Today I’m going to introduce you to ppyeo-haejangguk, or ox bone hangover soup. This soup is made from boiling ox bones for hours and hours until all the delicious, nutritious meat, marrow, and ligaments dissolve and create a hearty bone broth. The resulting soup is rich, savory, earthy, and best of all, after one spoonful I can feel my lips stick together from the collagen. I think: “Wow this is good for my body,” which makes me enjoy it even more. That means it’s well made!
This kind of soup is very nutritious and good for you, and Koreans of all ages eat it to improve their health. I usually start by making a huge big pot of ox bone broth. I don’t measure anything, I just add as many bones as I can, and keep boiling and adding water until all the bone marrow has come out and I’m satisfied with the milky color of the broth. Usually by that time the bones are white and look like airy sponges!
Then my family and I eat this for one week, usually as seolleongtang. But by the end of the week, for a bit of variety, I’ll make this haejangguk with the broth. Because of the doenjang (fermented soybean paste), it kind of tastes like doenjangguk, but with a richer flavor.
Haejangguk (hangover soup) is a type of Korean soup that is steamy and hearty. It doesn’t mean you need to have a hangover to eat it, but that kind of soup is a good thing to eat when you’re not feeling well. It’ll make you feel better and fill you up!
2 pounds of sliced ox bones are $5.00 in the US, and that feeds 4 people. It’s a cheap but nutritious and delicious soup that everyone will love.
2 pounds of sliced ox bones
2 pounds of napa cabbage (or chard)
6 quarts (24 cups) of water
¼ cup Korean fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 green chili peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 green onions, chopped
Korean hot pepper flakes (Gochu-garu), optional
Make bone broth
Makes 6 to 8 cups
Wash and rinse the bones in cold water to remove any bone fragments. Soak them in cold water to remove any blood.
Boil 6 quarts of water in a heavy pot over high heat. When the water boils vigorously, drain the bones and add them to the boiling water.
Cover and lower the heat to medium and let it boil for 4 hours. Check the amount of broth. If it gets below 6 cups, add more cold water. Boil longer until the broth is nice and milky and you still have at least 6 cups of broth.
Remove from the heat. Strain the bones to separate from the broth.
Let the bones cool down until you can handle them, and remove any ligaments or bits of meat left on them. Keep the bits in a bowl.
Let the broth cool down. Keep it in the fridge for several hours or overnight until it solidifies. If you can’t wait that long, you can fill a large bowl with ice and cold water, and set your bowl of broth on top of it. Change the water and ice one time. Your broth will end up cool and wobbly.
You’ll see a layer of brownish yellow fat has solidified on the surface, skim it off with a spoon.
Using a pressure cooker: easier and faster
If you have a pressure cooker, you can use it instead of boiling bones in a pot for hours. Simply cook the bones in your pressure cooker with 10 cups of water for about 30 minutes.
Let it cool down. Skim any solidified fat off the top, and then put it in a pot with some more water and boil over medium heat until the broth is milky. Add more water as needed, until you have 6 cups of milky broth.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the cabbage for 5 minutes. Strain and rinse in cold water a couple of times to remove any dirt left. Strain the cabbage and chop up into small pieces.
Combine the cabbage, doenjang, garlic, green chili pepper, and fish sauce in a bowl and mix it well by hand or a wooden spoon.
Put the cabbage mix to a large pot with 6 cups of bone broth along with the leftover bits of ligament and meat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium high heat.
Turn down the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle chopped onion over top.
Serve with rice, kimchi, gochu-garu, and a few more side dishes if you want. Spicy cucumber salad (oi-muchim: 오이무침)