Basic Korean Soup Broth

This broth is the basis of most soups in Korean cooking. It’s pretty simple to make, and builds up layers of flavor into the final dish. I like to make a big batch and store it in the fridge, because I’m going to be needing it soon anyways!

The main ingredient of this broth is dried anchovies and dried kelp, (Dashima in Korean, Kombu in Japanese) you can use both or either one of them. Some people like to add small dried shrimps as well. The method here is to put everything into a big pot, pour water generously, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Adding vegetables is always a plus, but I recommend to use the discard bits so nothing goes to waste! It’s actually something I learnt from my mom.


10 large dried anchovies, preferably head and gut removed
10x10cm dried kelp
skin and outermost layer of onions
green onion roots
stems of pyogo mushroom (shiitake)
6 cups of water


Add all ingredients to a big pot and bring to boil.

Once it starts boiling, lower down the heat and keep it to a moderate boil for 10 minutes. Skim off any scum or foam rising on top and it’s better not to cover the lid entirely.

Take out the kelp and discard, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

Strain the liquid and it’s ready to use!


Don’t boil the kelp too long, it’ll get bitter and slimy!
• Some people suggest soaking the ingredients beforehand but I don’t think it’s necessary. (and also because of my laziness) Instead, when I have the time, I slow down the whole process. Bring it gently into boil and let it simmer on low heat for longer period of time. In both ways we are trying to extract the maximal flavor of the ingredients.
• If you want to skip the process of removing head and gut of the anchovies, make sure not to boil longer than 15 minutes because it can get bitter.
• If you’re using dried pyogo mushrooms, soak them in water for 30 mins-1hr. After they’re fully soaked, drain the water and use this for the the broth as well. It’s packed with flavor of the mushrooms!
• Note that if you add the skins of onion the broth will turn out darker.
• You can also buy small packets of these ingredients in an Asian market. All you have to do this drop this packet into water!

3 thoughts on “Basic Korean Soup Broth

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