Kkotgae-tang (꽃게탕): Spicy Blue Crab Soup

[Kkotgae: blue crap, Tang: soup, stew]

Kkotgae-tang is a spicy soup made of blue crabs and vegetables. It is a sumptuous yet a surprisingly easy dish to make. Blue crab is my favorite seafood and I happened to have found blue crabs that were already cleaned and trimmed at a Korean supermarket. Without being able to resist them, I decided to make kkotgae-tang for my family last night. Needless to say, it was a great success, and I promise this dish will impress your family and friends as well.


  • 6 cups water
  • 200g (about 1/2 lbs.) moo (Korean radish) or daikon, cut into small thin squares
  • 1/2 yellow onion, vertically sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, thinly cut into half-moon shapes
  • 1 lbs. blue crabs (about 6 small blue crabs), cleaned and trimmed
  • 5 large shrimp
  • 1/2 package of soft tofu, cut into large thin slices
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced

Ingredients for soup seasoning:

  • 2-3 tbsp. gochgaru (고추가루, Korean red pepper powder)depending on the spiciness of the gochugaru
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. gochjang (고추장, Korean red pepper paste)
  • 2/3 tbsp. duenjang (된장, Korean soybean paste)
  • 2 tbsp. gukganjang (국간장, Korean light soy sauce), can be replaced by regular light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine all soup seasoning ingredients.
  2. Pour water into a large pot and mix in 2/3 of the soup seasoning.
  3. Add the moo and boil the soup base for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the onion and zucchini and boil for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the blue crabs, shrimp and tofu. Cook until the crabs and shrimp are cooked thoroughly, about 10 minutes.
  6. Skim off foam rising from the soup.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Sprinkle scallions and red peppers on top and cook for about 2 minutes.

2 thoughts on “Kkotgae-tang (꽃게탕): Spicy Blue Crab Soup

  1. I just want to note that the spiciness of the broth mostly depends on how spicy your gochugaru is. If you feel like your gochgaru is extra spicy, decrease the amount you put in the marinade. You can always add more later. It can also be very helpful to mix the marinade, only use 2/3 of the marinade initially, taste and add more as you go. I always do this even with dishes I’ve been cooking for years.

  2. Also, using an amount of sugar or stevia (50x sweeter) is common.
    You can also dip in a green onion stalk, and remove. The broth’s taste gets a difference.
    The onions can be held in the boil, in a tea-strainer-like net. Most dont like chewing them.
    Using pre-picked crab meat is recommendable…

    It is HARD to eat crab. So, using scallops is nice. Add clams, squid, oysters, if you want

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