Spicy beef and vegetable soup

Yukgaejang 육개장

I’m re-introducing the delicious and nutritious yukgaejang to you today: spicy beef and vegetable soup. This soup is smoky, spicy, and rich, with healthy hunks of sliced beef and plenty of vegetables that are soft, but not mushy—they’re full of earthy mountain flavor from gosari (fernbrake). Served with rice, it’s a satisfying, warming meal.

I made a video for this recipe years ago. It was on my first low-def camera, and eventually the music was removed in a copyright claim. Even though the video was rough, the recipe was very good and many people used it to make delicious yukgaejang. I thought the time was right to remake the video in HD and rewrite the recipe.

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When Koreans make yukagejang, they always make it in large batches to make it worth the effort. Extra yukagaejang is full of good stuff and never goes to waste: you can bring some to your friend’s house, or a close neighbor may get a knock at the door and find you there with some yukgaejang to share!

It’s also common for Korean moms to make a big pot of yukagaejang to keep their family sustained while goes away for an extended time. That way she can visit her own mom and not worry about her children and husband starving at home. It can keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, or up to 1 week if you reheat it every other day. One of my readers told me he divides it into portions and then freezes them, and then takes out a portion whenever he wants some for a meal. Good tip!

Homemade yukgaejang is always better than yukgaejang at a restaurant, because you can take care to add a lot of the best ingredients, perfectly prepared. Some restaurants might not include gosari, either. It’s an essential ingredient!

Enjoy my updated yukgaejang recipe and let me know how yours turns out!

Korean spicy beef and vegetable soup (Yukgaejang:(육개장)yukgaejang (Korean spicy beef and vegetable soup: 육개장)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beef brisket, cut into several pieces along the grain 3 inch long, soaked in cold water for 10 to 20 minutes, washed, and drained
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) mung bean sprouts (you can grow your own!), washed and strained
  • 3-4 large green onions (dae-pa) or 14-16 green onions, cut into 2½ inch long pieces
  • 6 ounces of soaked (or fresh) gosari (about 2 cups), cut into 2½ inch long pieces
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced

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Sauce

On the side

  • Extra salt

Directions

Start cooking the beef, mushrooms, and onion:

  1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts (12 cups) of water to a boil. Add the beef along with the dried shiitake mushrooms and the onion.yukgaejang making (육개장 만들기)
  2. Cook for 1 hour over medium high heat.

While it boils, make the seasoning sauce and prepare the vegetables:

  1. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix it well.
    yukgaejang-sauce
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  3. Put the mung bean sprouts, green onions, gosari, and garlic in a large bowl.Yukgaejang (육개장)

Make the soup:

  1. 1 hour later, check the beef. Take a sample chunk and split it with your fingers or fork. If it splits nicely, it’s done. If it’s a little tough to split, let it cook for 10 more minutes. As stock boils off, you want to maintain about 10 cups’ worth, so add some water.
  2. When it’s done, remove the beef, onion, and mushrooms with a slotted strainer.
  3. Let the beef and mushrooms cool down and discard the cooked onion.
  4. Mix the vegetables with the seasoning sauce by hand until well incorporated. Add to the boiling stock.Yukgaejang (육개장)
  5. Cover and cook 20 minutes over medium high heat until the vegetables are cooked through and tender, but not mushy.
  6. Slice the mushrooms and pull the beef apart into strips. Add to the boiling soup and cook another 10 minutes.
    yukgaejang-mushroomsyukgaejang-beef

Serve:

  1. Remove from the heat, ladle and serve. Prepare a small bowl of salt on the table, for anyone who wants to add some. Serve with rice and side dishes. Before eating, people can add a pinch of salt to their taste if they like.
    Korean spicy beef and vegetable soup (Yukgaejang:(육개장)

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142 Comments:

  1. Jae_yong Uk My profile page joined 12/16
    Posted December 3rd, 2016 at 10:24 am | # |

    I can’t find 고사리 in the korean food store where I live and I can’t find it to ship online , is there anything I could subsitute it for? (I begrudge doing it )

  2. Sanmati3 Germany My profile page joined 11/16
    Posted November 14th, 2016 at 7:02 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Here my comment on my Yukgaejang: It turned out very god with the following small changes:

    1. When it was finished, I added 3 mixed eggs carefully in the soup, when it was not more boiling. Then I waited for 30 Minutes and mixed the soup up, very good!
    2. I let the soup cool down and waited 24 hours, before eating it.
    3. I added much more salt and very hot Chili flakes. It must be so hot, that you sweat when eating it.
    4. I served it with rice ( as you say ) and some glass noodles, as I am a great noodle lover, this was also very good.
    5. The rest is going into the deep freezer and so I can enjoy the soup later in the year again and this has the big advantage, that you do not smell all those ingredients before, when you cooking it.

    Thanks again for that wonderful recipe

    Tido

  3. sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted November 8th, 2016 at 4:57 pm | # |

    As it says in the recipe: “6 ounces of soaked (or fresh) gosari (about 2 cups), cut into 2½ inch long pieces”, complete with the link how to prepare it: http://www.maangchi.com/ingredient/kosari

    Don’t you have any books about Korean cooking? A recipe for this beef soup is almost always there…

    Bye, Sanne (München)

  4. Sanmati3 Germany My profile page joined 11/16
    Posted November 8th, 2016 at 9:10 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi,

    When I was 25 years old, I used to go together with my wife to a fantastic korean Restaurant in Wuppertal, Germany and we used to eat Yukgaejang there, the best soup of the world! It was extremely spicy but absolutely great in taste. They served it with rice and Kimchi! When I was 40, I went there again with my wife, but this was the last day of the restaurant, before it closed for ever. Now I knew, that I would never get this soup again and I offered them 400 DM ( the currency before EUR , about 250 $ ) for the recipe, but they didn’t give it to me, unfortunately. Now I am 57 years old and found your recipe on your page, I am absolutely fascinated! On the next weekend I will try it!

    Now some questions: I can get gosari here in a Korean shop in Düsseldorf, but it is dried. Can I cook it up for 30 Minutes and let it rest over night before using it?

    I remember, there were eggs in that soup in that restaurant. Can I add, shortly before it is finally finished, 2 mixed eggs into the soup and wait for 10 Minutes?

    Can I also use Turande instead of gosary or gosari and Turande?

    I am very excited now and can hardly wait to the weekend, when I will try it.

    I will let you know, how it was, thank you so much!

    All the best,

    Tido

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 8th, 2016 at 11:57 pm | # |

      Hi Tido,
      I hope you love my yukgaejang recipe. You must be so passionate about delicious food, just like me!

      “I can get gosari here in a Korean shop in Düsseldorf, but it is dried. Can I cook it up for 30 Minutes and let it rest over night before using it?”
      Just as Sanne replied, follow the link and you can see how to soak your gosari to make it tender. If you have a pressure cooker, you can boil your gosari for 30 to 40 minutes and then rinse it in cold water before using it right away. This is what I do, these days.

      I think your egg idea sounds good, try it!

      You can also use both torandae (taro stems) and gosari together.

      Good luck with making delicious yukgaejang!

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