Yuk Gae Jang 육개장 – Spicy Beef Soup

December 9, 2011 § 25 Comments

This soup is one of my favorite Korean dishes—it is the perfect combination of spicy, comforting, and healthy. What can be more delicious?

1. Many Korean grocery stores sell a special cut of beef made especially for yuk gae jang, or for making beef stock. I strongly recommend using this if your grocery has it. If not, using brisket and a mixture of beef bones will work just fine.

2. I like to use red chili flakes on their own in this recipe, as opposed to a mixture of chili paste and flakes. The paste can leave the broth tasting impure and sweet.

3. Using a lot of fresh, green onion is a key flavor component to this recipe. Halve the white portions length-wise because the white part is often too thick.

4. My favorite part of this soup is the egg, so I use 3. If you don’t love eggs as much as I do, feel free to use 1.

5. Use ferndrake root, also called boiled royal fern. This can be found in the refrigerated section. Yuk gae jang is not yuk gae jang without this delicious root.

6. You can either use mung sprouts or kong na-mool (bean sprouts).

7. This may sound like cheating but if you have it, feel free to sprinkle in a little  beef da-shi-da (Korean beef stock powder) towards the end of cooking. It’s fine if you don’t have it or can’t find it, but it adds a nice extra bump of flavor.

**

I continue to be so grateful to everyone who stumbled upon my blog, and even more grateful for the amazing comments you’ve left me (either here or in person). I am very humbled. I have so much to learn, and I love sharing my trial and errors with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes I make when trying out new recipes.

육개장 – Yook Gae Jang or Yuk Gae Jang Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs brisket or yuk gae jang beef cut
  • a little less than 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 tbsp red chili pepper flakes/powder (gochukaru)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chili oil (or sesame oil)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb bean sprouts
  • 1/2 lb boiled royal fern (ferndrake root)
  • 1 bunch (~12-14 stalks) green onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten with 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp beef dashida *optional but a nice boost if you have it

Directions

  1. Bring the meat and water to a rapid boil on high heat for 5~10 minutes. When you see all the impurities and foam rise to the surface, take the pot off the heat. Drain the water and rinse the meat and pot quickly with cold, clean water. Add the meat back to the pot and refill with another gallon of water and bring to a boil—the water should be clear.
  2. Simmer the beef on medium-heat for at least one hour, and add the onion after an hour. If possible, simmer for 2-3 hours, while keeping a vigilant eye on the water level and replacing water as it evaporates.
  3. While the beef is simmering, mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl: red chili pepper flakes, sesame oil, chili oil, vegetable oil, garlic, soy sauce, sea salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Wash and clean the sprouts, and rinse the ferndrake root several times with cold water. Drain, and set aside.
  5. Wash and cut green onions into thirds, set aside.
  6. When the broth is ready, carefully remove the cooked beef and onion pieces. If you are very careful, you can strain and reserve your broth while removing any impurities, but this is not necessary. You should be left with around 10-11 cups of broth after all the cooking and evaporating. Place the broth back into the pot.
  7. Let the meat cool, and then once it is easy to handle, shred the beef into spaghetti-width size pieces and place into a big bowl.
  8. To the shredded beef, add the ferndrake root, sprouts, and white part only of the green onion pieces. Pour the marinade into the mixture and using your hands, toss all of the ingredients together.
  9. Once the mixture is well-mixed, bring the broth to a boil. Carefully add the marinade mixture to the pot and simmer on medium for 30 minutes.
  10. Add the rest of the green onions and simmer for 5 more minutes. At this point, you may add the beef stock powder dashida desired.
  11. Slowly add in the beaten eggs. Be careful not to over stir, or else the broth will be very cloudy. Stir in one clockwise motion when pouring in the egg so that it’s well-distributed, as the eggs will cook instantly as soon as it hits the broth. Wait 5 seconds and stir just once more clockwise around the pot, and then turn off the heat.
  12. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  13. Enjoy with a bowl of steaming white rice.
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§ 25 Responses to Yuk Gae Jang 육개장 – Spicy Beef Soup

  • Lina says:

    this looks amazing, steph! bravo.

  • Anonymous says:

    Looks like a great hot dish to try all winter season. Heading to K-town after work for dinner today – so perfect place to grab the ferndrake root.

    I tend to use a lot of the red pepper paste when I make dishes that call for it, but I’ll try the flakes like you suggest this time around and see what this difference is all about!

    Thanks!

    • cozybogie says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I truly appreciate it, let me know how it turns out and hopefully we’ll see you around here more! S

  • Mary says:

    This is my favorite and I’ve been looking for a recipe for a long time. Thanks for caring about the details and sharing!

  • jess lee says:

    i was JUST thinking about wanting to try to make yuk gae jang!! thanks steph!!! :)

  • saBEE says:

    This is also one of my favorite things to eat!
    Tried a recipe online that didn’t come out exactly as I had hoped…your recipe looks much more promising!

    Off to the Korean market to get the ingredients I need…

    Thanks for this post!

  • [...] today for a sunny day, a promising looking recipe for Yuk Gae Jang, and a moment with the downtown pigeons. Share this:Print This entry was posted in Animals, [...]

  • christian mcneil says:

    Hi….

    This is my absolute favorite dish to eat. I have tried a few recipes from the internet, and have found yours to be the best. I totally agree with using just Korean pepper flakes and not the paste. I have found that if you cover the water while it is boiling, youlose much less water to evaporation, and don’t need to keep such a vigilant eye on it.
    I live in northern Virginia, and there are many Korean grocery stores with little Korean restaurants in them and I always get Yook Gae Jang while I shop……now that I can make it at home, I might not order it as often………who am I kidding???
    One of the best things about getting it there is looking at the incredibly beautiful Korean girls taking my order….come to think of it, I will be going there more often than before, as those Korean girls are the most beautiful on all of the earth…..by far.

  • I just had this dish in a Manhattan restaurant and LOVED it. I searched the web for a recipe and thought yours not only looks the best and closest to what I had, but your details are amazing!

    Thanks so much and I can’t wait to try it!

    • cozybogie says:

      Thank you so much Vonnie! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you stopping by and taking time to leave a comment! Did you try it yet? If so, what’d you think? Can’t wait to hear about it!

  • [...] I am sick (also when I am hungover, but for that I turn to pho).  That spicy looking soup above is yook gae jang, a Korean beef and vegetable soup.  I wouldn’t call it the Korean “chicken noodle [...]

  • Donna says:

    Thank you so so much for taking the time to explain and take pictures of the whole process. I was able to follow it perfectly and made it taste just like my grandma’s. I miss her food a lot so you have brought it back for me.

    With deep appreciation,
    Donna

    • cozybogie says:

      Hi Donna,

      Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely, heartwarming note. I am so glad you liked my recipe and hope you can share it with your loved ones for many years to come. You really made my day with your note, thank you so much.
      xx S

  • Rachel says:

    Mine is simmering right now, I cant wait to try it. In my case I live somewhere where I cant buy fendrake root so instead I add egg or rice noodles. Just out of curiosity, when you add the eggs, should they be at room temperature or right out of the fridge?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I’ve never thought about this before…but great point! I guess I mix the eggs with the salt and leave it out for a few minutes before incorporating it into the hot soup, it makes it cook faster if it’s at room temperature. Please let me know how you like it!

      xx S

  • Baigalmaa says:

    Great, thanks

  • I’m really particular about my yukgaejang. And this recipe ticks all the boxes! Cooking this stew is time consuming, but any leftover I usually freeze for a later day when I’m tired with no energy to cook.

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