Haemul Jeongol, aka Jeju Bouillabaisse

Featured on Episode 4 – The Seafood Chronicles

Serves 6


  • 3 cups coarsely chopped extra-sour kimchi
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups thinly sliced white radish (moo or daikon)
  • 1/4 cup Umma Paste (See below)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 10 cherrystone clams, scrubbed
  • 1 large lobster, halved lengthwise
  • 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 squid, bodies cut into 1-inch rings, tentacles left whole
  • 1 dozen mussels, scrubbed
  • 1 dozen cockles, scrubbed
  • 1 dozen shell-on medium shrimp
  • 2 handfuls of watercress


Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a wide pot. Add the kimchi, return to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion, radish, Umma Paste, fish sauce, and salt and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the cherrystone clams and cover and cook for 1 minute. Add the lobster, cover, and cook for another minute. Add the scallions, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Scatter the squid, mussels, cockles, shrimp and watercress over the contents of the pot. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels are open and the shrimp and squid are cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes (discard any clams or mussels that haven’t yet opened). Serve directly from the pot to lucky friends and family.

Umma Paste

Makes 3/4 cup


This heady, outspoken combination of ingredients informs many of my recipes and gives everything a loud Korean presence. I use it so often that I have named it “umma Paste,” which means “Mother Paste.” I boil it into soups like kimchi jjigae and use it to flavor dishes like Easy Braised Chicken.


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree to a smooth paste.