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Korean Ox Tail Soup Recipe

A couple people have asked for a Korean Ox Tail soup recipe so here is one version -

Ox Tail Soup (Gori gomtang)
Total prep/cooking time: Up to 5 hours
Makes 4 or 5 servings


Basic Ingredients

4 pounds beef oxtail
8 cups water*
1/2 inch ginger
5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt

* may use 3 cups beef broth and 5 cups water

Optional Ingredients

1 medium onion
1/4 small Daikon radish
Korean sweet potato starch noodle (glass, cellophane, or clear noodle)

Basic Garnish

4 green or spring onions

Optional Garnish

8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled



Ox Tail
If whole, seperate the ox tail at the joint.
Hand trim excess fat from the segmented ox tail. Set fat aside in a small container.
Put ox tail in a large pot and completely cover with cold water. Let soak for one hour and discard water.
Rinse thouroughly.

Garlic And Ginger
Trim the hard tops from the garlic.
Slice garlic cloves in half from top to bottom.
Slice un-peeled ginger in thin diagonal slices.

Onion if used
Cut onion in half from top to bottom.

Starch noodle if used
Soak noodle in cold water for one hour (do this two hours into the cooking).

Daikon if used

Wash well and thinly slice.
Put in a small bowl and lightly salt.
Mix well and let stand ten minutes. (Do this about twenty minutes before the end of cooking)


Place ox tail and trimmed fat in a large cooking pot with 8 cups water (or water/broth) over high heat and bring to a boil, skimming off oil and foam as needed.
Reduce heat to medium and add salt, garlic and ginger (add onion now if used).
Simmer for 3 to 4 hours, skimming as needed (until meat is almost falling from bone and broth is a milky color).
(If used, add sliced Daikon about ten minutes before end of cooking)
Remove the soup from heat.
Remove ox tail from broth with a slotted spoon and place into serving bowls.
Using a hand held strainer, remove onion and garlic solids from soup and discard.
(if used, add noodle to serving bowls)

Garnish and Serve

Chop the green/spring onions (if used, thinly slice the garlic cloves from top to bottom).
Ladle soup into serving bowls, add garnish, and season with salt/pepper to taste.


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  1. Thanks for sharing! I just bought some oxtail last night and may make a half recipe for just myself.

    Will the soup be good leftover? Or is that an issue you've never had to deal with? ;)

    1 Reply
    1. re: 4Snisl

      This is one of those soups that get better with age:-D
      Just make sure you refrigerate any leftovers, then bring to a simmer only when re-heating.

    2. Great recipe. We thought we'd try cooking this on the fly and it worked out great. Thanks!!! Brings us back to Gom Tang in NYC.

      1 Reply
      1. Can this be done is a slow cooker? Should I pan fry the tail 1st?

        1 Reply
        1. re: meimei

          I've never done this in a slow cooker, but I imagine it would work well.
          Most Korean cooks do not brown the tail first as a semi clear, light milky colored broth is desired, but if you want the roasted flavor of browned meat, there is nothing wrong with browning first..

        2. Thanks for this recipe. I had the general idea from the time I had it in Korea....I didn't know about the ginger though. I just made a small pot tonight and had it my favorite way: mostly broth in a bowl with sliced garlic, kimchi and freshly cooked rice! What a feast! Thanks again!

          1 Reply
          1. re: fleaqueg

            Glad you enjoyed it.
            This is a good soup anytime, but is really great when the weather changes and the cold sets in.

          2. one of my favorite soups. Couple of hints: I boil the tail for 5 minutes and then wash. It helps remove the impurities (but sometime I just strain it through a coffeee filter). I then use a crock pot set to low. Plug it in before work and have a great soup when I get home. One of the best soups on a cold day. The addition of Mu (korean radish) and dashima help add a clean flavor to the soup.

            1. hello and thanks for the recipe. i'm making my soup now. i boiled it for a few minutes and all that and have simmered it for 4 hours and my broth is not milky white for some reason. do you know why this is? thanks!

              4 Replies
              1. re: chowingkat

                in my experience, soup made from the gori/tail of the beef will not turn milky white, and certainly not after the first boil. if you want the milky white soup, it works better with the cow foot: similar to the above recipe but before the boil, cover the bones a few hours in hot tap water, drain; repeat this 2-3 times; then cover with cold water and boil 4-5 hours, adding in the last hour or so the sliced daikon/radish. after finishing the soup, don't throw away the bones, cover with fresh water and repeat; the second batch will be whiter.

                1. re: berbere

                  hey, i was wondering about your suggestion to let the meat/bones sit in hot water baths for several hours, 2-3 times. from a food safety perspective, isnt it a little questionable to let some meat sit at that temperature for what might be around 10 hours? or does the final boil ensure that nothing nasty is getting through?

                  just a little apprehensive here....

                2. re: chowingkat

                  The broth doesn't turn an opaque white with just the ox tail, more of a light milky tint.
                  To get the whiter broth add some marrow bones, knuckle bones, or feet (ankle bone).
                  Prep the bones as berbere says.
                  The marrow and cartilage of the joints will make a richer color and somewhat thicker broth.

                  1. re: hannaone

                    thank you both. it turned out yummy. i'm finally on my way to learning to cook my favorite things!

                3. This recipe also makes a great base to work with - for example, I like to add some miso and dumplings to this base for a delicious oxtail miso dumpling soup.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: joonjoon

                    I've never heard of a miso-dumpling Oxtail soup. is that Chinese/Japanese?

                    1. re: gymzung

                      I don't know what it is...I just made it up at home. :)

                      Another thing I do with it is to add some ground chili flakes, lime and cilantro for a menudo-like soup. Yum. Hominy helps too if you have some lying around.

                  2. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it's one of my favorites. I hope other people who have not tried it will be inspired to do so. It's great to have on head if you have a cold.

                    1. My mother's method is foolproof and amazing. She would not remove the fat before boiling. She would simply boil the oxtail for a few hours. Then when tender, she would remove the oxtail meat and bones, leaving it in a separate container to cool which she would later refrigerate. When still hot, she would strain the broth through a sieve/cheesecloth into another pot. Then she would bring it to room temperature before putting it in the fridge overnight. The next day, the broth would have turned jelly-like (becuase of the cold) and the fat which is solid when cold, would be sitting right on top of the rich marrow broth. The fat is easily skimmed off. At this point any fat still on the meat is also easily removed. Once, all the fat business was taken care of, she would then bring the soup with the meat back to a simmer and add in all her goodies (any seasonings, daikon, garlic, etc). She not only easily removed all the excess fat and scum without constantly skimming the broth, but it also got to age a bit so the flavors would really come together. Traditionally, no salt is added as sea salt is always available at the table. I recommend true Fleur de Sel (from Guerande, France).