Korean Cooking: Yukgaejang Yumminess (육개장)
Yukgaejang is a Korean beef and veggie stew that I manage to forget that I like before being reminded that I liked it multiple times a year.
It’s a classic dish in any Korean household and after we’d gone out to eat it quite a few times in the past few weeks, I decided to try and make it myself.
After having good experiences with Korean side dishes, my confidence was high to try another soup. While searching for a good recipe to use I came upon a Korean recipe website that I’m now looking forward to using more called Crazy Korean Cooking. As usual, I wrote everything down and then my husband called his mother to see if she had anything to add or change, and of course she did. Here’s what we ended up with for a hearty two servings.
12 oz. Beef Brisket
1/2 Green Onion
6 Cups Water
6 Tbs. Taro Stems (토란)
6 Tbs. Fernbrake (고사리)
6 Tbs. Bean Sprouts
2 1/2 Green Onion Stalks
2 Tbs. Red Chili Flakes
2.5 Tbs. Sesame Oil
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1.5 Tbs. Minced Garlic
2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Pepper
1. If you don’t have broth already prepared, combine the beef, onion, green onion and water in a pot. Bring the water to a boil and then let it simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. (If you have broth prepared already then move straight to the step 2, as per my mother-in-law who always has broth on hand.)
2. In a bowl, combine the prepared taro, fernbrake, beef and seasonings. If you already have broth, then your beef will be raw at this stage. If you didn’t have broth, then you should remove the beef to mix with the other ingredients at this point. Mix the ingredients by hand.
*In Korea, the taro and fernbrake will most likely be in the market already prepared for yukgaejang. When we went to get taro and then told the woman working that we needed fernbrake, she said, “Oh, you must be making yukgaejang.” If you live outside of Korea, or buy unprepared ingredients you’ll have to plan ahead. The taro stems and fernbrake should be soaked in cold water for at least 6 hours (overnight is ideal). Before cooking, you should blanch them with a dash of salt and then rinse them under cold water and squeeze as much of the water out as possible. Cut the veggies into two inch pieces and make sure you cut the taro even further into thin strips as it will expand in the soup.
3. Take the mix from step two and place it in a pot and let it cook for 4 minutes before adding the broth. Bring the soup to a boil and then add your bean sprouts and green onions, turn it down and let it cook for at least 40 minutes.
4. Enjoy with rice and Korean side dishes.
We were pretty happy with the soup, though next time I’ll try to give it more time in the pot to stew.