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My Soul Food, Seolleongtang

By Kate Lee

Age Group: Elementary School

I see a big bowl, with meat and noodles, steam swirling. I hear family talking. I smell the richness of radish kimchi. I taste flavorful, melt in your mouth, beef. I feel happy and full. I take another bite of Seolleongtang, my Korean ox bone soup, and experience it all over again.

Seolleongtang is one of my favorite Korean foods. The dish looks simple, but it can take around five hours to make. Ox bone and beef cuts are boiled until it becomes a white broth. Then, seasonings are added and sometimes glass noodles, which is what I prefer.


I would eat it every day at home if it didn’t take a long time to make. But since it does, I usually eat it when my family goes out to dinner at a traditional Korean Seolleongtang restaurant when we visit Seattle. Everyone in my family likes it so much I can’t even remember a time when we went to Seattle and didn’t order it at least once.

It's not just a delicious meal and full of flavor, it is also full of history, my history. My family is Korean. Seolleongtang is something that has likely been eaten for generations by people in my family. When I enjoy a dish of this soup, it connects me to my family in Korea.

One time, my family and I went surfing in Korea. We got tired after swimming for a long time, so we stopped at a Seolleongtang restaurant. I ate until I was really full and almost ate a whole entire bowl! It was so good because we were really tired and hungry. Its scrumptious noodles and heartwarming broth were like a light in my darkness, and is now my soul food.

I take my time. I am warm and supportive. I am simple, but there is more to me than meets the eye. I am part of traditions of the past. I am Korean. So is Seolleongtang. Afterall, you are what you eat.

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