What is Jeongol?
Jeongol is an elaborate stew, soup which is traditionally served in a wide, shallow pot called Jeongol Naembi. And Jeongol is steaming one-pot meal that’s usually cook at the table. Some Jeongol are very spicy because of Gochujang (Gochujang, red chili paste is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment) or Gochugaru (Chili pepper powder), but you can skip these ingredients if you don’t like spicy foods. Jeongol is similar to Jjigae and it is less soupy than Guk, but the soup itself is less salty than Jjigae.
Jeongol is made by meat usually sliced beef, offal or seafood, vegetables, mandu (dumplings), mushrooms and so on with other seasonings which are boiled with flavorful broth in pot. Additional broth is continually added to the boiling pot of stew throughout the meal. The variety of broth used varies according to the type of Jeongol being prepared.
Jeongol, a communal hot pot (Korean style hot pot) dish is one of the most popular soups in Korea. Jeongol is a great and healthy food for family reunion, friends gathering, company dinner or even for ultimate hangover dish. I love Jeongol especially late fall and winter time, it makes my cold belly feel really comfortable. Especially when you go to restaurant for Jeongol or when you cook Jeongol at home, I can join the process of cooking because Jeongol is not perfectly finished food so I need to boil all ingredients together; it makes me even happier to hear the soup boiling sounds of heaven. Jeongol was originally a dish for upper-class Koreans and members of the royal court. But we can enjoy Jeongol all together now.
The ingredients in our ingredient list are used for the delicious dipping sauces. Please read this Korean Hot Pot Guide, to create your own awesome jeongol. You should add several products more, but only what you like to eat:)
What is the difference between Chinese Hot Pot, Japanese Shabu-Shabu and Korean Jeongol?
Korean Jeongol, Japanese Shabu-Shabu and Chinese hot pot is very similar. Especially the method of cooking and preparation of those three dishes are extremely similar. However, Korean Jeongol is slight different from Japanese Shabu-Shabu and Chinese hot pot.
The main difference is dipping sauce.
Each country has different preference regarding dipping sauce. A typical sauce for Shabu-Shabu would include Ponzu which is a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine. And Goma which is a thicker sesame sauce usually prepared with soy sauce and garlic. However Chinese hot pot sauce can be diverse depends on region. And Korean Hot Pot dipping sauce is similar to Japanese style but it’s a little bit spicier than Japanese sauce because Korean people love to put chili pepper powder.
The preference of meats also can be different.
Japanese Shabu-Shabu and Korean Jeongol tend to use beef as a main meat for hot pot. On the other hands, lamb is the most common meat for Chinese hot pot. But all kinds of meats can be possible for hot pot. I think Korean Jeongol and Chinese hot pot has much more stronger flavor than Japanese Shabu-Shabu.
Different kinds of Jeongol
There are a lot of different kinds of Jeongol in Korea. And you can make your own unique Jeongol using your own ingredients. So Jeongol is for everyone even if you are vegetarian or if you are meat lover or seafood lover. Everyone can enjoy Jeongol without any worries.
The following list will show how many different kinds of korean hot pot / Jeongol can exist
- a variety of Jeongol formerly served in Korean royal court cuisine
- Haemul Jeongol
- made with seafood
- Nakji Jeongol
- made with small octopus
- Bullak Jeongol
- Beef and whole baby octopus stew with vegetables
- Beoseot Jeongol
- made with mushrooms
- Sogogi Jeongol
- made with beef but no seafood
- Bulgogi Jeongol
- made with Bulgogi
- Mandu Jeongol
- made with mandu
- Yoobu Jeongol
- Yoobu Jeongol is one of the local specialties in Busan. It is served in a hot meat broth, fried tofu filled with noodles and tied with boiled parsley and boiled fish paste. Yoobu Jeongol with a refreshing, spicy chili pepper and soy sauce would be fantastic.
- Dubu Jeongol
- made with tofu
- Gopchang Jeongol
- made with beef offal , pork intestine
- Gaksaek Jeongol
- made with various ingredients.
- Kimchi Jeongol
- made with Kimchi
Which ingredients do I need for Jeongol? / Which broth is the best for Jeongol?
Jeongol is the perfect food for someone who is looking for good balance between vegetables and meat. Main ingredient for Jeongol is meat usually sliced beef, offal or seafood, vegetables, mandu (dumplings), mushrooms, tofu etc. However ingredients for Jeongol can be diverse depends on which Jeongol you want to try. There are vegetable broth, anchovy broth and beef broth for Jeongol. However, Broth for Jeongol also can be different and diverse depends on which Jeongol you want to try. I will introduce several popular Jeongol for you. We can check which ingredients and which broth we need for each Jeongol.
Beoseot (Mushroom) Jeongol with vegetable broth
If you are a vegetarian, Mushroom Jeongol can be your one of the options. Late fall season is perfect season for mushrooms harvest. So I highly recommend you to try Beoseot Jeongol when autumn time in Korea. Mushroom which is one of the best healthy foods can be the main ingredient for Beoseot Jeongol. Korean people enjoy 10 kinds of mushrooms, out of which Pyogo mushrooms (Shiitake) and Songi mushrooms (Matsutake) produced in Korea.
So Beoseot Jeongol is made with an assortment of different types of mushrooms such as button/white mushroom, shiitake, Matsutake, oyster, Enoki, etc. For vegetable broth, we need Onions, Korean radish, dried kelp (known as dashima/kombu), a few mushroom stems, soy sauce, salt and pepper. You can add more vegetables if you want. Or you can add some seafood for broth as well. For the pot, of course we need assorted mushrooms, scallion, minari (watercress), minced garlic and tofu if you want. You can add more broth and any remaining ingredients while eating. Mushrooms have been enjoyed not only in Korea but also worldwide, so you can enjoy Beoseot Jeongol with family or friends all over the world if you have proper ingredients.
You can find a lot of different types of korean and japanese mushrooms in a kroean or japanese grocery store.
Bulgogi (Beef) Jeongol with vegetable broth
Bulgogi is always nice for Korean BBQ, but we can make Jeongol with Bulgogi as well. It will become whole new dish even using same Bulgogi. Now you can understand why Bulgogi is so popular in Korea. Bulgogi is the one of the most versatile food and its well round with any other vegetables. You can guess that main ingredient for Bulgogi Jeongol is Bulgogi. We need Bulgogi by marinating thinly sliced beef (rib eye or top sirloin). It’s even better if you have leftover Bulgogi from Korean BBQ. To marinate Bulgogi, we need soy sauce, sugar, honey, rice wine, garlic, sesame oil, Asian pear and pepper. For broth, we need dried kelp (Dashima), Korean radish, onion, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. This is kind of vegetable broth. You can use either anchovy broth (If you add some seafood with anchovy and some vegetable, it would be anchovy broth) or vegetable broth. Actually you can also use beef broth for Bulgogi Jeongol.
However, Bulgogi already have strong flavor so I recommend you to try simply vegetable broth. For pot, we need some vegetables like carrot, Napa cabbage leaves or green cabbage or bok choy or all together, onion, mushrooms if you want, scallions, watercress, chili pepper and Bulgogi. You can also add sweet potato noodles (Dangmyeon) for extra taste. Dangmyeon get along with Bulgogi well.
Haemul Jeongol (Spicy Seafood Jeongol) with anchovy broth
Haemul Jeongol is perfect for winter time. It will make your body really warm because of spiciness. I recommend try Haemul Jeongol with Soju for extra taste. Haemul Jeongol ingredients are typically arranged nicely in a wide and shallow pot for eye-catching visual appearance. So it’s really visually appealing dish. Haemul Jeongol is made with a lot of different kinds of seafood.
It’s versatile so you can use any combination of seafood. Korean people usually use crabs, shrimp, clams, mussels, squid, octopus and firm white flesh fish. Sometimes people add lobsters or scallops for special taste. If you use a lot of seafood you can enjoy much richer flavor from seafood combination. For broth, you can use anchovy broth or beef broth. But people usually use anchovy broth for Haemul Jeongol. You need dried clean silvery skins with a bluish tone anchovy and typically medium to large anchovies are used for broth as they impart much more flavor. You need to remove the anchovy guts by opening the belly and scraping them out, but leave the heads on. This process will get rid of some of the fishy taste. We need Korean radish, dashima (Kombu), onion, garlic cloves and the white parts of scallions for anchovy broth as well. You can add some vegetables, dried shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimp for anchovy broth but it would be too strong for Haemul Jeongol.
For seasoning, we need Gochugaru (chili pepper powder), you can add as much as you want to adjust spiciness. We need soy sauce or fish sauce with Gochugaru, salt, pepper, gochujang (red chili paste), doenjang (soy bean paste), minced garlic and grated ginger for seasoning.
For pot, we need assortment of seafood such as clams, mussels, blue crabs, squid, octopus, white flesh fish, shell-on shrimp, soybean sprouts, Napa cabbage, Korean radish, carrot, onion, scallions and watercress (Ssukgat) which has extra taste for Haemul Jeongol. You can add more broth and any remaining ingredients while eating.
Dipping sauces for Jeongol
Dipping sauce is a common condiment for Jeongol. It will add flavor or texture for diverse kinds of Jeongol such as vegetable, beef, seafood, mushroom Jeongol and so on. There are several dipping sauces you can enjoy with Jeongol.
Sweet dipping sauce
There is a sweet dipping sauce for someone who doesn't like spicy sauce. It's really easy and simple to make it. It's sweet and a little bit sour, refreshing for kids or people who want to experience extra taste for Jeongol.
- 3 Tablespoons oyster sauce or Hoisin sauce
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey for sweet dipping sauce
Spicy dipping sauce
If you love spicy foods, there is a spicy dipping sauce for you.
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce or hoisin sauce or sweet soy sauce with chili oil mixture
- 1 Tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili paste (Gochujang) or Srirach
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- some salt
You can adjust spiciness using red chili paste.
Creamy dipping sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame paste. You can use peanut butter instead
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey,
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Kelp water
- A pinch of sesame seeds and black pepper
There is a creamy dipping sauce for someone who wants soft and mild dipping sauce.
There are so many different kinds of sauce that you can create, so feel free to try new taste of sauce to enjoy your own Jeongol.
How can I make my own Jeongol at home?
You can make your own style of Jeongol at home very easily. It would only take 30~40 mins to prepare and cook. Ingredients for Jeongol would be different depend on which Jeongol you want to try. Or simply you can create your own Jeongol :)