3.111 Ggori Tang

-Cycle 3, Item 111-
25 (Wed) April 2012

Ggori Tang

* * * *

by me

at home

-Oksu, Seoul-

with the Wife and Dominic

Having described the details of my process for making this dish in a post over a year ago (see 2.099 Ggori Tang), I've finally gotten around to photographic documentation, which I present here.  

I mentioned then that I usually make it for my wife as a comfort food, e.g., "when she's sick or returns from a long business trip."  This time, it was to welcome her home from the 3-week recuperation (vacation) at the hospital and postpartum recovery center (see generally 3.101 Engawa & Sake Nigiri Sushi) following the birth of our baby boy Ian Zachary. And, as a bonus, bone broths supposedly stimulate the production of breast milk--yet another dubious folk remedy relating to postpartum care, courtesy of the mother-in-law (last week, she'd brought over a pig's foot and instructed me to make a soup out of it for the same purpose, but I refused to touch it, so she took it back home and did it herself).  

Australian oxtail from Costco

2.2 kg for 24,000 won

Submerge in water...

... and boil for 30 min to extract the blood.

Discard the water, rinse the meat...

... and wash the pot.

Fill the pot with 12 liters of clean water.

Aromatics for the stock include leeks, onions, garlic, pepper corns, and daikon radish
(I used to add celery and carrots, which would be standard for a Western-style soup,
but people started commenting/complaining about a "foreign" flavor, so now I resist the urge.)

Bring to a boil... 

... and remove the aromatics after 30 min.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 2 teaspoons of salt, cook uncovered...

... for 4 hours until the liquid is reduced to half, and remove from the heat.

By then, the meat will be completely fall-off-the-bone tender.

After the liquid has cooled to room temperature, 
transfer everything to a smaller vessel,
(unless your fridge can accommodate a 14-liter stock pot) 
 place it in the fridge...
(or it's winter and you can leave the pot on the balcony)

... for 1 hour until the fat congeals on the surface.

Skim the fat with a strainer
--promptly, before the liquid begins to gel, as explained below.

It ends up being a lot of meat and stock, but the 8-plus hours required should leave something to show for it; and fortunately, the meat and/or stock work well as components of other dishes.  

Reheat, season with salt and black pepper, and garnish with scallions or leeks.

The broth should be viscous when cold, even to the point of being a bit gelatinous. This results from the breakdown of bone and connective tissue, making the taste and texture that much more intense. Although cooking the tail for longer than 4 hours will intensify the broth further, I've found that the meat then becomes too mushy, and the fat becomes difficult to remove as the liquid solidifies quickly along with it. Once, I tried a multi-staged approach--boiling for 4 hours, skimming the fat, picking the meat off the bones, putting just the bones back into the stock, and boiling for another hour--which produced a thicker soup while preserving the integrity of the meat, but was quite a hassle and didn't look that appetizing with all the boneless bits and pieces floating around. Hopefully, there's a trick to it that I'll figure out someday.


  1. I am impressed by how much time and effort you put into this soup.

  2. not much effort, but yes a lot of time. but it's worth it....

  3. all that to end up with only half a stock pot of soup? seems like a lot of reduction.

  4. well, half a stock pot is 6 liters/quarts, leaving about 4 liters of stock once the meat/bones are removed. that's enough for maybe 8-10 full servings. but i usually use the leftover stock after the first day for other things, like miyeok guk.