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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150 Comments:

  1. Im making this right now.
    Its a cold winter night in the pacific northwest…snow is expected.
    The house smells wonderful.
    Thank you!

  2. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,761 comments

    James,
    It looks ok for me,but I don’t see green onion in the soup. I use lots of green onions in Yukgaejang.

  3. james& has 3 comments

    I made this tonight but I think I overcooked the vegetables.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2903286367/

  4. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,761 comments

    Anonymous,
    I recommend spinach side dish(shigeumchi: 시금치), beansprout side dish (kongnamul: 콩나물) and seaplant salad(miyuk muchim: 미역 무침)
    Check out my recipe for spinach side dish,kimchi stew and bean sprout side dish video, and sea plant soup and sald side dish.

  5. Anonymous& has 2,255 comments

    hi maangchi!

    i want to make yuk gae jang for a school cultural project i have coming up. we are supposed to make a whole meal, so i was wondering, what other korean dishes would go good with yuk gae jang besides pony-tail kimchi?

    Thank you very much~!

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,761 comments

    JooHyun,
    Don’t worry much about soy sauce. Just skip it and use salt then. Thank you!

  7. JooHyun& has 2,255 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    I’ve just recently discovered your site and have been making great korean dishes since!!! I’m Korean but I’m kind of new at cooking Korean Food, and you’ve been so inspirational!!! I love watching your videos and you are too cute!!! One quick question. I LOVE yuk gae jang but I want to make one on my own (I live pretty far away from a decent Korean restaurant). I want to share this with my friend, but unfortunately, he is allergic to soy sauce. Seeing as how this dish only uses 1 TB of soy sauce, do you think the end result would be greatly affected if I were to omit soy sauce from the recipe? Maybe I should add some fish sauce instead? What do you think?

    Thanks and I look forward to more of your videos!!!

  8. Xtine& has 2,255 comments

    Hi, Maangchi! I recently ordered Yuk gae jang and enjoyed it. I will try cooking it one of these days using the recipe you provided. I think I will be able to find kosari here in the Philippines.

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,761 comments

    gabieolie
    beef can replace with pork and skip radish if you can’t find it. I would not use celery.
    Thanks!

  10. gabieolie& has 2,255 comments

    Hi Maanchi,
    I made Yuk Gae Jang today, and it turned out great! I invited my parents for lunch, and they really enjoyed it. My dad even asked me to make more. :) I’m so happy that I was able to make such a delicious dish. Thank you for the recipe.

    My daughter asked me to make your jja jang myun. I hope I succeed. If I don’t find radish, is it OK to substitute with celery? And beef instead of pork? Thank you!!

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,761 comments

    Hi, minhul,
    Yes, dak do ri tang and dak kal bi are already in the list of my upcoming cooking videos. Thanks!

  12. minhui& has 2,255 comments

    Hello Maangchi,
    Do you have any chicken stew recipes? I remember a dak dori tang (?) that had potatoes and spicy braised chicken, or dak galbi, spicy stir-fried chicken, as a child.

    Thanks!

  13. Anonymous& has 2,255 comments

    I can’t visit your site anymore because I get so hungry! Stop showing us these delicious recipes …

    But seriously, your site and videos are great. I am glad more people are becoming aware of Korean food. We need to be able to buy Korean food or go to Korean restaurants just as easily as we can find Chinese restaurants in the US.

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,761 comments

    desperatelyseekingsuddenlysusan
    haha, long id!
    yes, toran is taro and its taste is like potatoes. I found toran in chinese market in Toronto.
    Thank you for your compliment about being ninja in the kitchen. : )

  15. desperatelyseekingsuddenlysusan& has 2,255 comments

    i’ve been enjoying your cooking videos. they’re better than most cookbooks because we can see how to cut and prepare the ingredients. thank you!

    i once had toran-guk in korea and the toran tasted like taro. i found out that’s what it is. i think you might be able to find taro in chinese or vietnamese markets.

    i’m very impressed by your knife skills. you chop like a pro!

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