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Spicy Korean Beef Soup- Yukgaejang

Updated on March 3, 2014

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

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
  • Yields: 6


  • 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)


  1. Fill pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add beef, garlic cloves and onions and cook on medium heat for one hour or until meat is tender.
  3. Take beef out and shred into strips. Set aside.
  4. Add the bean sprouts and green onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add kochujang sauce and mix well.
  6. Scramble egg into the soup.
  7. Put beef back into soup.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sesame oil.
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Do you enjoy Korean food? What's your favorite Korean dish? Please feel free to leave your comments here.

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    • GrimRascal profile image

      GrimRascal 3 years ago from Overlord's Castle

      That actually looks good given the spiciness. :D

    • peterb6001 profile image

      Peter Badham 3 years ago from England

      Sounds delicious, definitely one to try on a cold night.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      This sounds very good and I'm pretty sure I've had a similar Korean soup dish, made years ago by a friend.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This sounds amazingly good! would love to try it

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 3 years ago from California

      I've never had Korean food but this looks good!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 3 years ago

      I love Korean food! I make a similar soup that's called chigae - probably the same thing. Mine has most of the same ingredients, but also includes daikon, zucchini, and tofu. Yum - the perfect soup for a cold day or when you have a stuffy nose.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I love all the ingredients! It looks and sounds great. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 3 years ago

      Gosh, somehow posted before finishing my comment. Mine didn't look this spicey, I think I got the super mild version. This level of spiciness might just end me. lol

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 3 years ago

      I remember eating something like this! But mine didn't look this spicey!