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YukGaeJang, Spicy Beef and Vegetables Soup

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (10 votes)
Average: 3 (1 vote)
prep time: 
40 min
inactive time: 
360 min
cooking time: 
80 min
total time: 
480 min

Craving a spicy and hearty soup? Yukgaejang is one of the dishes Koreans eat to regain stamina during the summer. But it's also great for winter, especially when you have a cold. This hot and spicy soup will clear your system and it is full of nutritious ingredients that will help replenish your strength. It was among the Korean royal cuisine back in the storied past,and is still widely loved by Koreans today.

Buy YukGaeJang ingredients online here.

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for broth

1 lb 5 ozBeef, Brisket 앞다리 (can use flank or shank also)
½ Onion (Medium) 양파
Green Onion 파
½ ozPeppercorn 통후추 (optional)
3 clove(s)Garlic Clove (whole) 통마늘 (optional)
16 cupsWater 물

main ingredients

2 ozTaro stem (To-ran-dae) 토란대
2 ozFernbrake or Bracken, Gosari 고사리
4 ozMung Bean Sprouts 숙주
Green Onion 파
7 ozKorean Radish 무 (optional)
2 tspSalt 소금 (for blanching and final seasoning if needed)

for seasoning

1½ tbsGochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루
¼ cupSesame Oil 참기름
2 tbsSoy Sauce for Soup (Gukganjang) 국간장
2 tbsGarlic (minced) 다진 마늘
1 tspSalt 소금
1 tspBlack Pepper 후추

for spicy oil

¼ cupVegetable Oil 식용유
1 tbsGochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Peppercorn and Korean radish can be omitted.
You can use flank and shank instead of brisket, for beef.
Large Korean green onions are the best for this soup, but you can use regular green onions common in North America.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Soak taro stems & fernbrake

Soak 50 g of taro stems in cold water - 6 hours to overnight is ideal but you can get away with an hour for this dish. Do the same with gosari (fernbrake) if you bought dried ones.

image: SYGJAA01.JPG

Soak image: clock.png 360 min

  • 50g taro stems
  • 50g fernbrake

2. Soak beef (optional)

Soak 600g of beef brisket in cold water for an hour to remove some blood (optional). This helps remove the gamey smell and taste.

image: SYGJAA02.JPG

Soak image: clock.png 60 min

  • 600g beef

3. Make beef broth

In a pot, add beef, ½ onion, 1 green onion (cut into 3 large pieces), 3 cloves of garlic (optional), 1 tsp of peppercorn (optional) and 16 cups of cold water. Bring it to boil on high heat, then boil for another 30 min on medium heat with a lid.

image: SYGJAA03.JPG

Bring to boil

  • beef
  • ½ onion
  • 1 green onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 16 cups water

Let it boil

Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 30 min

4. Blanch taro stems and fernbrake

Blanch taro stems and go sari (fernbrake) separately in boiling water with a pinch of salt for 5-7 min. (If you haven’t soaked for a long time, blanch for 20 min.) Then, rinse in cold water twice and squeeze out water. Cut into 10 cm pieces.

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Blanch in boiling water

  • taro stems
  • fernbrake

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 7 min

Cut into 10 cm pieces

5. Wash & blanch bean sprouts

Wash 100g of bean sprouts in cold water and drain. Blanch in boiling water on high heat for a min, rinse and drain again. (Blanching is optional.)

image: SYGJAA05.JPG


  • 100g bean sprouts


Blanch in boiling water (optional)

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 1 min



6. Cut and blanch green onions

Cut 5 green onions (or 3 large Korean green onions) into 7” (10 cm) pieces. You can also blanch the green onions very quickly, rinse and drain to get rid of bitter taste. Blanching is optional.

image: SYGJAA06.JPG


  • 5 green onions
  • into 7” (10 cm)

Blanch (optional)

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 1 min



7. Cut radish

Cut 200g radish into thin bite size pieces.

image: SYGJAA07.JPG

Cut into bite size

  • 200g radish

8. Tear beef into strips

Remove cooked beef and vegetables from the broth and let it cool for 20-30 min. Discard the veggies from the broth and keep the broth. Tear beef into thin strips by hand. Yes, with your hands! Doing it with a knife is just not the same.

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  • beef & veggies from broth

Cool down image: clock.png 30 min

Tear into strips

9. Make spicy sauce

In a bowl, mix 1½ tablespoons of red chili flakes, 4 tablespoons of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of gukganjang (soy sauce for soup), 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. You can add more red chili flakes if you like it extra spicy.

image: SYGJAA09.JPG


  • 1½ tbs red chili flakes
  • 4 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce for soup
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

10. Mix ingredients

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients (taro stems, fernbrake, bean sprouts, radish and shredded beef) except green onions with ⅔ of the spicy sauce and let it sit for a few minutes if you can.

image: SYGJAA14.JPG


  • all ingredients (except green onions)
  • ⅔ of spicy sauce

Let it sit image: clock.png 5 min

11. Boil the mix in broth

Add the mix in the broth and boil with a lid on medium heat for 40 min.

image: SYGJAA12.JPG

Add mix to broth

Boil with lid

Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 40 min

12. Make spicy oil

In a small pot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon red chili flakes and stir-fry on medium heat for 1 minute. Add 2 more tbs of vegetable oil and fry for another 1 min while stirring constantly.

image: SYGJAA10.JPG


  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs red chili flakes

Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 1 min


  • 2 tbs vegetable oil


Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 1 min

13. Strain spicy oil

Strain the oil through a fine strainer or cheesecloth.

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Strain oil

14. Add final ingredients and season

Add green onions, the remaining spicy sauce and the spicy oil. Taste and season with salt. Add salt gradually. Boil with a lid on medium heat for another 10 min. If it’s too salty, add some water and bring it to boil.

image: SYGJAA15.JPG


  • green onions
  • remaining spicy sauce
  • spicy oil

Season with salt if necessary

Boil with lid

Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 10 min

15. Serve

Serve the soup in a large bowl with rice and kimchi on the side. If you are using a stone bowl, boil the soup in the stone bowl for a few minutes for the bowl to keep the soup hot for a while.

image: SYGJAA13.JPG



Judith mopalia's picture