Posted by shinshine

Making do ga ni tang (도가니탕 – soup made mostly with ox knee bones), which is similar to seol leong tang (설렁탕 – soup made with ox leg bones, meat and organs), is not complex to make.  It just takes time and patience.  Various ox bone parts are found in Korean grocery stores.

1) Immerse the bones in cold water for 3 hours to draw out the blood from the bones.  I usually keep the pot in the refrigerator.


2) Empty the water.  Immerse the bones in new cold water in a pot.  Bring up to a boil, then remove from heat.  Throw out the water and rinse the bones.

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3) In a clean pot, immerse the bones again in cold water (about 3:1 = water:bones).  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour.  Skim the impurities and fat that rise to the top once in a while.

4) Add leeks, garlic, onion and ginger and simmer for another 4 hours.  Skim the top often.

5) Remove from heat.  Discard the vegetables.  Strain and reserve the broth (this is the 1st batch).  Any meat and cartilage attached to the bones should be soft enough to be manually taken off from the bones.  Reserve the meat and cartilage.

6) Repeat the steps 3) – 5) with the bones only (no meat attached), 2 more times.

7) Discard the bones.

8) Optional) Mix the broth from the 3 batches and boil one more time to even out the flavor/richness.

9) Cool down to room temperature then chill it in the refrigerator overnight.  Remove the fat that rose and solidified on top.  Underneath the fat layer, you should find gelatinous broth, which is caused by collagen extracted from the bones.

For serving, heat up the broth with the reserved meat and cartilage.  Serve with rice, sliced scallions, salt and pepper.  Oh, and kimchi!

At the end, I got about 6 quarts (~5.7 liter) from 6 knee bones over 3 days, taking the pot off from heat when I’m sleeping or not at home.  I guess if you have a big enough pot and plan a day for this project at home, this can be all done in one take – although the water level still needs to be watched.

I didn’t mix the three batches together.  I like the rich broth for do ga ni tang and freeze the thinner liquid to use as a base stock for stews (찌개; jji gae).

This is a project that requires patience more than anything.   It also gives me enough time to remind myself about the importance of the basics once again.  Cooking requires respect for ingredients and for people who would eat the end-product.  I’m all about time-saving tricks, but not at the expense of masking the time and effort with, shall I say, artificial enhancers.  It’s too bad that coffee creamers and milk are rumored to be used to mimic the milky, opaque color of this type of broth in less time at some places.

A bowl of broth is not to be messed with.

I just took it for granted, but once I started thinking about it, I got confused about how names were defined.  Although I found confusions on the internet as well, here is a summary…
Korean liquid-based dishes
–guk (국) relatively short cooking time, seasoned during cooking, basic side dish to a meal
–tang (탕) relatively long cooking time, often diners season to taste,
usually served as a main dish with rice
–jji gae (찌개) more strongly seasoned than guk,
solid:liquid is about 1:1
— jeon gol (전골) protein and vegetables are seasoned and put in a pot (a bigger version of jji gae), then cooked on the tableside
Sources include the cookbook 조선왕조 궁중음식 (Jo Seon Dynasty Court
Cuisine – which doesn’t explain guk and tang separately), various internet sites, and my own experience eating so many guk, tang, jji gae, and jeon gol
bone (pyeo)
water (mul)
vegetable 채소 (chae so)

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