Kongnamul Guk (Soybean Sprout Soup) is such a soothing comfort food. Some even swear by it for their HaejangGuk (Hangover Cure Soup). The hot soupy broth hits the spot for those painful hangovers, making you feel so soothed. No, I was not hungover today. For hangovers, I usually get Pho or Jjambbong (even though Kongnamul Guk is great, my choices are just a personal preference). I was debating on what to eat for lunch today. It was either MooGuk (Radish Soup) or Kongnamul Guk. And Kongnamul Guk was the winner.
My last name is Kim. There are a number of different Kim clans among the Kims. I am a Kim’s Kim (Kimhae Kim, the most common Kim). Kim’s Kim roots back to nobility. Legend has it that some princess named Heo Hwang-ok traveled to Korea to marry a King named Suro of Geumgwan Gaya. They had ten kids, began the Kim dynasty, and the rest is history. So that means I have royalty in my blood tracking back to a gajillion years ago lol . My parents have always told me that I eat Kongnamul Guk (and almost every other Guk aka soup) like a peasant. Why? Because I put my rice in the soup. And I guess that is how the peasants used to eat Guk.
I think it depends on my mood and circumstance whether I chose to eat my Guk on the side or with rice inside it. When I have a bunch of other banchans at the table, I tend to eat Guk on the side (like a Yangban aka nobility). I want to enjoy the various flavors of the different banchans and sipping on Guk on the side is so satisfying, whereas when I have rice in the Guk, the Guk is pretty much the main dish. And all I need with it is a side of Kimchi.