Yuk Gae Jang 육개장 – Spicy Beef Soup
December 9, 2011 § 28 Comments
This soup is one of my favorite Korean dishes—it is the perfect combination of something spicy, comforting, and healthy. In my mind, nothing is 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wash and clean the sprouts, and rinse the ferndrake root several times with cold water. Drain, and set aside.
- Wash and cut green onions into thirds, set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Enjoy with a bowl of steaming white rice.