Korean ox bone soup

 

It’s been at least an year since I’ve had Korean ox bone soup and I’ve been craving it ever since. I finally convinced myself to make it myself even though it takes a long, and I mean long time. Perfect for those chilly days!

korean ox bone soup

korean ox bone soup
 
korean ox bone soup
 
korean ox bone soup

Serves 6

Ox bone soup (Seolleongtang)

1440Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lb ox leg bones
  • 2 lb beef flank, brisket, or round
  • water
  • 1 large onion, peeled, kept whole
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Japanese somen (optional)
  • green onions for garnish
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak the ox leg bones and the beef flank, brisket, or round in cold water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse off any bone chips.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of about 3 1/2 quarts of water to a hard boil. Put the bones and beef carefully into the water. Bring back to a boil and continue to cook on high heat for 10 minutes, uncovered. Drain the pot, throwing away the dirty water but reserving the bones and beef. Rinse the beef and bones in cold water and drain. Clean the pot, rinsing off the fat and scum.
  3. Using the same pot, fill it with 3 1/2 quarts of water. Add the bones, beef, whole onion, and whole garlic cloves. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, covered. Once the broth reaches a boil, about 25 minutes later, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer the broth for 3 hours.
  4. Remove the beef flank from the soup and let cool. Add more water to the pot as it will have reduced. Bring back to a boil, than simmer for another 3 hours.
  5. Add more water to the pot and bring back to a boil. Simmer again for another 3 hours. Continue to cook the broth, adding water every 3 hours if needed, until the soup has achieved a white, milky color. Once the soup is ready, cool and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove the soup from the refrigerator and skim off the hardened fat on top. Bring back to heat.
  7. Slice the beef across the grain, about 1/8 inch thick. Add back to the soup to reheat.
  8. If serving with noodles, cook the somen according to the directions on the package. Drain.
  9. To serve, portion the noodles among 6 bowls. Ladle the soup with the beef per bowl. Serve with green onions, salt, pepper, kimchi, and rice. Allow the guests to season their own soup according to their taste.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

As you can see, ox bone soup requires quite a bit of time to prepare, but it’s really just a matter of leaving the soup to cook.
 
Seolleongtang is made from ox bone cuts, mostly the leg bones. I tried to make it with oxtail but the soup never achieved the white color that it needed it, possibly because there is more meat on the bone than bone itself. This time I used beef bones.
 
Look at the fat and blood that comes out of the bones after being soaked for 20 minutes!
 
korean ox bone soup
 
The initial boiling of the bones and beef is to remove the blood and any scum from the bones. 
 
korean ox bone soup
 
After the first three hours, you can already see the water achieving some color. 
 
korean ox bone soup
 
How long the soup takes to obtain the white milky color also depends on how strong your heat is and how much water there is. I cooked my soup over low heat for at least 24 hours before it was done. Look at the change from after 3 hours to after 24 hours!
 
korean ox bone soup
 
Make sure to skim off the fat from the soup before serving.
 
korean ox bone soup
 
Traditionally this soup is served with the condiments on the side along with the seasonings. Kkakdugi, a spicy Korean radish side dish is often consumed with the soup. Since I only had kimchi, I had to settle for that instead. 
 
korean ox bone soup
 
Most restaurants I’ve had this soup at serve it with only a small portion of noodles and a side of white rice. Japanese somen noodles worked well with this soup. 
 
After many, many hours, I’m proud to say my ox bone soup came out just right! Simple with only a few ingredients, this soup is able to achieve great flavors. Luckily for me, I made a large batch so it’s going to be Seollangtang for lunch and dinner the next couple of days!
 
korean ox bone soup
 
 Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles

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7 Comments

  1. This seems so perfect for those cold winter nights. Yumm! It's warming me up just thinking about it. Great photos by the way!

    The Noshing Bride
  2. Anonymous

    Since it takes so long to cook, is it possible to use a slow cooker after the scum is discarded?
    • I never used a slow cooker before but to my understanding its used mostly for braising meats? It's possible it can work but I'm leaning more on the side of no since the soup is all about slowly extracting the bone marrow from the bones over low heat. If you give it a try though let me know how it turns out!
  3. I've enjoyed this so many times but never cooked it myself. Thanks for taking the time to share w/us! Perfect for cold days we've been having in soCal (windy, in the 40s).
  4. Wow, looks delicious. I'll try to do this one if I have time. Thanks for a great post.
  5. drew

    I was able to make my soup white with oxtail only. I read that if you leave your pot covered, it turns white. I also heard that high heat turns it white, while a low simmer keeps it clear, a la pho*. I'm still learning, but HTH.
    • cma0425

      Very interesting, I did not know that! Thanks for sharing, I'm going to keep these tips in mind next time I make this.

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