This is a delicious and spicy Korean classic! The spiciness of kimchi guk is also great for burning calories!

kimchi soup kimchi guk

Kimchi soup (kimchi guk)

Last week, I made juicy Korean chicken wings that came out looking gorgeous and tasting so good, they were gone almost instantly! Since then, I have been on a Korean kick craving strong, fiery flavors come breakfast, lunch, dinner and any time in between. I’ve been exploring recipes to expand my knowledge of this extremely healthy and spicy cuisine, with ingredients containing some of the highest natural anti-aging properties. After a few hours of serious browsing, I settled for kimchi soup: very simple and hard to mess up even for a novice. Plus, you can’t go wrong with pork belly!

You’ll need to buy gochujang for this recipe, a hot pepper paste that’s frequently used in Korean cooking and very easy to find in Korean supermarkets. Oh, and while you’re there grab some gochugaru, which are red chilies in either flakes or powder form (get both). If like me you are planning on familiarizing yourself with Korean cooking, these are essential ingredients to buy for your pantry. Koreans use gochugaru (as well as gochujang) in almost everything, therefore you’ll run out of it very quickly.

kimchi soup kimchiguk

I think medium to firm tofu is the classic way to go but I picked silken tofu as a textural preference. I like the balance of a soft and creamy tofu cube against a piece of chewy, fatty pork. This is one soup with very assertive flavors; spicy ( but not enough to make you cough or sneeze), pungent, meaty and salty, it can be eaten on its own or as a side. It’s also extremely delicious with a side of brown rice and some Japanese pickles, making dinnertime healthy but also hearty.

Complement this kimchi soup with a healthy vegetable salad with miso lemon dip or tender, charred skewers of beef yakitori and bacon wrapped asparagus.


Kimchi Soup (Kimchi Guk)

A delicious and spicy Korean classic soup. Great for burning a few calories!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Korean


  • 1/4 pound pork belly (cut into bite size pieces) – Optional
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 2 cups kimchi (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 5 cups water
  • 14 ounce silken tofu (drained and cut into cubes)
  • 4 stalks scallions (finely chopped)


  1. In a large pan over high heat, add pork and gochujang and cook for two minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add kimchi, sugar, soy sauce and water stir and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
  3. Add scallions and tofu cubes, stir and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with a bowl of rice and pickles.

Keywords: recipe, tofu soup, spicy soup, appetizer, main, healthy

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