Spicy Soup with Leftover Turkey

If you like spicy food, this Korean spicy soup made with leftover turkey will become your favorite recipe to use up all that leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner! 

Red spicy Korean soup made with leftover turkey

Thanksgiving is coming up! Every year, I prepare a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner for my extended family. There isn’t much Korean flavor on our turkey day table, but my family enjoys Korean dishes made with leftover turkey, such as porridge (juk, 죽) and this spicy soup that’s similar to dakgaejang (spicy chicken soup). 

They all start with making turkey stock! The morning after Thanksgiving, it’s a tradition for me to make turkey stock with what’s left of the turkey carcass. Then, I make turkey porridge for breakfast. Within the next day or two, we love to have a spicy bowl of turkey soup, which is nothing like Western-style turkey soup. 

This soup is made similar to yukgaejang (육개장), which is a popular spicy soup made with shredded beef and lots of scallions and other vegetables. Dakgaejang (닭개장) is a variation of yukgaejang, made with chicken. 

The chicken version is traditionally made with boiled chicken. I often make it with leftover of a roasted whole chicken (store bought or homemade). Those leftover bones are perfect for making chicken stock, and the whole chicken is too much for two of us to finish. Turkey remains work equally well. 

As such, this recipe also works with chicken remains. 

pulled leftover turkey

How to make stock with turkey carcass

  • Remove as much meat as possible from the turkey carcass and save them to use in the porridge or soup. 
  • Put the turkey remains in a large stock pot filled three-quarters of the way with water. Break up the bones if they are too big to fit in the pot.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat and skim off any foam. Add the vegetables, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours. Cool and pour through a strainer into a large bowl or pot.
  • You can use a fat separator to remove the fat or keep it in the fridge until the fat solidifies to spoon off the fat.

Vegetables for the soup

This type of spicy soup calls for lots of scallions. The large variety of scallions (daepa, 대파) is typically preferred for soups if you can find them. They are more flavorful! In this recipe, I also used mung bean sprouts (sukju namul, 숙주나물) and shiitake mushrooms, but you can of course omit them if you like. You can add gosari (fern braken) as we typically do for yukgaejang (beef version). Some leafy vegetables like napa cabbage or bok choy will be a good addition as well. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Red spicy Korean soup made with turkey leftovers

Have you tried this spicy soup with leftover turkey recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Red spicy Korean soup made with turkey leftovers

Spicy soup with leftover turkey

4.75 from 4 votes
Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Hyosun
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 cups turkey/chicken stock see below for recipe
  • 2 cups or more cooked turkey/chicken meat, shred into bite sizes
  • 1 - 2 bunches scallions
  • 8 ounces mung bean sprouts
  • 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms or 3 soaked dry shiitake mushrooms

Seasonings

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 3 tablespoons guk ganjang (soup soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Turkey/Chicken Stock:

  • Remains of roasted turkey or chicken
  • 1 medium onion halved and peeled (1/2 for chicken)
  • 1 large carrot cut into large chunks
  • 1 large celery stalk cut into large chunks
  • 5 to 7 plump garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  • Pull the meat from the bones and shred into thin strips (or bite sizes).
    shredded turkey for soup
  • Blanch the bean spouts for a minute or two and drain. You can skip blanching if you want. Cut the scallions into about 4-inch lengths. Thinly slice the mushrooms.
    vegetables for Korean spicy soup
  • In a pan, heat the sesame oil until hot (but not smoking hot) over low heat. Add the chili pepper flakes and turn the heat off. Stir gently until the oil turns red and the chili pepper flakes become pasty. Do not burn the flakes.
    making chili oil in a pan
  • Add the meat, bean sprouts, mushrooms, 1 tablespoon soup soy sauce, and garlic to the sesame oil mixture and mix well. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
    Spicy seasoned turkey to the soup
  • Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot. Add the marinated meat and vegetables to the stock. Stir in the gochujang and 2 tablespoons of soup soy sauce. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat.
    Adding seasoned turkey to the soup
  • Throw in the scallions. Continue to boil for an additional 3 - 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a bowl of rice.
    Korean spicy turkey soup with scallions

Making the stock

  • Remove as much meat as possible from the chicken/turkey carcass and save them to use in the soup.
  • Put the chicken/turkey remains in a large stock pot filled three-quarters of the way with water.
  • Break up the bones if they are too big to fit in the pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and skim off any foam.
  • Add the vegetables, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for about an hour or two.
  • Cool and pour through a strainer into a large bowl. You can use a fat separator to remove the fat or keep it in the fridge until the fat solidifies to spoon off the fat.
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!

This recipe was originally posted in November 2012. I’ve updated it here with new photos, more information and minor changes to the recipe.  

Korean spicy soup with leftover turkey

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Comments

  1. I don’t have soup soy sauce. Is there something I can use to substitute?
    Thank you,
    Gen

  2. No Kimchi?

  3. Just made it today and it came out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Wow! After roasting turkey for 20+ years on Thanksgiving day, I finally found the PERFECT way to use the leftovers! Delicious! I did use the gochjang a bit more than your recipe and also used noodles, egg and blacken fern as well, keeping the spirit of the beef version 🙂 Did I say it was delicious? Thank you!

  5. Can you use store bought chicken stock instead of making the stock?

  6. Thanks for the recipe… Just made the turkey stick with the left over bones and was thinking of making a Korean soup just didn’t know what so started searching turkey 육개장 and your recipe came up. Thanks again looks delicious!! Will go off and start on mine ?

  7. Wow, I just made this for dinner (with chicken) and it’s the most authentic tasting yuk gae jang (dak in this case) I have ever made at home! Taste just like how the restaurants make it. This recipe is a keeper!!! Thank you!

    • Lisa – I am thrilled to hear that! I’m sure you put a lot of love into cooking as well. Thank you for using my recipes, and look forward to hearing more about your Korean cooking! Cheers!

  8. I just made this and it’s delicious! The ratio of all the different ingredients was perfect, thank you!

  9. i must say i made this yesterday with rotisserie chicken and it came out DELICIOUS!!!!!! following your recipe actually makes me seem like a great cook! thanks so much!! =)

  10. I love spicy soups. This looks so tasty. You have explained the recipe nicely. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to try this out tonight.

  11. Kobemiso (Sandy) says

    Wow what a great idea! I can’t wait to make this! Btw I just received my Sempio giveaway package yesterday…came way sooner than I expected so was great surprise! Thanks again!

  12. That looks AMAZING! Such a great idea, thanks for sharing!

  13. Curry and Comfort says

    What a lovely and comforting soup. I LOVE spicy food so this is even more wonderful for me. Glad to be apart of WOP. ~ Ramona

  14. Debs @ The Spanish Wok says

    Your soup looks so delicious, am almost looking forward to this as much as Christmas dinner LOL.

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving celebrations, would love recipe for your stuffing too sometime.

    BTW Come check out The Monthly Blogger event over at The Spanish Wok, ALL bloggers are welcome. See here for details and current theme. You are also welcome to visit our FB page too here.

  15. This is the perfect recipe for those leftovers! Great recipe!

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