Yukhoe (Korean Beef Tartare)

Difficulty Easy

Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Yukhoe, a raw beef dish also called Korean Beef Tartare that’s incredibly delicious and aromatic. Tender, icy-cold raw beef is seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and Korean pear. Served on top of rice with an egg yolk on top, it’s the perfect balance of texture with a rich umami taste in every bite. A delightful delicacy that is so indulgent!

What is Yukhoe?

Yukhoe, also spelled Yukhwe, is a fantastically seasoned raw beef dish commonly described as Korean Beef Tartare. Partially frozen raw beef is cut into strips and seasoned simply with sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic. The addition of crisp, juicy Korean pear makes for an incredibly tasty and simple dish.

Served with a raw egg yolk on top, Yukhwe is a popular Korean dish that’s almost too pretty to eat! The egg yolk adds richness and flavor and a smooth, velvety texture.

Enjoy as a snack or appetizer with Soju or beer. Or, make it a meal with warm rice and soup on the side. Sometimes, a drizzle of Gochujang Sauce or extra sesame oil is added.

My version deviates slightly from the traditional; instead of julienned strips of beef served on top of pear matchsticks, everything is minced into tiny cubes and mixed together. A slight variation that ensures a delicate, silky texture.

Whichever way you choose to enjoy Yukhwe, the freshness and umami taste are SO delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Beef. The freshness and quality of the beef are everything! Look for the best you can find. Beef tenderloin, strip loin, flank steak, or sirloin all work well. I recommend visiting a local butcher shop and buying the freshest AAA prime beef. Be sure to make the Korean Beef Tartare on the same day you purchase the beef. For a more indulgent version, use Wagyu beef. Avoid beef that’s not fresh with big chunks of fat or gristle, as it will be unpleasantly chewy and tough.
  • Korean Pear. Crisp and sweet Korean pear adds mild sweetness and crunch. If you can’t find it, a sweet, firm Bosc pear will also work.
  • Garlic + Green Onion. The essential aromatics. Use a microplane to crush the garlic. Finely mince the green onion so there are no big chunks.
  • Soy Sauce. The salty element flavors all the gorgeous raw beef. Do not use low-sodium soy sauce as it can taste flat.
  • Sesame Oil. Nutty and aromatic, don’t skimp on the amount!
  • Sugar. A little bit of sweetness to balance all the other flavors.
  • Sesame seeds. Adds nutty crunch and texture.
  • Black Pepper. Freshly ground black pepper is a nice earthy touch.
ingredients for yukhoe or korean beef tartare

Instructions:

  1. Freeze beef. Place beef steak in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours. The partially frozen beef will be easier to cut and have an icy texture. Set a timer so you don’t forget!
  2. Prep frozen beef. Trim and remove any big chunks of fat or gristle. Cut beef into same-sized matchsticks. Chop matchsticks into small 1/8-inch cubes.
  3. Season beef. Place ice-cold raw beef into a bowl. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sesame seeds, sugar, and green onion. Mix gently together.
  4. Prep the Korean pear. Peel and core the pear. Cut into matchsticks then chop into 1/8-inch cubes, about the same size as the beef. Add to the seasoned beef and gently mix to combine.
  5. Garnish and serve. Divide into two portions. For each serving, scoop some warm white rice into a bowl. Add the Yukhoe directly to the rice, making a small indent for the egg yolk in the middle. Add the egg yolk in the middle with a small drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds and enjoy.
  6. *For a nicer presentation: use a 5-inch cookie cutter or mold to shape the layers of rice and beef tartare. First, place the cookie cutter onto the plate. Add rice and gently press into an even layer, spreading to the edges of the mold. Add the beef tartare on top, again spreading to the edges of the mold. Make a small indent for the egg yolk in the middle of the Yukhwe. Add the egg yolk with a small drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce. Enjoy!

Is raw beef safe to consume?

*DISCLAIMER: Health and food safety officials recommend fully cooking beef to an internal temperature of 145F to kill any harmful bacteria. Raw beef is a carrier for foodborn illness (salmonella, E. coli) and consuming it carries significant risk. It is not recommended for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with compromised immune systems.

For safety, choose beef that’s as fresh as possible. I recommend AAA prime beef from a butcher you trust. Feel free to ask what is the freshest cut of the day that will be good for tartare.

PRO Tips:

  • Freeze beef. Plan ahead and make sure to allow enough time to freeze the raw beef. An essential step to achieving that icy-cold temperature and texture for Korean Beef Tartare.
  • Sharpen knife. A sharp knife will make slicing through the frozen raw beef easier. It will also leave behind less residual warmth as you handle the meat.
  • Handle beef as little as possible. Keep cold to ensure the beef stays chilled with a velvety texture. Handle the beef gently and lightly — as little as you can — so the warmth from your hand does not transfer to the beef.

How do you eat Yukhoe?

Enjoy Yukhwe as a stand-alone meal with rice. Or by itself (no rice) as a shared snack or appetizer. Add Japanese rice crackers, also called Arare, as a scooping vessel if you like.

In South Korea, Yukhwe is commonly enjoyed with alcohol. In the Korean language, there’s even a word designated for snacks enjoyed and regularly served with alcohol — Ahn-ju. Yukhoe is a popular Ahn-ju and so delicious with Soju or crisp, light beer.

More ways to serve:

Variations:

  • Spicy. For a subtle spicy-sweet flavor, add 1-2 Tbsp Gochujang with the rest of the seasoning.
  • Julienne beef strips. For a different texture, julienne the beef strips instead of chopping into cubes. That’s the traditional way that Yukhwe is served. Serve alongside matchstick Korean pears. For each bite of beef, make sure to include some pear for a sweet, crisp, and refreshing flavor!

FAQ:

How long will Korean Beef Tartare last?

It’s best to eat on the day it’s made for flavor, texture, and food safety. I do not recommend making ahead or keeping leftovers.

What does Yukhoe taste like?

Yukhoe is a raw beef dish full of aromatic, delicate flavor from the sesame oil and soy sauce. The chilled raw beef has a silky texture, especially when combined with the raw egg yolk. Garlic and green onion keep it savory and incredibly delicious. Combined with mildly sweet, crisp Asian pear, Korean raw beef is an indulgent treat!

What is the difference between Yukhoe and French-style Beef Tartare?

Both are raw beef dishes but the flavor profile is very different. French Beef Tartare includes shallots, capers, and mustard, giving it an acidic, sharp flavor. By contrast, Korean Beef Tartare is more mild, sweet, and aromatic — with Asian pear, garlic, soy sauce, and lots of fragrant sesame oil. They are both delicious!

More recipes with beef:

yukhoe or korean beef tartare on plate with spoon on the side

Yukhoe (Korean Beef Tartare)

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Yukhoe, a raw beef dish also known as Korean Beef Tartare that's incredibly delicious and aromatic. Tender, icy-cold raw beef is seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and Korean pear. Served on top of rice with an egg yolk on top, it's the perfect balance of texture with a rich umami taste in every bite. A delightful delicacy that is so indulgent!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Freezing Time 2 hours
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2
Calories 1036 kcal

Equipment

  • 5-inch cookie cutter *optional; for prettier presentation

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 lb/ 225 grams strip loin, tenderloin, flank steak, or beef round *fresh, high-quality, AAA prime beef will provide the best flavor and texture
  • 1/2 Korean pear *about 1 cup
  • 1 green onion finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Serve with:

  • 1 cup cooked white rice about 1/2 cup per person
  • 2 egg yolks preferably organic (for a shared snack, use only 1)
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce

Instructions
 

  • Freeze beef. Place beef steak in the freezer until icy and partially frozen, about 1-2 hours. The partially frozen beef will be easier to cut and have an icy texture. Set a timer so you don't forget!
  • Prep frozen beef. Trim and remove any big chunks of fat or gristle. Cut beef into same-sized matchsticks. Chop matchsticks into small 1/8-inch cubes.
  • Season beef. Place ice-cold raw beef into a bowl. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sesame seeds, sugar, and green onion. Mix gently together.
  • Prep the Korean pear. Peel and core the pear. Cut into matchsticks then chop into 1/8-inch cubes, about the same size as the beef. Add to the seasoned beef and gently mix to combine.
  • Garnish and serve. Divide into two portions. For each serving, scoop some warm white rice into a bowl. Add the Yukhoe directly on top of the rice, making a small indent in the middle for the egg yolk. Add the egg yolk in the middle with a small drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds and enjoy.
  • *For a nicer presentation: use a 5-inch cookie cutter or mold to shape the layers of rice and beef tartare. First, place the cookie cutter onto the plate. Add rice and gently press into an even layer, spreading to the edges of the mold. Add the beef tartare on top, again spreading to the edges of the mold. Make a small indent in the middle of the Yukhwe for the egg yolk. Add the egg yolk with a small drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce. Enjoy!
  • *If serving as a shared appetizer or snack: Add the beef tartare to a medium bowl or rimmed plate. Shape out the tartare to an even-layered mound. Make an indent in the middle and add the egg yolk. Add a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce, as well as a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with Japanese rice crackers on the side and enjoy!

Video

Notes

*DISCLAIMER: Health and food safety officials recommend fully cooking beef to an internal temperature of 145F to kill any harmful bacteria. Raw beef is a carrier for foodborn illnesses (salmonella, E. coli) and consuming it carries significant risk. It is not recommended for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with compromised immune systems.
For safety, choose beef that’s as fresh as possible. I recommend AAA prime beef from a butcher you trust. Feel free to ask what is the freshest cut of the day that will be safe for tartare.
Variations:
    • Yukhoe Bibimbap Bowl. Serve in a big bowl with plenty of mixed salad greens and chopped perilla (kkaennip) leaves. Add rice and Yukhoe on top. Serve with Gochujang Sauce or Yangnyeom Jang (Dipping Sauce) on the side. Drizzle sauce then mix together like Bibimbap. The raw beef version of Hwe Dup Bap.
  •  
    • Spicy. For a subtle spicy-sweet flavor, add 1-2 Tbsp Gochujang with the rest of the seasoning.
  •  
    • Julienne beef strips. For a different texture, julienne the beef strips instead of chopping into cubes. That’s the traditional way that Yukhwe is served. Serve alongside matchstick Korean pears. For each bite of beef, make sure to include some pear for a sweet, crisp, and refreshing flavor!

Nutrition

Calories: 1036kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 57gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 332mgSodium: 1138mgPotassium: 850mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 365IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Beef Tartare, Korean, Yukhoe, Yukhwe
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All Recipes, Appetizer, Beef, Dinner with Friends, Featured, Korean, Main, Rice, Side, Snacks, Weeknight Meals

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    It’s one of my favourite recipes.

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