Spicy Cod, Clam and Tofu Casserole (Maeun Tang)

Brick-colored, soupy casseroles flavored with sweet-spicy chili paste (kochujang) are the backbone of the Korean diet. For this seafood version, Koreans would use a light beef broth or the water left over from soaking rice. Anya von Bremzen substituted a mixture of water and clam juice.


Slideshow: Amazing Seafood Recipes


  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Korean sweet-spicy chili paste (kochujang)
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • One 4-inch piece of daikon—peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 6 scallions, white parts only
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 2 pounds cod steaks—cut 1 1/2 inches thick, skin and bones removed, bones reserved
  • 18 small clams, such as Manila clams, littlenecks or cockles
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coarsely ground Korean red chile <(gocho karu)
  • 1/2 pound soft tofu, cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
  • Steamed Rice, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a medium enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the chili paste and stir over low heat for 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, daikon, scallions, garlic and <a href="/recipes/sesame-salt">Sesame Salt</a> and stir until aromatic and the vegetables just begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the water and clam juice and bring to a boil.

  2. Meanwhile, cut the cod into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Wrap the reserved bones in cheesecloth. When the soup boils, reduce the heat to low and add the bones; simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bones.

  3. Increase the heat to moderate and add the cod. Cover and simmer until the fish is almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add the clams, cover and cook until they open, about 3 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a small skillet. Add the ground red chile and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir the chile oil into the casserole, add the tofu and simmer for 2 minutes. Ladle into wide bowls and serve with rice.

Contributed By Published April 2000

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