Korean Oxtail Soup (referred to as ‘Kkori Gomtang’ in Korean).
If I had to choose my last meal, this would be it.
Kkori Gomtang is a wonderfully light-tasting soup that’s made by slow-simmering oxtails for many hours. The meat on the tail pieces turn ultra-tender, while the broth is infused with the natural flavors of the bone and cartilage.
This hearty soup is always served with a bowl of fresh hot rice on the side. Diners can scoop-in some fresh rice into the soup and mix the two together before eating.
Makes for one deeply satisfying meal!
Before we start cooking, let’s take a quick deep-dive into oxtails:
What exactly is oxtail?
The term oxtail is misleading. It’s not the tail from an oxen (it used to be in the old days). But now, the culinary term refers to the tail of steers.
Back then, the tail was seen as “scrap meat”. Nobody knew how to cook with them, so they were sold for cheap.
But nowadays, oxtail has become a premium cut– it goes for $4-6 a pound!
Many people have figured out that oxtail is really tasty … but there’s only one tail per animal.
But what does oxtail taste like?
Oxtail is a gelatin-rich meat – it contains a large amount of collagen.
But a relatively small amount of meat.
That’s why its best to slowly-braise or simmer this meat. You want to extract the deep flavor from the bones and cartilages into a sauce or broth.
After slow-cooking, the meat itself turns extra tender – with a silkier texture than most cuts.
Every Korean Thanksgiving, my family gathers at my grandma’s place in the countryside of Jeollabukdo.
My grandma loves to cook a welcome pot of Korean Oxtail Soup. As soon as you open the kitchen doors, you walk into an aroma of bone broth.
It reminds me that I’m here in the countryside to rest. Puts me at ease ☺️
My grandma (who is sitting next to me at the moment) insists that I include a note that she typically cooks this soup for half-a-day on low heat – not just the 5 hours as shown in the video!
With every extra hour, the broth turns milkier (almost sticky) and deeper in flavor.
Over the years, I’ve been asking my grandma how she gets the broth to be so tasty and good. She always says…pfff! It’s the easiest soup in the world.
All you need is time.
Never understood what she really meant. But after recording her recipe, I realized that it is indeed just that.
Hours and hours of slow-cooking.
If you’ve never tried oxtail, this is a perfect recipe to try it out.
Bon Appetit ya’ll 😋
Korean Oxtail Soup - Kkori Gomtang
- Oxtail meat - 1kg ~2 lbs
- Cow trotter - 1/4 kg ~1/2 lb
- Water - 25 cups 6 liters
- Green onion - few stalks
- Salt - few shakes
- Black pepper - few shakes
Clean Meat & Pre-Boil
- Wash the meat pieces under running water. Then fill a large mixing bowl with water. Let the meat pieces soak in the water for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, drain the residual water. And rinse-off the meat again.
- Then place each meat piece in a large pot. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the meat pieces. Bring the pot up to a boil on a high heat.
- Once it starts boiling, drain out the pot. And give the boiled meat pieces one final wash under running water.
- Place each cleaned, boiled meat piece back into the pot. Now fill the pot up with 25 cups of water. (If you're pot is small, reference notes.)
- Then bring the pot back to boil on a high heat. Once it starts to boil, use a soup ladle and scrape off the residual scum on the surface.
- Then reduce your heat to LOW (Important!). Let it gently simmer for at least 5 hours.
- Note: Every 2 hours, open the lid and skim-off the residual oil.
- After ~5 hours, you will end up with a rich and milky broth. And the meat will be pull-apart soft.
- Dice green onion into small pieces.
- Mix 1 Tablespoon of salt and pepper in a small dish.
- Scoop yourself a bowl of broth, alongside a few oxtail pieces.
- Place green onions into your bowl. Season to taste with the salt & pepper.
- Optional, but highly recommended: Mix in few scoops of white rice into your bowl. Bon Appetit!
- If your pot is small, start with 4L of water. After 2-3 hours of boiling, add-in 2L of water.
- Make sure to season your bowl with salt & pepper before eating.
- Scoop in a few spoonful of cooked white rice into your stew - makes it very hearty!
- See video below for more details