Korean Foods: Yukgaejang (Spicy beef soup with vegetables)

Korean Foods: Yukgaejang

Yield: 4-6 servings


1 ounce dried gosari

2 tablespoons oil, canola or vegetable

1 pound beef brisket

1/2 onion, sliced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

8 ounces radish (optional)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons gochugaru, (Korean red chili pepper flakes)

3 dry shiitake mushrooms, soaked (or fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms), sliced

2 tablespoons guk ganjang, (soy sauce)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon doenjang, (Korean fermented soybean paste)

1 teaspoon gochujang, (Korean chili pepper paste)

8 ounces sukju, (bean sprouts), rinsed and blanched

2 - 3 bunches scallions, sliced lengthwise into 4-inch pieces

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method of Preparation

1. To hydrate the gosari, place it in four cups of water in asmall pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, covered, until tender. Turn the heat off and allow to cool. Once cool enough to touch, rinse in cold water and drain. Slice into four-inch lengths, removing tough ends of the stems, if any. Set aside until ready to add in Step 7.

2. In another large pot, heat the oil over medium-high. When oil is hot place meat into the pot to brown on all sides.

3. Remove the meat and lower heat under pot. Add the onion, garlic, and optional radish, stirring occasionally until the onion has caramelized and the garlic is golden brown. Return the meat to the pot.

4. Add enough water so that meat is covered entirely, and bring to a boil. When water reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the pieces that float to the top. Then simmer, covered, until the meat is tender enough for shredding with two forks, about 1-1 1/2 hours. To test, pull a string of meat off and check the tenderness. When meat is tender, remove it from the pot and cool. Spoon off any visible fat and discard the vegetables, reserving the stock in the pot.

5. When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred into 3-4-inch strips using hands or two forks.

6. In a large pan, heat the sesame oil until hot over low heat and stir in the chili pepper flakes. Turn the heat off as soon as the oil starts to turn red and the chili pepper flakes become a bit pasty. This only takes a few seconds; do not burn the flakes.

7. Add the cooked meat, gosari, mushrooms, and one tablespoon of the soy sauce. Combine well and then add the broth. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the gochujang and doenjang and boil over medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes.

8. Add the bean sprouts and scallions, and boil for another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Slowly drizzle the eggs over the boiling soup and turn the heat off.

10. Serve with rice.

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