YUKGAEJANG (SPICY BEEF SOUP)

Recipe for yukgaejang that is both hearty and soothing. In order to bring out all of the great flavor in its fullest form, this beef soup is prepared in a traditional manner by slowly cooking it. Educate yourself on how to make this at home!

YUKGAEJANG (SPICY BEEF SOUP)

WHAT IS YUKGAEJANG

Yukgaejang, also known as yuk gae jang or 육개장, is a type of beef soup that is both spicy and Korean. During the hot summer days, it is frequently provided as a snack that helps boost stamina. On the other hand, because of the hearty flavor of the soup, it is frequently served as a comfort food at the time of the colder months.

As essential components, the soup is comprised of shredded beef brisket, water, fernbrake (also known as bracken fiddlehead), bean sprouts, green onions, sesame oil, and Korean chili powder.

The soup has a savory flavor, a hint of heat, and a comforting quality. Fernbrake and shiitake mushrooms both contribute an earthy flavor to the dish, which you will also experience.

Additionally, a bowl of rice, kimchi, and various other Korean side dishes are served alongside yukgaejang. The yukgaejang itself is fairly large, so you won’t really find the need to prepare any extra side dishes because it is already quite substantial. This is a healthy combination of meat and vegetables!

In spite of its fiery and daring appearance, the spicy soup is not as spicy as it appears to be unless you make it that way. Don’t let it make you feel overly anxious!

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS AND TIPS

MEAT

In most cases, beef brisket is used to prepare yukgaejang; however, flank steak and shank steak are also viable options for the cut of beef that could be utilized.

Moreover, chicken is used by certain individuals in place of beef. The soup will be renamed as dakgaejang (勭개장) in this particular scenario. Dak is a Korean word that refers to chicken.

FERNBRAKE

Fernbrake, also known as gosari (also written as 고사리), contributes a flavor that is earthy and also has a texture that is meaty.

You have the option of purchasing fernbrake in either a dry or frozen version. You will need to rehydrate them by soaking them overnight (for around eight hours) if you purchase a dried variety, and then you will need to boil them over medium-high heat for approximately forty minutes. After that, let the fernbrake drip and rinse it, and then soak it in cold water for approximately half an hour. In the event that you are pressed for time, you can skip the step of soaking in cold water. At this point, it is prepared for usage.

There is approximately 300 grams (10.6 ounces) of hydrated fernbrake that can be obtained from 50 grams (1.8 ounces) of dried fernbrake. After the fernbrake has been hydrated, you can freeze it in portions and store it in a ziplock bag for later use.

If you purchase frozen fernbrakes, which can be found at a Korean grocery store, they are already prepared for use because they have been cooked and watered beforehand. Take into consideration that the cost of this is more than that of the dried fernbrake.

The addition of more shiitake mushrooms and green onions is an option in the event that you do not have access to fernbrake. It is difficult to find a suitable equivalent for fernbrake, but these two can assist bring out a more earthy flavor.

BEAN SPROUTS

Bean sprouts possess a delightfully crisp texture and impart a flavor that is invigorating. On the other hand, if you add an excessive amount, it has the potential to water down the overall flavor of the soup once it has been cooked. When adding these, do so in moderation.

KOREAN CHILI OIL

Are you a fan of soup with a spicy kick? Alternatively, do you simply want to give your soup a hot and daring red appearance in order to make it even more appealing to the eye? Add some Korean chili oil if such is the case.

Using this recipe for chile oil, you can easily create it at home or get a bottle from a Korean grocery store. Both options are available.

In spite of the fact that Korean chili powder imparts a certain degree of redness and also a certain degree of spiciness, the addition of chili oil not only improves the redness of the soup but also raises the level of heat without adding an excessive amount of powder to the soup. It is possible that the soup can become gritty if you add an excessive amount of chili powder.

OTHERS

You can also include beaten eggs and glass noodles (dangmyeon) in your yukgaejang. These are both additional components that you can add. Adding them is something that I personally dislike doing, but you are free to do so if you so choose. The soup can be added around five minutes before the boiling process is complete.

It is recommended that glass noodles be soaked in water for thirty to forty minutes before to being added to the cooking liquid. Take note that glass noodles do not keep well in the refrigerator. It deflates and is prone to breaking. On the day that you add the glass noodles, it is recommended that you consume them. This is the finest time to do so.

YUKGAEJANG (SPICY BEEF SOUP)

HOW TO STORE YUKGAEJANG

If you have produced more soup than you require for a single dinner, you can store the soup in the refrigerator in a container that tightly seals the air out. Within three to four days, it ought to be excellent. If you wish to keep the soup for a longer period of time, you can store it in the freezer after dividing it into smaller servings. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator overnight before using it, and then reheat it whenever you require it.

OTHER KOREAN SOUP RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE TO TRY

  • Galbitang (Beef Short Rib Soup)
  • Sundubu Jjigae (Spicy Soft Tofu Stew)
  • Slow Cooker Kimchi Beef Stew

INGREDIENTS FOR YUKGAEJANG

BEEF BROTH

  • 10 cups water
  • 350g / 12 ounces beef brisket, or flank steak, shank steak
  • 1 onion (260g / 9 ounces), cut in half
  • 2 green onions, white part
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn, whole

MAIN

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 75g / 2.6 ounces green onion, cut it in about half to divide the white and green part. Then halve the pieces (white and green) lengthwise and then cut into 4 cm to 5 cm (1.5 inch to 2 inch) pieces
  • 3 Tbsp Korean chili powder (preferred) or Korean chili flakes, gochugaru
  • 95g / 3.3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, fresh, thinly sliced
  • 100g / 3.5 ounces hydrated gosari (fernbrake), cut into 4 cm to 5 cm, refer to my cooking tips above
  • 2 Tbsp Korean chili oil (optional)
  • 200g / 7 ounces bean sprouts

SEASONINGS

  • 2 Tbsp Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang)
  • 1 Tbsp Korean fish sauce (or Korean soup soy sauce)
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 cup = 250 ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean ingredients list.

HOW TO MAKE YUKGAEJANG

  1. Soak the brisket in a bowl of water and set aside for 20 minutes to draw the red liquid (myoglobin) out. Change the water a few times during this time.
  2.  Add the water (10 cups), brisket, onion, green onions and whole black peppercorns into a large pot. Boil them over high heat (for about 15 mins) and skim off any scum that forms. Once the water starts to rolling boil, cover the pot with the lid and reduce the heat to medium low. Continue boiling for another 45 mins. This should give you about 7.5 cups to 8 cups of broth.
  3. Take the meat out onto a plate and cool it down. Strain the remaining ingredients over a large clean bowl. Discard all the strained vegetables while keeping the broth. Once the meat is cool enough to touch, cut off any stringy fat and shred or cut the brisket into small thin strips.
  4. Preheat a large clean pot over medium low heat and once heated, add the cooking oil, sesame oil, green onions and stir.
  5. Once the green onions are wilted, add the chili powder and stir for about 30 seconds or until the chili powder absorbs all the oils. Make sure you don’t burn the chili powder as it can easily happen.
  6. Add the broth (from step 3), the meat, and shiitake mushrooms into the pot and boil them over medium high heat. Once it’s rolling boiling, add the fernbrake, chili oil, and seasonings and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pot with the lid and boil them for about 30 minutes.
  7. Add bean sprouts and boil for a further 10 mins.
  8. Garnish with green onions and season with salt if required. Serve with a bowl of rice, kimchi and other Korean side dishes.

YUKGAEJANG (SPICY BEEF SOUP)

Notes

  1. In addition, you can soak the gosari for a number of hours to make it more pliable, and then boil it over medium heat until it is tender.
  2. Should you so like, you may utilize a mixture of water and milky beef bone broth in your cooking methods. Include at least four to six cups. In addition, reduce the amount of water by the same amount. You may also add an additional layer of flavor to the soup by boiling the beef in dashima broth or anchovy broth. Both of these broths are available.

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