A Spicy Korean Beef Soup with Smoky Baby Oyster Mushrooms
Beef, Mushroom, Bean Sprout, Leek, Fiddlehead, Chili
Yukgaejang is a haunting red-hued beef soup that is simultaneously spicy, smoky, earthy, and addicting… The rich color comes from gochugaru, a Korean red chili powder that is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried red peppers.
In addition to the gochugaru, the pronounced smoky flavor in my non-traditional version of this soup is derived from the charred baby oyster mushrooms. Earthy notes come from gosari (charmingly referred to as beef-of-the-mountains) along with the shiitake. Gosari are young fiddlehead stems harvested from moist wooded forests when the fronds emerge from the ground. Beef flank and beef stock bring the deep meaty component while garlic, leek, and toasted sesame oil round out the flavor profile.