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Yukgaejang aka Korean Spicy Beef Soup

Hearty, comforting, and FULL of big flavor. A big bowl of Yukgaejang will satisfy all your cravings for spicy spicy spicy.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Soaking Gosari8 hrs
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Korean, Spicy Beef Soup, Yukgaejang
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam


  • 1 lb beef flank steak or beef brisket
  • 1 large onion (or 2 small ones) peeled + halved (keep halves intact for easier removal)
  • 1/2 lb Korean radish or daikon peeled + cut into thin half moons
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cup dried Gosari (wild baby ferns) (or 2 cups rehydrated/fresh Gosari)
  • 6-8 green onions trimmed into 2-inch segments, white parts halved
  • 1 cup bean sprouts

Spicy Sauce

  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup Gochukaru (Korean dried chili flakes) (use 2 Tbsp if you like things less spicy)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (not the low sodium kind)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mirin (Korean sweet cooking wine)


Prep Gosari:

  • For dried Gosari: soak overnight in cold water. The next morning, drain and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft and slightly chewy. Drain, chop into 2-inch pieces, and set aside.
    dark plate of Gosari (Korean fern bracken) on gray napkin
  • For pre-boiled, vacuum-packed bags of Gosari: drain gosari in colander. Rinse well with cold water. Chop into 2-inch pieces and set aside. (You can freeze the rest of the drained Gosari and save for later use.)
  • For fresh Gosari: Korean markets sell fresh Gosari in the produce section, already boiled and cooked. Simply chop into 2-inch pieces and set aside.

Make Soup:

  • Add beef, onion, and water to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer (covered) for 30 minutes. Add radish and continue cooking (covered) about 30 minutes more. At this point, the beef should be tender and shred easily. The radish should also be somewhat soft and translucent, but not fully cooked.
    soup pot filled with flank steak and onions
  • Remove onion and discard. Remove beef and set aside to cool. When the beef is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized strips, going along with the grain (not against the grain). Set aside.
    shredded beef flank steak in white bowl
  • Mix spicy sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add beef strips, green onions, and Gosari. Add spicy sauce ingredients and mix until everything is well coated.
    stainless steel bowl with green onions, beef, gosari
  • Add spicy beef/Gosari/green onion mixture to soup and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, to let all the flavors meld. Add bean sprouts and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot with rice and kimchi.
    bowl of spicy Korean beef soup, yukgaejang