Seolleongtang: Recipe, Calories, Noodles

Seolleongtang, or Korean Ox bone soup, is a nutritious meal made from ox bones. It is a common dish in Korean cooking, however it is not typically prepared at home. Good Korean Ox Bone Soup takes HOURS to make. Families frequently eat this dish at restaurants . That is why it is rarely made at home (except in huge amounts). Traditionally, it takes up to 2-3 days to cook. When it gets cold in fall and winter, many Koreans start to crave seolleongtang. This creamy ox bone soup warms you up. Many Korean eateries serve versions of ox bone soup. Making ox bone soup at home takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it because it tastes so good and you can make enough to eat for many meals.

Seolleongtang: Origin

According to legend, King Seonjong of the Joseon Dynasty invented this soup. It was to feed a huge number of people following an ancestral worship ritual involving a sacrificial cow. Let me tell you, the King had the proper idea!

You can feed your entire family on a few dollars’ worth of beef bones and still have plenty left over to freeze for later use. The broth also works well as a soup basis for many other Korean soups, including tteokguk, manduguk, doenjangguk, and miyeokguk.

What kind of bones to use/ Main ingredient

Seolleongtang is often made from ox leg bones. Most people favor marrow bones. Other options include oxfoot (ujok, 우족), knuckle bones (dogani, 도가니), and other bones (jappyeo, 잡뼈). To create a richer taste, combine 2-3 different types of these bones.

Korean supermarkets frequently offer these in bulk. If you go to a Korean grocery store, they sell these bones combined, but they are also sold individually. We shall make seolleongtang with both marrow and knuckle bones.

If you want to be very thorough, look for bones that are white in the center and white or pinkish on the outside. Avoid utilizing bones with too many brown or yellow areas. It may be difficult to locate these exact bones outside of Asian butcher shops. In brief, oxtails, beef shanks, or other marrow bones work well for giving the soup a deep, meaty flavor.

Seolleongtang Ingredients

Choosing the appropriate beef broth will significantly affect the flavor of your soup. We recommend going to a Korean grocery shop like H-Mart and selecting the Seolleongtang (ox bone broth) seen above. The brand that we recommend is JINGA. You may also choose one that does not include meat. Some versions already include meat within. You may also use your own cut meat.

  • Korean ox bone soup (beef bone broth) – The ox bone broth gives creamy and milky texture to the real Korean Seolleongtang. The store-bought version is generally unsalted, so add salt and pepper at the end.
  • Chinese chives – Stir in the chives at the end to give the soup a peppery and savory flavor. Chinese chives are flatter and more delicious than western chives.
  • Green onions bring freshness to the soup!
  • Salt and pepper – most broths are unsalted, so you’ll need to season it yourself. We recommend adding ½ teaspoon of salt to add to the flavor of the beef broth.
  • Thin slices of beef (4-6 pieces) – Use cut flank steak with a lot of marbling. Asian grocery stores sell pre-sliced beef.


To cook the bone broth, use a Korean stone bowl from H-Mart (also available on Amazon). Korean eateries use stone bowls. It keeps the soup heated for extended periods of time.

Seolleongtang Recipe

You should get up early and spend all day cooking the broth. Making good broth takes at least 18 hours.

The good news is that there are no set rules for measuring. A couple pounds of ox bones and water are all you need, and I did my best to streamline the boiling process. The first boil is a parboil, while the next three boils are to prepare the batches of soup.

First Batch

The first boil is a parboil, which takes around 10 minutes and removes any scum from the bones. After 10 minutes, drain and rinse the bones under cold water to remove any scum. Do not skip this step; this meal requires a clean broth.Read Also: Soy Sauce Eggs

The second boil (first batch) takes six hours. After draining the boiled bones, thoroughly clean the pot. Add the cleaned bones back to the saucepan and cover with water over medium heat. During this period, keep a check on the water level, as it will evaporate over time. Just be sure to add water as needed. It should be enough to fully cover all of the bones. You should have a milky white broth after 6 hours. Drain it into a basin.

Second Batch

The third boil (second batch) requires the most steps: after the second boil, take all of the meat off the bones and combine with a ladle of broth. Place the bones back in the saucepan and cover with water. Then add the combined meat to the saucepan and cover for another 6 hours. At the two-hour mark, put some brisket in cold water for an hour. Drain, then return the brisket to the saucepan for the last 3 hours of boiling. Add water as required. Then remove the brisket and allow it to cool fully before storing it in the fridge. Strain the soup into the first batch of broth you produced and set it aside. This batch of broth will be even milkier than the first one.

Third batch

Repetition of step 2. You can skip this boil if you wish, but we strongly encourage it. The broth for this boil will be shining white and less creamy than the others. Make sure not to add too much water at this stage.

The idea is to produce a milky, thick broth that is high in nutrients from the bones. Setting the heat too low will not let your broth turn white. Each batch should be at a medium boil, not a simmer. The broth will seem somewhat yellowish after boiling. This is only fat. Remove it after it hardens in the fridge.

Seolleongtang Noodles

You can add Korean somyeon noodles (optional). They soak up the liquid and are an excellent way to add rapid carbs to the soup.

Seolleongtang Pronunciation

Seonnongtang is now known as seolleongtang. It makes it simpler to pronounce. The phonetic values altered as follows.

Seonnongtang > Seollongtang > Seolleongtang.

The first change is a consonant liquidization, which converts the two “N” sounds to softer “L” sounds for easier pronunciation. The second modification is a vowel harmonization of the “O” sound, influenced by the “Ŏ” sound.

Among frequent misconceptions about the meal, the name may derive from its snowy white color and substantial taste, hence seolleongtang was termed “雪濃湯” in hanja (roughly “snowy thick soup”). Several Korean dictionaries state that the hanja spelling 雪濃湯 is wrong for the meal. Nonetheless, the misspelled word is used to refer to the soup in hanja.

Tips for Making Your Seolleongtang Milky White

  • BOILING HARD for at least 2 hours . To shake the bones and toss them around sufficiently to thicken the soup, at the start of the broth-making process, it is critical to let it boil furiously. This is perhaps the most common error people make while attempting to produce Seolleongtang.
  • DON’T ADD TOO MUCH WATER UNTIL IT TURNS WHITE – When boiling the bones for the first few hours, make sure you just add enough water to cover them. This is why I add 4 cups of water at a time, twice, during the first hard boil stage. If you add all of the water at once, the broth will not become opaque white. The total bone-to-water ratio is crucial.
  • I’ve already added too much water; can I fix it now? – If you believe you added too much water too soon and the broth has not become opaque after 3 hours or more of boiling, consider removing part of the water and leaving just enough to cover the bones. Boil for 2 hours or longer until it becomes milky, then add additional water and simmer.

How to serve Seolleongtang

Seolleongtang is usually served with rice, noodles, or both. Green onions, salt, pepper, and kkakdugi (radish kimchi) are served as toppings. The salt content is pretty considerable. The broth is not seasoned at all. According to your preferences, it is done at the table. We suggest you add about half a teaspoon of salt to the broth. You can use a chile paste, but we suggest you use the kkakdugi gukmul (juice). You can’t leave out the delectable brisket pieces.

People also enjoy serving Korean peppers and ssamjang on the side. This combination is the perfect Korean comfort meal!

Seolleongtang Instant Pot Preparation

Place the cleaned bones into an Instant Pot. This procedure works best in an Instant Pot with an 8-quart size or greater. If yours is smaller, alter the number of bones accordingly. Add cold water until it is about 1 inch below the pot’s maximum line, which is approximately 3 liters (3/4 gallon or 12 cups).

Use a kitchen towel to cover the steam vent of an instant pot.

Pressure Cooking: Secure the cover and set the Instant Pot to high pressure for one hour. It will most likely take 30-45 minutes to attain pressure before the 1-hour cooking begins.

Important note:

Once completed, do not use the quick-release mechanism or you risk a messy explosion of hot soup. Allow the pressure to naturally fade away, which may take up to 1.5 hours. After that, cover the vent with a kitchen towel to remove any remaining pressure before opening the lid. At this time, the soup will be clear rather than milky.

  • To make the milky broth: Change the setting to sauté and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. Activate the sauté option again for an additional 30 minutes, for a total of one hour of boiling. Cover partially with a glass lid to enable steam to escape. This step will change your clear broth to a milky consistency.
  • Strain and collect the broth: Transfer the soup to a large dish and set aside the bones. If there is any flesh on the bones, also remove it and reserve separately.

Second Batch: Return the bones to the Instant Pot for a second time and add 3 liters more water. To make the white milky broth, use the sauté setting and boil for 1 hour or 1.5 hours. Combine this batch of broth with the original bone broth.

Third Batch (Optional): If desired, repeat the process three times, mixing all of the batches in a single container. After the third batch, the bones would be incredibly brittle and hollow.

Chilling and defatting

Let the broth cool before refrigerating until the fat settles on the surface. Overnight is ideal. This allows you to easily remove the extra fat using a slotted spoon. As the soup cools, it will turn gelatinous, indicating the presence of collagen-rich marrow.


When you’re ready to eat, mix the broth and saved meat chunks in a saucepan. Warm until heated through, then watch as the gelatinous soup returns to its milky condition.

Seolleongtang vs. Gomtang

The key difference between gomtang and seolleongtang is the use of ox bone as a significant component. Gomtang is a clear beef soup created by boiling various kinds of beef, most often brisket, whereas seolleongtang is a beef bone soup made by boiling a cow’s shank, skull, and other bone fragments until the liquid turns milky white. Cow byproducts, like as tripe, are later added to the soup for more flavor and meat.

Another key difference between gomtang and seolleongtang is the seasoning. Gomtang is seasoned with guk-ganjang, or soup soy sauce, and seolleongtang is seasoned with salt.


1. What does seolleongtang taste like?

Ans. Because of the many hours required to boil cow intestine and bone, seolleongtang may be rather fatty and fragrant. To decrease the fatty flavor, guests might add chopped spring onions into the stew before eating.

2. What is seolleongtang made of?

Ans. Seolleongtang (Korean: 설렁탕) or ox bone soup is a Korean broth (soup) prepared with ox bones (usually leg bones), brisket and other parts.

3. Why is seolleongtang milky?

Ans. Unlike other bone stocks and broths, this soup is created by boiling the ox bones at a high temperature, resulting in a muddy broth rather than clear.

4. Is Seolleongtang salty?

Ans: Seolleongtang is often served without salt, and customers are free to season the broth to their preference.

Leave a Comment