Spicy beef and vegetable soup

Yukgaejang 육개장

This time I posted spicy beef and vegetable soup (yukgaejang) on YouTube.


Beef brisket, onion, water, green onions, bean sproutssoaked fernbrake (gosari), celery, garlic, hot pepper flakessesame oil, vegetable oil, salt, soy sauce, and black pepper


  1. In a big pot, add 1lb beef brisket, 11-12 cups of water, and half an onion. Boil it for 1 hour over high heat.
  2. While it boils, cut 12 green onions, 1 stalk of celery, and 1-2 cups of fernbrake into pieces about 7 cm in length. Mince 7 cloves of garlic. Put them all into a big bowl with 5 cups of bean sprouts.
  3. Put 3 tbs hot pepper flakes, 1 tbs of sesame oil, 1 tbs of vegetable oil, 1 tbs soy sauce, 5 ts of salt, and some ground black pepper into a small bowl and mix it. This is your hotpepper oil sauce.
  4. Put the hotpepper oil sauce on top of the vegetables and mix them all up.
  5. When the beef is well cooked, take it out and set it aside to cool down.
  6. Add the mixture of vegetables and hot pepper oil sauce into the boiling beef stock. Boil it for 20 minutes.
  7. Slice the beef thinly and add it into the boiling soup. Cook it about 5  minutes more.

Serve with rice. Enjoy it!


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  1. jsp73 My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted June 1st, 2015 at 4:12 pm | # |

    Boiling the brisket at a such a high temperature results in tough meat. Slicing it thinly does help. However, to make the meat more tender, I treated the soup just as I would an Italian bolognese sauce. After adding the sliced brisket at the end, I kept the soup at a low simmer for several hours. This did not appear to overcook the vegetables or affect their texture too much because they are very fibrous to begin with (especially the toran).
    however, the slow cooking breaks down the connective tissue in the meat further and makes for a more tender brisket (any barbecue chef will tell you that “slow and low” is the best way to cook a brisket anyhow).

    I ate YukGaeJang regularly when I lived in Korea. I couldn’t figure out how to make it spicy enough. Everyone prepares it differently, but my favorites were always the ones that made me sweat (if it doesn’t make me sweat, then it isn’t spicy!). I bought some chiles at the Korean market and, instead of slicing them whole and incorporating them into the soup, I cut them into quarters and put them in a cheese cloth sachet –steeping them as you would a tea, while the stock simmered. I thought the peppers were tougher than normal and I did not want to add them into the soup sliced or otherwise. This method added heat and flavor, but not the tough flesh.

    My Korean wife loves this recipe. Thanks. Also, your ddeok bboki recipe is the best! I haven’t tried to make my own ddeok yet, but that is on my todo list.

  2. aamomo NY My profile page joined 11/14
    Posted November 15th, 2014 at 7:39 pm | # |


    I have tried numerous recipes from you and they are all tasty, thank you!
    Today I tried yukgaejang and it is quite different from the one I tried from a food court at H Mart in Bayside, NY. Have you been to that food court before? I can’t tell where is the difference, I don’t think it is because of MSG.


  3. jtaylor9003 North Carolina My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 28th, 2014 at 1:54 pm | # |

    I loved most every dish I ate when I was in Korea. This soup was always my favorite during the colder months. I would rotate between this and the spicy squid at lunch constantly. I am finally glad to have the recipe so I can finally make my own. I will be trying my hand at a lot of your recipes. Thanks!

  4. ddnorman Southern NH, USA My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/13
    Posted February 1st, 2014 at 4:20 pm | # |


    육개장 맛있어요! I had a hankering for some hot and spicy soup and I had some beef left over from Bulgogi last weekend. So I made Yukgaejang! I had enough left over so I will put some in the freezer and see how that works.


    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2014 at 3:10 pm | # |

      Hi Dave,
      Awesome! “I had enough left over so I will put some in the freezer and see how that works.” Let us (me and my other readers) know the result! I usually keep my leftover yukgaejang in my fridge up to 1 week and I never freeze it.

      • ddnorman Southern NH, USA My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/13
        Posted February 4th, 2014 at 5:13 am | # |


        Will do! I will try it after one month and let you know how it tastes! I am sure it will still be delicious. My wife does this with many soups and stews and they always come out good! She also makes a lot of homemade broths and stocks (fish, chicken, turkey, vegetable) and freezes those as well.


      • ddnorman Southern NH, USA My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/13
        Posted March 2nd, 2014 at 1:19 pm | # |


        As promised, here is my report on yukgaejang in the freezer. I knew it would be good, but it was even better than I expected! I defrosted it yesterday, heated it up on the stovetop for lunch today. Once it was ready, I dumped some rice in. It was delicious! The flavors melded and tasted even richer. I would say that it was an unqualified success! Now I can make larger batches, freeze it and have it anytime! ^^


        • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
          Posted March 3rd, 2014 at 1:18 pm | # |

          Thank you for updating your yukgaejang! “Once it was ready, I dumped some rice in.” yay! That’s what I do! : )

  5. DrNugu S.Korea My profile page joined 2/14
    Posted February 1st, 2014 at 2:35 am | # |

    Great recipe! I made this but needed much more (3X) the red pepper/oil sauce to make it spicy like here in Busan.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2014 at 3:12 pm | # |

      Hi Busan dweller,
      yes, you can modify the amount of hot pepper flakes to your taste! Good job!

  6. tko_in_to toronto, canada My profile page joined 12/13
    Posted December 11th, 2013 at 10:35 am | # |

    I love this recipe! Thank you so much!

  7. martinaratna DKI JAKARTA, INDONESIA My profile page joined 12/13
    Posted December 10th, 2013 at 7:13 am | # |

    Annyeonghaseyo eonni! ^o^

    I am a fan of Korean delicacies, and THIS RECIPE IS JJANG! Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe! I love the taste and the ingredients are quite simple, & quite easy to make.

    Anyway I did a little experiment with this recipe. I cooked this recipe using 2 different method :

    1. Following your recipe, the soup came out very refreshing, & of course very delicious!

    2. After some experience, instead of using water only, I mixed with SOY MILK! The ratio is around 50:50 with water. Surprisingly, it turned out WONDERFUL. The taste come out savoury & great.

    I can’t wait to try cooking the other recipes. Wish me luck..!!


  8. iamko Fresno My profile page joined 2/13
    Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 6:16 pm | # |

    Maangchi! :) will this soup still taste good without gosari??

    • mrssteinert Dortmund, Germany My profile page joined 2/13
      Posted July 3rd, 2013 at 10:40 am | # |

      yes, it’s still good, you can add some mushrooms as well. I also put some eggs (break it and put it slowly in the boiling soup) for the last touch into the soup. really delicious!! :)

  9. jawsua Oregon My profile page joined 1/13
    Posted January 30th, 2013 at 8:48 pm | # |

    Where I live the Korean store has 토란. How do I cut it?

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