Korean Beef Noodle Soup

This is my take on a Korean classic. The broth is filled with intricate spices that stay fresh for months. Here I'll tell you how to shop for these worthwhile ingredients and prepare a traditional, spiced dish that will warm the entire family.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 30 min
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 1/2 pounds beef brisket, preferably fatty

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped


1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru), found in Asian specialty markets or online

8 cups water

8 dried anchovies (iriko), or substitute with extra fish sauce, to taste

1 sheet kombu, edible seaweed found at Asian specialty markets, Whole Foods or online. Rinse first

3 scallions, white parts only, halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce


kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium daikon radish, sliced

1 medium zucchini, sliced


2 packages frozen udon noodles, about 1 pound


1/2 cup scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced


  1. Cut the brisket into two or more pieces against the grain, so that the grain is about 2 inches in length. Season with salt and pepper and mix with the garlic, soy, and sugar. Turn to coat all sides.
  2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the oils. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until aromatic, stirring frequently. Add the brisket, water, the anchovies, kombu, and scallion whites. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer until the brisket is fork tender, about 3½ hours, adding water as necessary to keep the meat submerged.
  4. Remove the meat and shred into bite-sized pieces. Remove and discard the kombu. For the broth, add the fish sauce and soy sauce to the cooking liquid. Taste and add more sugar, salt and pepper as needed. Add the daikon and bring back to a boil. Add the zucchini and bring back to a boil.
  5. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil; add enough salt to make the water as "salty as seawater." Add udon noodles to reheat according to package instructions. Divide the udon among 4 soup bowls; then top with the shredded meat, broth, and cooked vegetables. Garnish with scallion greens and serve immediately.
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