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Vegan Uguji-kook (Korean Cabbage Soup) Recipe

December 27, 2010
bowl of uguji-kook

I love these bowls! My parents, following the Korean tradition of sending the daughter off with nice kook (soup) bowls, gave us these when we got married.

During the cold winter days, Koreans tend to eat a lot of veggie soups. The Korean macrobiotic diet (a natural, environmentally-friendly, and healthy food movement lead by the inspiring Korean natural cook, Lim Ji-Ho, who I am a huge fan of, even if he is not vegan), also calls for eating a lot of hot soups with root vegetables and cabbage during the winter.

This Uguji-kook dish is a lighter doenjang/miso soup with napa cabbage that Koreans often make for the winter season. It’s also a dish that was often served in the traditional Korean market place, and it’s traditionally vegan. The first time I made this slightly revised version of my mom’s Uguji-kook, Bill fell it love with it. I promise you’ll love it as well – it’s quick, absolutely delicious and really healthy!!

Vegan Uguji-kook (Cabbage Soup) Recipe (Serves 4)

5 cups water
3-5 large napa cabbage leaves
1/8 large Korean radish (very very thin slices)
Half an onion (very thin slices)
2 tsp minced garlic
5 Tbsp miso or doenjang (more or less to taste: traditionally Uguji-kook calls for younger, lighter doenjang. Lighter deonjang is not easy to find here in the US, so I use miso often.)
3 green Korean peppers (thinly sliced)
1 tsp kelp powder (I get mine at the Wholefoods bulk spices/foods section!)
2-3 Tbs whole wheat flour (use enough for the broth to thicken)


1. Slice radish into squares very thin slices, onion into very thin slices and chop napa cabbage into 1.5 inch slices.
2. Start boiling 5 cups of water and blanch the napa cabbage slices well, so they are soft.
3. Take the cabbage out and rinse in cold water.
4. Put the radish and onions in the pot of water (that is still hot) and bring to boil, and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5. While water is simmering, put the cabbage in a large mixing bowl and add miso, garlic, Korean pepper, kelp powder and flour. Mix well.
6. Put the mix into the boiling water and let it come to complete boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes (you might need to add some water if broth thickens too much).
7. Enjoy the yummy uguji-kook with brown rice and banchan!


Mmm… yummy. Heavenly in the winter!

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