succulent, fatty, crunchy cartilagous with it’s all gelatinous and slurrpping goodnes, a truelly divine foodgasm. This some sort of Korean salmon fish head and kimchi soup is basically similiar with my Malaysian Asam Laksa Fish Head Noodle Soup, but served without the egg noodle, even it’s possible and would be agreat idea  thou.

recipe korean spicy fish soup kimchi vegetables salmon head chili hot pepper soup enoki mushrooms shilgochu

Korean Kimchi Salmon Head Soup in Spicy Sour Chili Broth

This salmon head with kimchi soup is hearthy for it’s spicy, rich, tangy and hot broth and it’s what my Indonesian licking wanted. The rich broth made of slowly boiled fish head gelatine and it’s all comes with savoury and pungent gochujang (fermented Korean chili, soy bean and glutinous rice paste)  and kelp or edible seaweed. The gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) also added to light up the heat on the broth alongside with kimchi liquid add spicy ,tangy and pleasant sourness a into it.  The kimchi vegetables added just before serving  add the extra crunch and fibers  to your healthy tummmy.


recipe korean spicy salmon head soup with kimchi vegetables maeuntang chili thread shilgochu scallion

Hot, Spicy and Sour Chili Korean Salmon Head with Kimchi Soup 

The recipe of Korean kimchi and salmon fish head soup is simple and a very healthy, no need to add extra calories from oil for stif frying because all you need to do is boiling. The gochujang paste dissolved into water, then the chopped garlic, ginger, white part of scallion,  thrown into the pot and then boiled. The salmon fish head then added along with other seasoning; soy sauce, fish sauce, and gochugaru. The hot and spicy salmon head soup mixture then boiled slowly, spoon any ugly foam or scum that floating in the surface of the broth to made the soup more plateable. Once the soup done, you can garnish with chopped scallion and shilgochu (Korean chili strand or chili thread).

recipe maeuntang spicy fish soup vegetables salmon head kimchi soup korean chili strand shilgochu

Maeuntang Korean Salmon Head with Kimchi Soup in Spicy Sour Chili Broth

recipe kimchi soup salmon head spicy maeuntang fish vegetable soup

Store Brought and Ready to Eat Kimchi

I’m using a store brought and ready to eat kimchi, you can find it in the chiller area in the Asian-Korean food section in the supermarket nearby. I guess iy’s better if you have guts to try to made kimchi from scratch. I’m lucky enought to had this “fresh” kimchi, the veggis is crisp, the seaoning is spicy enought but a little bit too sour for my licking, glad that i had to enjoy the kimchi within the salmon head broth. This kimchi had napa cabbage, radish,  and scallion on it, so you can replace it with the fresh ones if you can’t found ready to eat kimchi.

recipe spicy salmon head soup kimchi hot chili Maeuntang fish vegetables soup

Maeuntang Spicy Hot Korean Salmon Head with Kimchi Soup

Let’s say this spicy salmon head and kimchi stew is a cheat version of Korean maeuntang soup. Authentic maeuntang using fresh vegetables and whole fish, but i using salmon head and collar and ready to eat store brought kimchi instead.But this maeuntang-sort of soup is seasoned as good as the original with chili powder, garlic, soy sauce, and gochujang.

Maeuntang recipe spicy fish vegetables soup salmon head kimchi

Easy and Quicky Maeuntang Soup-sort off

Mae-un tang is Korean  hot and  spicy  fish and vegetables soup, seasoned with with gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste), gochugaru (chili powder). Maeuntang derived from maeun or maepda (맵다), meaning “hot and spicy”; and tang, meaning “soup”. Maeuntang usually using whole  fresh or saltwater fish is cut into several pieces and boiled with green vegetables such as watercress and garland chrysanthemum. Onion, radish, chilis, crown daisy, garlic, and sometimes zucchini and bean curd are added to the mixture to absorb the chili pepper paste which is the main flavoring of this dish.

spicy salmon fish head soup kimchi korean maeuntang fish soup vegetables chili strand

Maeuntang garnished with shilgochu (Korean chili threads)

I had a new culinary crush now, shilgochu  or Korean chili threads. Shilgochu made everything fancy, looks the vibrantly dark red bright garnish over my spicy and hot salmon kimch soup. Shilgochu is not all about garnish, it’s  fruity, sweet, and mildly spicy make a  delicious garnish on Asian dishes.  One of our favorite spices, we always keep a jar on our kitchen counter to simply add a few threads on top of noodle and rice dishes, so check it in any Asian-Korean supermarket nearby you !

spicy salmon head soup eye balls tasty part hot chili kimchi fish soup maeuntang shilgochu chili thread

Salmon Eye Ball, The Best Part of Salmon Head!

This is the salmon eye balls, the best part of the salmon head. back then when i was a little kid i used to had the eyeball when my mom made a dish with fish head like Woku Ikan Belanga (Indonesian Red Snapper Fish Head Curry Soup) or Palumara Ulu Juku ( Spicy Grouper Fish Head Soup with Turmeric Based Broth)  eversince i used to be “the kid” in the house and it made both of my sisters pissed off. Well, honestly the previlledge as a youngest  and only son it’s more pleasant for me rather than the fish eyeballs itself, you can called me childish, but i really missed that argues even more now once we grown up.

recipe korean maeuntang spicy salmon fish head soup kimchi vegetables chili strand shilgochu soup

Recipe Hot Spicy Salmon Head Kimchi Soup (Korean Maeuntang Soup):

Recipe Hot Spicy Salmon Head Kimchi Soup (Korean Maeuntang Soup):


  • 2 large salmon fish head, cut in half
  • 1 pack Kimchi (about 250 grams)
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp (or more) gochujang (Korean chili-bean paste)
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
  • 1-2 handfuls of bean sprouts
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soju or cooking wine
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger root, finely chopped
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1 sheet of kelp
  • shilgochu  or Korean Chili Threads for garnish

How to Make Hot Spicy Salmon Head Kimchi Soup (Korean Maeuntang Soup):

  • Clean the salmon head under running water, remove the gills
  • Marinade with salt and lemon juice to remove the fishy odor
  • Wash the salmon head under running water once more time, drain the excess water
  • Pour the water and the kelp into a deep pot, bring to boil and simmer about 20 minutes, remove the kelp
  • Add all the ingredients  except the shilgochu and green onion, bring to boit and simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Spoon out the floating foam and scum from the soup surface
  • Turn off the heat and add the kimchi into the soup
  • Served the salmon head maeuntang soup with the green onion and shilgochu

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28 thoughts on “Recipe Maeuntang Korean Salmon Head with Kimchi Soup in Spicy Sour Chili Broth

  1. Definitely a must try. Kimchi is easily available over here and need to get the head, or rather just fish for the matter. Its too good to say no too.

  2. I am not a fan of salmon and like much more the idea of fish head in general (I love especially fish cheeks…). As someone who cooks Korean quite often and who has kimchi in the fridge almost constantly, I love this recipe!

  3. What a fabulously tasty looking fish dish – it reminds me I need to experiment more with cooking fish with spices!! (I tend to go for mild flavours) Great inspiration!

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