I was turned on to Korean Beef Stew (and all Korean food) in a very real way around 1999 during my San Francisco / L.A. hay “daze”. My palette was shifting due to the types of people I was hanging around with. Asian people love to eat and they are generally picky which I really respect…and it just so happens that a large group of my friends were Asian.

Around that time a lot of places started opening up in the Richmond and Sunset districts of San Francisco which definitely piqued my curiosity. It wasn’t long before my friends and I would end up eating BBQ. We would also take the occasional trip to L.A. to visit friends which meant we would invariably end up around Wilshire or as most call it, K-town.

This paired with my trip to South Korea (later in life) and my insatiable appetite for delicious things was my impetus for making this Korean beef stew recipe and sharing it with the world.

I always knew what Korean food was and was not but it took a few really important experiences in in the old town of Seoul to knock it all the way home for me. That’s how I am. I need visuals, context, and in-the-field research.

In this Korean beef stew recipe I take a little of what Maangchi does, a little of what Beyond Kimchi does and marry that with some good ole fashioned creativity from my time spent in South Korea. This serves two as a main dish for dinner or four as a quick lunch.

My Korean Yukgaejang Culinary Notes:

I love Daikon so this is always mandatory in my Korean cooking.  The Daikon (once cooked down) presents this radish, potato-like flavor to the soup which is very Korean.

I also stumbled upon puffed barley which simply make the dish for me. The puffed barley adds a light, earthy, nutty texture which compliments the flavors perfectly 😉

The Chinese chive blossoms are pretty solid onions. They hold their color and integrity well in stir-frys and definitely stews.

I use some homemade beef stock as a boost. For me, I enjoy this incredibly robust beefy taste. It’s optional of course.

Make this on a brutally cold day. It will make magical things happen if you are with a loved one.

Korean Beef Stew (Yukgaejang)

Korean Beef Stew (Yukgaejang)


  • 230 grams of stew beef cut into small cubes
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup of homemade unsalted beef bone stock
  • 1/4 cup sweet brown rice
  • Half of a Vidalia onion (cubed)
  • 1 stalk of Chinese celery (diced)
  • 2 green onions sliced thin
  • 2 Chinese chive blossoms
  • 1 small daikon
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/5 tbl of pepper flakes (Gochugaru)
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbl of saffola oil
  • 1 tsp Tamari light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of salt


  1. Salt and pepper the stew meat and add to the hot oil.
  2. Sear on all sides to get a nice brown.
  3. Add water and the chopped onion.
  4. Boil it for an hour over medium heat.
  5. Add sweet brown rice
  6. Cut your chives, green onions, chinese celery, daikon and garlic.
  7. Mix the pepper flakes (Gochugaru) the sesame oil, vegetable oil, soy sauce, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper into a small bowl.
  8. Put the this mixture on top of the vegetables and give it a good tossing.
  9. Add the mixture of vegetables and pepper sauce into the boiling beef stock.
  10. Add in your homemade beef stock to boost it.
  11. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  12. During plating, add your puffed barley on top and some dried sea vegetable on top.

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