Soup and Bread

Korean spicy beef and vegetable soup (yukhejang)


From Sarah Song
Serves 6-8

So many soup recipes have poured in over the past few days! We’ll try to get them posted here in short order. Here’s the first, for a restorative Korean spicy beef and vegetable soup, the leftovers from which have been helping me stave off a sore throat for days.

Here’s what Sarah says about the soup: In Korean culture, soup is a part of every meal, from morning until evening. Despite whatever else is on the table, there is always soup, and a variety of small side dishes, called banchan. My parents immigrated from Korea, and we had Korean food for dinner every night. This particular soup is one that my mother would make whenever I would come home from college or being away, at my request. I would walk into the kitchen, smell the delicious soup bubbling, and instantly feel like I was home. The soup is spicy, beefy, and full of nutritious vegetables. It goes best with a scoop of rice and some kimchi on the side.


1 pound beef brisket (can use shank)
1 onion, peeled (not sliced)
5 dried shiitake mushrooms


3 large leeks
20 green onions (3-4 bunches, washed)
8-12 oz mung bean sprouts (washed)
8 oz daikon radish
8 oz soaked gosari (fernbrake, optional)

Soup seasoning

1/4 cup hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
3 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs salt
2 tbs soy sauce4-6 cloves garlic, minced

1. Rinse beef under cold running water. Fill large pot with 3 quarts of water, add beef, onion, and shiitake mushrooms, and bring to a boil. Drop temperature to medium, and simmer for at least 1 hour (as much as 2-3 hours is fine), skimming broth periodically. When beef is tender and gives easily to fork, can turn off burner and discard onion. Remove beef, cool for at least 15 minutes, and then shred by hand until bite-size, along the grain. Remove mushrooms and cut off stems, and slice thinly. If able, refrigerate broth overnight and remove the fat in the morning. (If refrigerating broth, also refrigerate shredded beef and sliced mushrooms.)

2. Cut leeks into 2-inch pieces, and then quarter. Submerge leeks into a big bowl of water, stirring, to remove grit and dirt. Shaking dry, transfer leeks to a large bowl. Cut green onions into 2-inch pieces, halving the white parts length-wise. If using, cut soaked gosari into 2-inch pieces.

3. Peel daikon. Slice into 1-cm width slices, and cut into pieces approximately 2 inches in size.

4. Stir ingredients of soup seasoning together until well combined.

5. Combine shredded beef, leeks, green onions, mung bean sprouts, and mushrooms (and gosari, if using) with the soup seasoning. This is best done with your hands (use gloves if you can!). Rub the seasoning into the mixture until well distributed. Set aside and let rest for 30 minutes.

6. Bring broth to a boil, then add the seasoned beef/vegetable mixture, along with the sliced daikon. Bring to boil again, and then drop heat to low. Simmer, covered for 1.5-2 hours, until vegetables are very soft and tender, and daikon is tender, but still retains structure.

7. Season with salt to taste. Serve with rice and other banchan.

Sarah Song works as a stroke neurologist at Rush University Medical Center. In her spare time, she loves reading books, walking in the Botanic Gardens, sewing quilts, and reading about, thinking about, and eating delicious food.

Posted: Sunday Jan 22,2017 05:12 PM In Uncategorized

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