Yukgaejang (Spicy Beef Soup with Vegetables)

 
Yukgaejang recipe
 
Yukgaejang (육개장) is a hearty, spicy beef soup that’s highly popular in Korea. Made with shredded beef, lots of scallions and other vegetables such as gosari (fernbrake fiddleheads), beansprouts, and mushrooms, this is a substantial soup that has great depth of flavor. You won’t need anything other than a bowl of rice for a completely satisfying meal on a cold winter day. In Korea, yukgaejang is also popular as nourishing soup that helps fight the summer heat. 
 
Beef brisket is the best cut for this soup. It’s a flavorful, tough cut of meat that is great for making broth, and it delivers pull-apart tender meat which is ideal for this soup.  You can also use flank steak or shank meat. If chicken is used instead, the soup is then called dakgaejang (닭개장).
 
There are other similar beef soups in Korea, but gosari (fernbrake fiddleheads) is unique in this soup. You can buy dried gosari (고사리) at any Korean market and rehydrate by a combination of soaking and boiling in water. Look for the ones with short, thin stems. Besides adding soft, chewy texture to the dish, gosari imparts a deep, earthy flavor to the soup. A bag of dried gosari can last for a long time in your pantry, and you can also use it in bibimbap (비빔밥). 
 
Sesame oil is essential, and it’s typically infused with gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes). Simply heat the oil and mix with the gochugaru. For added layers of flavor, I usually add very small amounts of gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) and doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste).  This yukgaejang recipe is not fiery hot. Adjust the heat level according to your taste. 
 
Yukgaejang
 

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