This beef jerky, called yukpo in Korean, is a traditional Korean recipe and considered to be very precious food. Not only is beef expensive in Korea, but the process of making yukpo takes time and care. In the old days yukpo was sun and wind dried, which meant that you had to look after it for days while it sat out in good weather. It’s traditionally one of the wedding day gifts from the bride’s mom to the groom’s mother and father.

In modern times, a food dehydrator makes the job much easier, but this is still a very precious food. The process is easy but you still need to take care to do it right. Use lean and flavorful beef, and slice it thinly along the grain. You can use beef flank steak, top round, bottom round, or eye of round, just be sure to use the cut that has the least amount of fat. But a tiny amount of fat in the meat makes it more flavorful. Korean yukpo is traditionally marinated in soy sauce, but I found that just a bit of liquid smoke makes it extra tasty, and some crushed chili flakes makes it spicy.


Makes 35 to 40 pieces (about 1 pound)

  • 3 pounds beef flank steak (or eye of round, top round, bottom round)

For marinade:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 9 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup white or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons crushed chili pepper flakes, optional
    Crushed chili pepper flakes and liquid smoke


  1. Thinly slice the beef along the grain into pieces 1/8 inch thick, 5 inches wide and 2-inches long.
  2. Combine soy sauce, garlic, sugar, honey, black pepper, liquid smoke, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes (if you use) in a large bowl. Add the beef and mix and coat each piece. Cover and refrigerate for at least for 30 minutes, and up to overnight.
  3. Place the slices of beef on the trays of your dehydrator. Set it to the jerky setting (160°) and dry for 8 hours, turning them over once after four hours and rearranging the baskets so everything dries evenly.
  4. Remove the slices and check if each piece is well dried. If some slices still need to dry more, put them into a basket or baking sheet and let them dry on the kitchen counter until well dried.
  5. Serve, or store in an airtight container or a plastic bag for up to 1 week at room temperature. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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  1. Hollyfire2 California joined 4/19 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,
    I don’t have a dehydrator. If I were to use an oven, which temperature and time duration would you recommend.

  2. sdfwefws france joined 1/19 & has 1 comment


  3. Oksusu London joined 1/19 & has 5 comments

    This looks great it’s a shame though as I can’t afford to buy a dehydrator and in England it’s hard to find some of the ingredients

  4. DanandMila Seattle joined 9/16 & has 2 comments

    Hello Maangchi,
    I noticed you add liquid smoke so I was wondering if this Yukpo is traditionally made using a smoker in Korea? If so, what kind of wood do they use? I ask because I have a nice smoker oven with thermostat controlled temperature I could use to make this.
    Thanks for all your delicious recipes, I have your book and love making Korean food especially the seafood pancake!

  5. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11 & has 61 comments

    Oh, Maangchi, this looks so delicious! I love the use of hot pepper flakes! Thank you so much and Happy New Year!!!

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