Spicy radish and beef soup

Maeun mooguk 매운 무국

This soup is another recipe which is very delicious and easy to make. When you boil this soup, the aroma is irresistible. : ) If you like spicy food and soup, this is the perfect food. You don’t need any other side dishes when you eat this soup, but you need to serve it with rice. If you want to eat this soup and rice with a few more side dishes, don’t skip kimchi! : ) I usually dump my warm rice into the soup. Ummm!

I filmed this video recipe with Mina when I visited Copenhagen, Denmark for my Gapshida project. Mina is a great cook and has a blog named Copenhagen Kitchen. We made a huge portion for our meetup party that night, and everybody who came to the party enjoyed the soup and asked for the recipe. So this soup will be a great choice for those who have to feed many people like I did in the video. 50 people or 100 people, no problem! Soup and rice, that’s all you need! But if you want to do more, serve with kimchi and more side dishes.



Beef (brisket or skirt steak), white radish (or Korean radish or daikon), hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, green onions, ground black pepper, salt


Directions (for 2 servings)

cooking time: 1 hour

  1. Cut 250 grams of radish (about 2 cups) into pieces 1 inch x 1 inch and  ⅛ inch thick (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm and 0.3 cm thick). Put into a pot.
  2. Cut 250 grams of beef brisket into bite sized chunks and put it into the pot.
  3. Add 1 tbs hot pepper flakes, 2 tbs fish sauce, 1 tbs sesame oil, 1 ts salt, 2 cloves of minced garlic. Mix it well with a spoon.
  4. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high or medium hight heat with the lid closed for about 20 minutes.

    *tip: when the soup starts boiling (After 10-13 minutes), skim off any fat or foam that floats to the surface of the soup
  5. Lower the heat over medium heat and cook for another 30 minutes.
  6. Chop 3 stalks of green onions and add it to the soup.
  7. 1 minute later, turn off the heat. The soup is done!

Serve with rice.




  1. John Las Vegas, Nevada USA joined 2/17
    Posted March 5th, 2017 at 6:29 am | # |

    Made this tonight for a BBQ as an appetizer in case anyone was wanting something light while waiting for the food to be ready. As I’m the only one in the house who eats kimchi, I was also prepared for people to just avoid this as another of my crazy concoctions. Luckily one of the guests had spent three years in Korea and was excited to try some homemade Korean cooking. His first words upon tasting the broth was “very close”. This was high praise to me. Having never tried the actual recipe, I had no idea how to tweak it, so I was very happy to know I was close. Next time I may use shiitake broth or kelp to give it more depth of flavor. After he gave his approval, others tried it and liked it a lot. Thanks, Maangchi!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 6th, 2017 at 10:15 am | # |

      I’m happy for you! Good luck with your Korean cooking!

  2. ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13
    Posted March 9th, 2014 at 9:27 am | # |


    I made this last night along with kongnamulguk! The broth for this soup was sooooo rich, the radishsoaked up the beef flavor and by the end of the meal it was all gone! I made sure everyone ate it Korean style by dumping the rice in. ^__^


  3. kurly Seattle joined 4/14
    Posted April 7th, 2014 at 4:55 pm | # |

    Maangchi, I love your site! I tried this soup, and while I loved the results, it took a REALLY long time to get the brisket tender. It may be that I used grass-fed organic beef. I did cut it into bite size pieces as directed. After a couple hours I ended up scooping out the radish, which had become very soft, and pouring the rest into my pressure cooker. I should have followed my intuition to use the pressure cooker in the first place! I ended up eating dinner at 10:00pm – luckily it was the weekend. :-) Instead of rice, I poured it over sweet potato starch noodles.

    I love the Korean radish in this soup. It tastes almost like a potato, which gives me the idea to sub it for potatoes in other soups when I don’t need them for thickening purposes. I have just started using Korean radish and I love how mild it is. In the past I’ve substituted daikon in other recipes, but the difference in flavor is huge.

  4. rifftiff AZ joined 4/14
    Posted April 4th, 2014 at 8:08 am | # |

    I made this for my Korean boyfriend, and he ate the whole pot by himself!
    Thank you so much! From now on, I’ll be coming to this website whenever I want to make Korean food!

  5. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11
    Posted March 13th, 2014 at 11:18 pm | # |

    What a wonderful soup, what a wonderful person (Maangchi) and what a wonderful world. People coming all the way from Sweden to Copenhagen for the meet-up! Fantastic!

    I will make this soup tomorrow night and serve with my Uhmook-bokkeum, Oisobagi kimchi, Kkwarigochujjim and kimchee. Yummy!

    Maangchi is the Best! ; 0 )

  6. enee410 Niagara Falls,NY 14304 joined 9/13
    Posted September 10th, 2013 at 8:06 am | # |

    Can u use different oil rather then sesame oil?

  7. dklee Boston, MA joined 8/11
    Posted February 1st, 2013 at 6:28 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I followed your recipe and it was very tasty but I found the fish sauce taste to overpower the whole soup. Do you recommend to decrease the recipe amount of 2 Tablespoons or do you have another ingredient instead of fish sauce? Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2013 at 6:55 pm | # |

      Yes, you can modify the recipe to your taste. Use less fish sauce and add more salt then.

    • ryanct203 Bridgeport, CT joined 10/10
      Posted February 5th, 2013 at 7:00 pm | # |

      Yeah, I would use more salt like Maangchi said or I would use thin soy sauce in place of the fish sauce. Sometimes I cook for people who don’t like seafood (this drives me crazy, but that’s a different story) and I use the soy instead. Thin soy sauce, sometimes called ‘light soy sauce’, is a soy sauce that is lighter in color than regular soy sauce, so it is good to use in soup if you do not want to change the color. Do not take the word ‘light’ to mean ‘low sodium’, it refers to the color only and this soy sauce is actually a little saltier than regular soy, I think. Anyway, if you want you can substitute two tablespoons of thin soy sauce for the fish sauce and then add the the teaspoon of salt that it calls for in the recipe.

  8. Mattuuggi Little Rock, AR joined 1/13
    Posted January 31st, 2013 at 6:22 pm | # |

    I made this last night and added some squash that I had to it as well. For a little extra kick I added some SAMBAL. It was very good. Thanks to you I am able to cook the Korean food that my daughter used to only get when she visited her mom. Please keep doing what you are doing!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 1st, 2013 at 10:03 am | # |

      It sounds delicious! I love sambal!

  9. indelibledotink Honolulu joined 5/11
    Posted February 21st, 2012 at 8:16 pm | # |

    this was so easy and so good! keep it coming!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 22nd, 2012 at 9:27 am | # |

      yeah very easy but delicious soup! Cheers!

  10. AngelaC Pittsburgh, PA joined 11/11
    Posted February 21st, 2012 at 5:53 pm | # |

    Thank you so much for this recipe! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! My husband and I really enjoyed this delicious soup. :)

  11. lmhjgsfever Hungary joined 1/12
    Posted February 7th, 2012 at 5:37 pm | # |

    if i wanted to freeze these recipe how long would it last for

  12. CynthiaH Wichita joined 1/12
    Posted January 30th, 2012 at 11:47 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi! This is my first time commenting on your website. I made this soup except I exchanged firm tofu for the beef, and instead of radish, I used cabbage and mushrooms. Everything else was the same. It was DELISH! I got to eat this soup every day for lunch for a whole week. I will definitely try it with beef and radish, but this time I used what I had on hand. Gochujang is now a staple in my kitchen. I’ll post the picture as soon as I figure out how to do it.

    What would you call the soup I made in Korean? Or did I make something weird? :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 8:28 am | # |

      tofu, mushrooms, and cabbage! That’s great tips for vegetarians for this recipe!
      “What would you call the soup I made in Korean?..” I don’t know but it’s not weird. : )

  13. michey vancouver, british columbia joined 12/11
    Posted January 27th, 2012 at 8:32 pm | # |

    this soup is very easy to make and super delicious!!! My husband and kids all loved it! My husband thanks you for “making me a good Korean cook”. i love your recipes as they are easy to follow. I made your yukgaejang and that turned out well too. Keep up the great work, Maangchi!!! Thanks a million!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 28th, 2012 at 4:09 pm | # |

      “My husband thanks you for “making me a good Korean cook” wow, it makes me happy!

  14. Joy Cebu City Philippines joined 12/11
    Posted January 27th, 2012 at 8:40 am | # |

    I made this soup for dinner tonight..it is so delicious! the aroma of this soup makes me hungry everytime:) Thanks Maangchi :)

  15. D California joined 6/09
    Posted January 18th, 2012 at 8:25 pm | # |

    I don’t eat beef. What other meats can you use instead of beef? Chicken? Turkey?

    • lenabonsai United States joined 7/11
      Posted January 18th, 2012 at 10:05 pm | # |

      I made this tonight. It is very delicious, the black pepper gives it a different taste than other Korean foods. I don’t eat meat either (besides seafood) so I just skipped the meat and added three different kinds of mushrooms (nearly 2 cups worth) towards the end of the cooking. Gives it some texture. I think cubed tempeh would also work.

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted January 19th, 2012 at 7:22 am | # |

        It sounds delicious. You made vegetarian version!

  16. MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11
    Posted January 14th, 2012 at 9:02 am | # |

    Sesame O~il~~ :D

    Wow.. so many people come to the meet up! ^^b

    Definitely gonna try this soup! :9~~

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 16th, 2012 at 12:35 am | # |

      haha, it looks similar to soto bandung, right? Happy cooking!

  17. Yen somewhere in SE Asia joined 4/10
    Posted January 13th, 2012 at 8:27 pm | # |

    Ooooh, 50 people came and some are from Sweden! I can’t think of anything else to say but wow! And oh, I have to say this too – sesame oil~ :)

  18. leahangel Seattle, WA USA joined 9/10
    Posted January 13th, 2012 at 2:39 pm | # |

    Fun video and yummy recipe! I laughed about the sesame oi-l :D We made mapo-dubu yesterday and I said “Oh no, we almost forgot, guess what? SESAME OIIIIL!!” ;)


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