Today I’m going to introduce you to my recipe for gomtang, a traditional Korean soup that is perfect for this cold season. Gomtang is a hearty soup made with long-simmered beef and intestines. It can also be made with pork, goat, or chicken, but beef gomtang is the most common and popular.

When I lived in Korea, I used to go to a famous gomtang restaurant with my family. The soup was delicious and worth the drive! Here in New York, I can’t find any good gomtang restaurants at all. The taste is always different from what I ate in Korea. This recipe I’m showing you today is based on the gomtang that I remember.

You may be wondering what the difference is between seolleongtang and gomtang. I shared a seolleongtang recipe years ago, but now I think it needs a simpler and easier update. Stay tuned! But generally gomtang is a clear soup made by boiling beef and intestines. Seolleongtang is a soup made by boiling beef bones for a long time and then boiling beef with the bones. The cooking time of seolleongtang is much longer, and the soup is known by its milky-white broth. Depending on the amount of bones, it can take more than a day or 2 days of boiling! Gomtang has no bones so it usually needs just two to three hours of boiling, until the beef becomes tender.

When serving gomtang, Koreans do it using the toryeom method. That is, we use the super-hot boiling broth to warm up the prepared ingredients (rice, beef, and tendon) before we fill the bowl with the final broth and serve. Using toryeom method makes the ingredients hot and soft, and the final bowl of gomtang even more delicious.

Gomtang is almost always served with well-fermented, crunchy and spicy kkakdugi, but you can use well-fermented kimchi as well. Enjoy it!

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

vegetables for gomtang

For egg strips (gyeran-jidan)

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil (or grape-seed oil, vegetable oil, etc)

Directions

Prepare beef, tendons, and broth

  1. Trim the fat from the beef and beef tendon, then wash them in cold running water.
  2. Soak them in cold water for 1 hour to overnight, changing the water a couple of times to remove blood. Drain.
soaking meat and tendons for gomtang
Beef and tendon soaked and drained
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the beef and tendon. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook for 10 to 15 minutes with the lid open, until fatty brownish foams come up on the surface.
blanching meat for gomtang
  1. Remove from heat and drain. Rinse the beef and tendon in cold water. Wash the large pot with soapy water.
washing blanched meat for gomtang
  1. Add the beef, tendon, radish, onion, 1 large green onion (cut into 2 inches long), and garlic to the cleaned pot. Add 6 quarts of water (24 cups), cover and cook over medium-high heat for 30 to 35 minutes until boiling.
Boiling gomtang broth
  1. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2½ hours until the beef and tendon are soft. Taste to check tenderness. If not tender enough, cook a little longer.
Gomtang broth
  1. Remove from heat and let the beef and tendon cool. Strain the broth, yielding about 14 cups. If less, add water to make it 14 cups. Discard the mushy cooked vegetables.
  2. Let the broth cool, then refrigerate until the fat on the surface solidifies. Remove and discard the solid fat.
removing fat from broth for gomtang
  1. Slice the beef and tendon into bite-size pieces and set aside.
Cooked beef and tendon
Beef and tendon for gomtang

Make gyeran-jidan (egg strips)

  1. Beat the eggs with salt. Strain them into a small bowl and discard any stringy bits remaining in the strainer.
Straining eggs
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Wipe off excess oil with a paper towel, leaving a thin layer.
  2. Turn off the heat and pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Shape it to a large circle shape by tilting the skillet this way and that. Cook for a couple of minutes until set.
  3. Turn it over and let both sides set with the remaining heat. If it’s not set, you can cook it for another minute over low heat.
egg for gyeran-jidan
  1. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into thin strips. It can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Put gomtang together and serve

  1. Drain the noodles and cut them into approximately 2-inch lengths. Add them to the broth.
cutting noodles for gomtang
  1. Stir in fish sauce and 4 teaspoons salt (or to your taste) and bring it to a boil.
  2. Place a bowl of rice into a ttukbaegi (Korean earthenware bowl) or a large bowl and add some tendon and beef.
  3. To warm up the rice, beef, and tendon, try the Korean “toryeom” method. Crank up the heat first! Then, ladle some hot broth into the bowl. Use the ladle to hold everything in place while pouring the broth back into the pot. Repeat a couple times until everything is warm and ready. Finally, add your final ladles of broth to serve.
toryeom method for preparing gomtang
  1. Sprinkle ground black pepper, chopped green onion, egg strips, and gochu-garu (if used) over top.
  2. Repeat these steps for each serving, adding rice, beef, tendon, to each additional bowls. Keep the broth boiling as you work.
  3. Serve immediately with fermented radish kimchi and any additional side dishes you want.
radish kimchi (kkakdugi) for gomtang
Gomtang (beef-soup)

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4 Comments:

  1. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

    Friday, my husband bought three calves feet already cut into slices.
    I soaked them in ice-cold water, removed the marrow (for small dumplings) and cut off the skin (maybe I’ll fill those rings with ground meat) – now I have enough tendons to make this dish tomorrow and bones for seolleongtang later!
    I’m happy!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 564 comments

      Yes, I can feel your passion for cooking delicious food! : )

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

        Dear Maangchi,

        A few years ago, I tried to handle calves’ feet – it was a disaster.
        Not for our friends’ dogs; they loved the result (especially frozen – Doggie ice-cream! ;-))

        This time – soaking and blanching worked wonders. Not ready yet, but already tasting wonderful!

        My husband will have to be at the dentist several times, therefore hearty soups are the meals of choice. And gorigomtang at a special place (not for tourists) was our favorite next to hoe every time when we were in Busan at Songdo Beach. Your recipes hit the spot!

        ❤️

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

        So good! Wow!
        Absolutely worth the effort!

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