Spicy Korean Beef Soup- Yukgaejang
Growing up in Hawaii, I was exposed to a wide variety of cuisines from around the world. With Hawaii being a true melting pot, it's especially true when it comes to food. One of my best friends in school was this Korean kid who used to invite me over to his house to hang out. During these visits, his mother used to serve us all kinds of treats and because I used to go so often, I would sometimes stay over for dinner.
One of my favorites was this spicy soup his mom made. My friend said that she usually made it on those rare occasions when the wind was just a bit chilly but on this certain evening, she decided that it could do me some good since I had the sniffles. Apparently it's also good for relieving colds and strengthening the immune system as it contains garlic as well as a host of hearty ingredients. This soup is called Yukgaejang and has become one of my favorite Korean dishes.
I've replicated this recipe years ago and it's quite easy to make. Yukgaejang is usually served with a bowl of steaming hot rice. It makes for a filling and nutritious meal and although the name says spicy, you can adjust the spice level to your taste. I've used the traditional kochujang which I buy from a Korean grocer. However if you can't find kochujang in your area, you can substitute it with the alternative listed in the recipe.
*Photo taken by myself
- 1 pound beef brisket
- 1/2 white onion sliced
- 1 stalk green onion sliced into 1-inch size
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 eggs
- 3 cloves garlic cut in half
- 8 cups water
- 4 tablespoons kochujang ( see alternative recipe )
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Kochujang alternative:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red chili flakes
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tabelspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- (Add more chili flakes if you like it spicier)
- Fill pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Add beef, garlic cloves and onions and cook on medium heat for one hour or until meat is tender.
- Take beef out and shred into strips. Set aside.
- Add the bean sprouts and green onions and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add kochujang sauce and mix well.
- Scramble egg into the soup.
- Put beef back into soup.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sesame oil.
A great book for those new to Korean cuisine. The dishes featured are mostly easy to make using common ingredients that are easy to find at your local supermarket. From barbeque to bibimbap, there's something for everyone.
Do you like Korean food but find the recipes too time-consuming? The solution is to cut corners without cutting down on taste and this book shows you how to do just that. In many ways, this is the way I cook Korean at home.
This wonderful book is beautifully illustrated with some of my favorites. The writers also take you to the streets of Korea as well as lessons on the variety of kim chee available. If you are new to Korean cuisine, this is a great introduction as well as a delight to read.