Korean Mussel Soup (Hong Hap Tang)

Korean mussel soup is another family favorite anju (food you eat while drinking)! It’s a light and refreshing soup with a nice little kick.

Thai chili peppers aren’t traditionally used but I added them for an extra layer of spiciness. I also had some left over bread so I made some buttery garlic bread. Let’s just say, it did not disappoint!

I picked up fresh mussels from my local fish market and even though it was extra work to prep them, it was worth it! I don’t recommend using frozen mussels for this.

Once the mussels are fully opened, you want to take them out asap so they don’t overcook. I like to season the soup after the mussels are out so I don’t have to worry about them turning rubbery.

I leveled up the dish by adding a dash of my ground anchovy powder and msg. These two ingredients are optional but I highly recommend using them if you can!

Korean Mussel Soup

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins


  • 1 lb mussels fresh, not frozen
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 4-5 pieces of dried kelp
  • 1 long green pepper or jalapeno
  • 1 scallion
  • 3 thai chili peppers optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder or black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground anchovy powder optional
  • 1/8 tsp msg optional

Garlic Bread

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 slices of bread


  • Clean and debeard the mussels. Soak in cold water for 20 minutes and drain. Please use fresh mussels for this recipe!
  • Cut the peppers and scallions into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • In a pot, add water, onion, dried kelp, and thai chili peppers. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Strain and bring to a boil again.
  • Add the mussels, peppers and scallions. Cook until the mussels have opened. Transfer the opened mussels to a bowl.
  • Mussels release some salt during the cooking process so taste the soup first before adding the seasoning. Add all the salt, white pepper, anchovy powder, and msg.
  • Pour the soup over the mussels and serve immediately!

Butter Garlic Bread

  • In a pan, melt the butter and add the sliced bread. Cook until browned on both sides.
  • Remove from the pan and while the bread is still hot, rub the garlic clove on both sides.
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Korean

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