Yukaejang – Korean spicy beef soup

I was going to make this a lengthy post and include the recipe but its going to take too long so I think I’ll keep it simple.

My roommate, N., once came back home from a restaurant with a huge platter of oxtail yukaejang. It was his leftovers from dinner but it was so yummy that it one of those meals that we kept trying to stretch out by eating it with rice, mung bean noodles, and topping with a fried egg. It was a week of heaven. So of course, I tried to copy it. This is what I came up with:

It didn’t come out quite the same, I think it was lacking in some of the more complex flavors, but I did use the ubiquitous red pepper paste and chili pepper flakes that are typical in these types of dishes. Maybe next time I’ll slow cook the broth with kombu and bonito flakes to make it even more umami-packed.

While it wasn’t a complicated recipe, it took about 2 days to make overall. I slow-cooked the oxtails in broth for 4 hours before putting it in the fridge to let the fat and scum solidify. It makes it easy to just skim off the fat cap the next morning and dump all the other ingredients in.

I think it came out VERY well, all things considered, and I’m most proud of its price point. It cost about $4 for the oxtails and probably another $3 worth of carrots, onions, garlic, and other ingredients that I already had in the fridge. Unfortunately, oxtail doesn’t have that much meat, so I’d consider adding another fatty cut of meat to the dish. Definitely don’t leave out the oxtail though. What it does is create a delicious, fatty, lip-coating effect as you spoon it in your mouth, because of the dissolved gelatin that cooks out of the bones as you heat the dish.

Anyway, if you’ve got a slow cooker, try this dish! Email me if you want the recipe.

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