Cool weather is here to stay around here, and Korean radish, mu (무), is in season. A perfect combination for muguk (Korean radish soup)! You don’t probably haven’t seen muguk served at restaurants, but it’s a staple soup in Korean homes. It’s an easy soup to make, but I’ll share some basics and tips which will be helpful.
Korean radish,mu (무), tastes best during late fall and winter. They are juicy and slightly sweet. Buy one that is firm and heavy.
I used a quick method that’s common in Korean cooking to make a beef soup base. See another method in my tteokguk (떡국) recipe. The thinly sliced beef is seasoned with Korean soup soy sauce and sautéed before being boiled in water. The result is a broth with deep flavors that deliciously complements the white radish.
This soup base can be used for different types of soups, such as tteokguk, gamjaguk, and miyeokguk. You can use napa cabbage instead of radish in this recipe for sogogi baechu guk.
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Korean Radish Soup (Muguk)Soup
- 12 ounces Korean radish, mu, 무
- 2 scallions
- 6 ounces beef brisket, chuck, or loin
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons Korean soup soy sauce, guk ganjang, 국간장 (see note) See note
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the beef into thin bite size pieces. Marinate with 1 tablespoon of soup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of garlic, a pinch of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Set aside.
- Cut the radish into bite size pieces (1 to 1.5-inch square, about 1/4-inch thick). Cut the scallions into 1 to 1.5-inch pieces.
- In a medium pot, sauté the beef until all the pieces turn brown. Pour in 8 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Skim off the foam. Reduce the heat to medium high and continue to boil, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add the radish pieces and boil, covered, until the radish turns translucent and soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of the garlic, scallions, and the remaining tablespoon of the soup soy sauce. The soup should not look too dark. Taste for salt and pepper. Boil for an additional 5 minutes.