Here, we explore green onion soup with beef or PaGaeJang. This is a hearty Korean beef stew with the right kick of spice to it. PaGaeJang is made up of cellophane noodles, beef brisket, a ton of green onion, hot pepper powder, and many more spices.
Green onion soup can differ from country to country. In Western cuisine, you can make green onion soup with a roux and some chicken stock. In Asian cuisine, more specifically Korean cuisine, beef stock is added to make a pungent green onion soup. This recipe is PaGaeJang, a green onion and spicy beef soup.
Korean culture is very much loved because of its vibrancy, warmth, pop culture, and most especially, its delicious cuisine. In the last 20 years, we’ve been seeing more and more Korean restaurants, Korean grocery stores, Korean snacks, Korean boy bands, Korean girl bands, and these armies that support K-Pop. We absolutely love it.
What comes with the love for Korean culture is the love for their food as well. Korean food is actually one of the healthiest in the world because of its cooking procedures and many fermented foods.
This is a great stew to have during cold weather because it totally warms up the belly and your mouth! We really like that a lot of Korean dishes have that spice factor in them. It makes it very exciting to have it. You’ll never know how spicy it’s going to be the first time you try it!
Why do Koreans put green onion root in their soup?
Green onions are obviously very delicious. They’re often used in dishes as garnishes or actually alternatives for onions. The flavor of green onions is quite strong that it can substitute actual yellow and red onions in a pinch.
The root of plants isn’t usually added to food. However, in Asian cooking, herb roots are added into dishes to extract the true flavor of the ingredient and cleanse the dish of funky flavors. . For example, cilantro roots are almost always added into Filipino cooking when it needs to be. It creates a more delicious broth.
In Korean cooking, more specifically in PaGaeJang, the roots of the spring onion are added for more flavor. The roots are also added to clean unwanted aroma like fishiness from the soup. It creates a nice, clean taste in your mouth.
Can I add bacon to this soup?
You can definitely add bacon to PaeGaeJang. Although this Korean soup is flavored with beef, it doesn’t hurt to add crispy bacon on top.
This soup could be eaten before having a Korean barbecue meal or samgyupsal. It’s nice to add some crispy bits of the cured bacon on top.
- Green Onion
In this recipe, we use a full pound of green onion just to get that flavor across. The amount of green onion used screams that this soup is indeed made up of it.
- Beef Brisket
Beef brisket is a nice beef cut to flavor this beefy and green onion soup. It gives you extra meat too.
- Cellophane Noodles
We love the presence of cellophane noodles in this dish because it makes it a nice complete meal, in a way. However, we do still love having it before Korean barbecue. We have a big appetite.
The participation of the eggs in this recipe is to create an egg drop feel to the soup.
- Hot Pepper Powder
Hot pepper powder or gochugaru is a well-known Korean spice that is often used to make Korean dishes spicy.
- Soup Soy Sauce
You can either use light soy sauce or soup soy sauce from the Korean grocery stores.
- Sesame Oil
One of the notable flavors of this dish is the presence of sesame oil. It complements the flavor of the green onion with the beef so well.
Tips and Tricks
- Salt the egg
The egg creates the egg drop feel to the soup so it’ll need good seasoning. Salt the egg so that the egg does shine through the soup.
- Do not overcook the cellophane noodles
Cook the cellophane noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes only then immediately strain. You can add a little bit of sesame oil so the noodles don’t stick together.
- Add the green onion root to the broth then remove when the beef is cooked.
Add the green onion root to the broth to remove any funky flavor from the beef.
How to make Green Onion Soup?
Make sure all your ingredients are complete before cooking. That’s the cardinal rule.
Soak one ounce of cellophane noodles in a bowl of boiling water. Strain immediately and set aside.
Clean the onion leaves and cut them into 2” pieces. Place 11 cups of water in a stockpot and boil the water. Add the green onions and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the green onion and set aside.
You may add the entire beef brisket into the boiling water and add the garlic and black pepper powder.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the hot pepper powder, soup soy sauce, hot pepper oil, minced garlic, and sesame oil.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add a pinch of salt. Set aside for later.
When the beef is cooked, around an hour later, remove the beef from the broth and allow it to cool. When it’s cool enough for you to handle, remove the fat and shred the beef. Mix in the spicy sauce and add the green onions to it.
Add the spicy beef and green onion mixture to the pot and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add the soaked noodles and cook for another 3 minutes on high.
Add the eggs and swirl the broth.