Happy New Year! Regretting that last round? Make like a hungover Korean today and cook up some haejangguk, hangover soup, to cure your January ills.

Haejangguk is used a broad term for hangover soup as it comes in many different varieties, but the main ingredients are cabbage and beef broth. If you’re partial to black pudding, a variety known as seonjiguk includes sliced congealed pig or cow blood. The yang variety has tripe in it.

If you’re not so keen on animal innards in your soup, soondubu haejangguk has small beef pieces and tofu, or try the beansprout based kongnamul variety.

In Korea, a bowl of haejangguk costs about 5,000 KRW. There’s a chain restaurant easy to find in Seoul called Chungjindong Haejang Guk. Here’s a review and map of one of their branches.

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Until you can get to Korea, check out one of these video recipes, making it easy to cook up your own haejangguk.
A spicy and non spicy version of kongnamul.
Eat Your Kimchi’s take on the soup.
A classic beef version.

You don’t have to have a hangover to enjoy the benefits of haejangguk, as some Koreans eat it to help deal with colds too – it’s meant to boost your energy levels at any time, so what better way to begin the new year?


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.