Korean Oxtail Soup Recipe (Kkori Gomtang 꼬리곰탕)

Shortly after my wife and I got married, my mother-in-law taught me how to make this soup, which I have been making ever since. Making a clear, flavorful soup is the main objective of this recipe. There is nothing difficult about it, but you will need several hours of boiling oxtail pieces on high heat for it to be done.

When making a Korean soup it is extremely helpful to have a “clear broth”. It is important to understand that this does not necessarily imply that you can see through it. It is ideal for a broth to have a milky appearance and a rich flavor. A clear taste is what they mean when they say clear. To achieve this we need to get rid of the Myoglobin, the bloody-looking stuff. It is also important that fat does not emulsify into the broth in the course of the rapid boiling process.

Oxtails and chuck roast on a table
If your oxtails have excess fat on them, then you will need to cut off this excess fat before cooking. Despite the fact that I had to trim my oxtail bones, at the current price of oxtail bones, they should already have been trimmed. Usually, the highest quality ox tails can usually be found at an Asian grocery store.

Note: I am also cooking some chuck roast for use in other things. Since I have a big pot of water boiling, why not kill two birds with one stone?
Oxtails soaking in a pot of water

Now to a large pot add your oxtails and cover with cold water. Let them soak at room temperature for one hour. Pour off the water, and wash the bones and the pot. Put the pot on the stove and return the bones then cover with cold water. Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil.

Onion, garlic and ginger on a plate

Allow the pot to come to a rapid boil for ten minutes, turn off the heat and pour off the water. Afterward, wash the pot and the bones. Place the pot back on the stove, add the bones and cover with cold water. Add ginger, garlic, and a whole onion (it is easier to remove later). Bring to a slow boil and reduce the burner to medium heat. Ensure the pot stays at a slow boil. From time to time skim off any fat or foam that accumulates on the top of the soup. Continue until the oxtail meat is just tender. This normally takes about two hours. If your water level falls below the top of your oxtails add a few cups of water to bring the level back up.

Boiled oxtails in one bowl and shredded oxtail meat in another bowl.

After two hours remove the oxtails (in my case I also removed the chuck roast). Reduce the burner to low heat, and remove the onion. Allow the oxtails to cool down enough to handle them. Pull the meat and connective tissue from the bones. Place the bones and meat into separate bowls. For presentation, you can save a few large pieces to serve in the soup. I only save one for the photo. We prefer to season the meat and serve it with ox bone soup.

After most of the meat has been removed from the bones, return the bones back to the pot and bring them to a rapid boil. Now to achieve a rich broth we need to boil the bones for a long time. The long boiling will extract the bone marrow along with calcium and magnesium from the bones, giving you a milky broth. While the oxtail broth is boiling, skim off the fat and keep an eye on the level. Normally I boil the bone broth for six to eight hours, but this time I only boiled it for four hours.

While the bones are boiling, we can season our oxtail meat. First, shred the meat. Then season the oxtail meat with soy sauce, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, salt, and Korean red pepper flakes. Give it a thorough mix and place it into the fridge.

When the soup is finished it needs to be strained before serving. Straining removes chunks of fat, tendon, garlic, ginger, and bone fragments.

This Korean-style oxtail soup is served at its best when it is served hot with chopped green onion garnishing it, along with some of the seasoned meat, coarse sea salt, and black pepper on the side. Since this is Korean cuisine, the dish is usually served along with rice, kimchi, and a variety of side dishes including cucumber salad. There are some people who like to add somen noodles to the soup before eating it.

If you found this recipe delightful, you might want to give my Busan daeji gukbap Recipe a try. It’s prepared in a very similar manner and promises another delicious journey into Korean flavors. Happy cooking!

Table setting of oxtail soup with raw oxtails on the bottom. This is a pin for pinterest

Table setting of oxtail soup, rice, kimchi and seasoned meat.

Korean Oxtail Soup Recipe

A rich tasting soup made with oxtails
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 hours
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: beef and radish soup, oxtails
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 570kcal
Author: James Strange


  • 5 pounds oxtails
  • 3 gallons water Not sure how much I used

Oxtail meat seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 each green onions


  • Trim excess fat from the oxtails.
  • Soak the bones in cold water for one hour, pour off the water wash the bones, and the pot.
    5 pounds oxtails, 3 gallons water
  • Place the bones in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes.
  • Discard the water, and wash the bones and the pot.
  • Return the bones to the pot, cover with water and bring to a slow boil. Boil until the oxtail meat is tender. Add water as needed.
  • Remove the bones from the pot and allow them to cool down.
  • Remove the meat from the oxtails and save it in a large bowl.
  • Return the bones to the pot and bring them to a rapid boil. Boil 4 to 8 hours.
  • Shred the oxtail meat. Season with soy sauce, red pepper, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, black pepper, and green onion.
    1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 cloves garlic, 2 each green onions
  • Your soup is now ready to serve.


Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 249mg | Sodium: 717mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.05g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 9mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @james_strange_eats or tag #james_strange_eats
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5 stars
This was my first time making oxtails and I’m hooked! Thank you for a fantastic recipe.

5 stars
Thanks for all the tips on how to make the soup! I ended up adding in some noodles with it and it was super comforting!

5 stars
The broth in this soup is absolutely stunning! So silky and flavorful. I had never used oxtails before and the multiple washings were new to me. But I’m so glad I found this recipe and the proper technique. The flavor is worth every minute of soaking and washing time. Thanks!

5 stars
I had some oxtail in the freezer that I needed to use up, and I didn’t feel like an Italian braise. This was the perfect way to change up how we usually eat it – loved the flavor profile! I need to try more Korean recipes.

5 stars
I LOVED this. We usually have oxtail bones on-hand (our local butcher often adds them on to purchases) and I used them this time to make this soup. The flavor from the added sesame oil was my favorite part! Will definitely make this again.

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