Yukgaejang - Korean spicy beef soup

Yukgaejang is a classic spicy Korean beef soup that is made from brisket meat, green onions, bean sprouts and gosari (bracken fiddleheads). It is soo good you can't stop at just one bowl. Serve with rice and you have a complete meal.
Course Soup
Cuisine Korean
Keyword comforting, green onions, hearty, winter
KoreanCategory Tang(탕)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 159kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 2 lb beef brisket, fat trimmed (900 g)
  • 16 cups water (1 gallon = 3.8 litre)
  • 3 bunches green onions
  • 1 fresh mung bean sprouts (12 oz) bag
  • 1-2 handful gosari, reconstituted (bracken fiddleheads) – optional and omitted in this recipe


  • 2 Tbsp guk ganjang (Soy Sauce for Soups)
  • 2 Tbsp Korean chili powder (Gochukaru) or more
  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds , crushed
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt (Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Rinse your fat trimmed brisket in water and then add to a stock pot big enough to hold 1 gallon of water plus room for boiling.
  • Turn heat to medium high and bring to boil. Skim off any foam that comes to the top.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 1 hour or until a fork goes in easily into the meat. Meat should be tender enough for you to tear off brisket by hand pretty easily. There will still be a little bit of resistance and that’s OK since we will be cooking the meat further.
  • In the mean time, clean green onions and cut them into thirds. If there are some green onions that are too thick (think about chewing on it), split the white part in half lengthwise first and then cut into pieces about the length of your palm.
  • When done, the stock should be nice and cloudy. You can actually just stop here and eat the soup and meat like it is. See my post for Hearty Beef Soup (Gogiguk) on how to make the most delicious plain beef soup. Take out the brisket and let it cool.
  • Once the meat is cool enough to handle, tear the meat into pieces, following the grain. You will have a pile of wonderfully chewy and flavorful brisket meat.
  • Season the torn brisket pieces with soy sauce, chili powder, sesame oil, sea salt, sugar, garlic, garlic powder, sesame seeds and black pepper.
  • Mix well with hands (use a plastic glove). And add couple handfuls of green onions and mix again.
  • Add seasoned meat and green onions and rest of the green onions all back into the soup.
  • Turn heat on to medium high and bring to boil. Cook for 10 minutes and then add bean sprouts (and gosari).
  • Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or more. After about 10 minutes of simmering, taste the soup and adjust seasoning. Add more salt or more chili powder to taste. Simmer remaining 10 minutes.


Serve with some rice, kimchi and something not spicy like this tofu side dish.
My Yukgaejang(육개장) is on the less spicy side. Add more chili powder and also more sesame oil to make the chili oil layer on top that you will probably see in many restaurants. I personally don’t care much for that much oil layer on top but it's totally up to you. Korean spicy beef soup tastes better the next day. Store leftovers in fridge for few days or freeze for later.


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 290mg | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.8mg