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Korean spicy shredded meat soup (Yukgaejang)

I do like Korean food, or maybe it is just the fabulous flavor of the Korean Tower peppers, gochugaru, that I am addicted to. The rich flavor, spice and wonderful red color is irresistible, especially as kimchi, or in the wonderful soups and stews.

The bright red stew is just that, the bright color almost as a warning, but more an invitation for those of us who enjoy spicy foods. The tender meat, the fresh crunchy vegetables and the wonderful sweet potato bean thread noodles make this stew a meal to itself. The heat and complex flavors form the stew are amazing, and will make you break out into a sweat, perfect for those cold or rainy days. I served this with kimchis, Almost-instant cucumber kimchi, or Blistered shishito peppers -- Korean style.

This wonderful cookbook on authentic Korean cuisine is one that I enjoy cooking from. It provides me with the perfect introduction to this complex and wonderful cuisine, from simple kimchis to stews and soups. I hiighly recommend this cookbook to those who want to discover and master this cuisine.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


1 lb beef or mutton or chicken breast

1 1/2 onions, sliced

6 + 4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 + 1 cup diakon radish (mooli), peeled and cubed

8 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup gochugaru chili flakes

1 loaded tablespoon doenjang

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon pepper

Salt, to taste

1 medium zucchini, diced

1/2 cup bean sprouts

3 scallions, sliced

Sweet potato bean thread noodles or cellophane noodles

In a large stock pot add the meat, onions, 6 sliced garlic cloves, 1 cup cubed daikon, water and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer covered till the meats are well cooked and shred easily between your fingers, 45-60 minutes for chicken, 90-120 minutes for the beef and mutton.

Strain and reserve the stock. Remove the meat from the strained solids and cool. Shred between your fingers and add back to the soup. Alternatively, for a plated setting you can set the meat aside in ahalf cup of soup so it does not dry out. Discard all other solids.

In a stock pot, can be the same one that you simmered the meat in, add the oils and heat on a low flame. Add the gochugaru flakes and sauté for 10 seconds, just enough to heat them up and release the natural flavors. Add the doejang and sauté for an additional 20 seconds. Add the soy sauce, pepper and strained stock (add the shredded meat if serving family style) and bring back to a simmer. Add the rest of the daikon and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust spice, it should be quite spicy, and salt if needed. The paste and soy are quite spicy so watch out you do not over salt the stew. The dish can be prepared till this point and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles as per the instructions on the package. Leave the noodles "al dante" and not mushy. Set aside drizzled with some oil to prevent them from sticking.

To finish the soup, bring back to a boil . Add the zucchini, scallions and bean sprouts and turn into a bowl and serve immediately with the noodles in a seperate bowl also heated (in the microwave is fine).

For a plated serving, add the noodles to a shallow bowl, twisting them around to form a rope. Add the stock with the vegetables and top with the meat. Serve immediately.

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