Seollangtang: Korean Ox Bone Soup

Oxtail Soup Ingredients
Debbi Smirnoff / Getty Images
Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 10 hrs
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
170 Calories
2g Fat
32g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 170
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 188mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 21mg 107%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 566mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Called seollangtang in Korean, ox bone soup is a milky, white soup made of long-simmered ox leg bones. Many Korean cooks simmer the soup for at least eight hours; however, the soup is at its best and thickest if you can simmer it for 10 hours. With this in mind, be ready to spend all day making this soup. The finished product is well worth it, however. The aroma of ​seollangtang is rich and meaty, and the broth sticks to the roof of your mouth. Scrumptious!

You can serve the soup with just rice and kimchi, or you can make it with radish and add sliced brisket meat and noodles for an even more delicious meal. Seollangtang is usually served almost bland so that each person can add his or her own amount of salt, pepper, and scallions. The bland taste is likely a plus if you have the typical American or Western palette and can't tolerate spicy foods well.


  • 2 pounds ox bones, and any attached meat (leg and knuckle bones)

  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, thinly sliced

  • 1 (14-ounce) package Korean sweet potato noodles, or Korean thin wheat noodles (dangmyun, cellophane, gooksu)

  • 1 large Korean radish, peeled, halved, and sliced, optional

  • Brisket meat, cooked and thinly sliced, optional

  • 1 scallion, chopped, for garnish

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse and soak the bones for two hours in cold water. Discard the water.

  2. Bring a large pot half-full of water to boil. Boil the bones for five minutes, remove from pot, and discard the water again.

  3. Put ox bones in the large pot, and cover with a lot of water (~30 cups, 1.5 gallons, 8 quarts).

  4. Bring to a boil.

  5. Reduce heat to a hard simmer, and cook for 1 hour.

  6. Reduce heat to medium and a lower simmer. Then cook for 4 to 6 hours, skimming fat, foam, and anything else off the surface.

  7. Add ginger and garlic (and radish, if using), and simmer for another 1 to 2 hours.

  8. Remove bones and seasonings (and radish, if using), and skim fat again before serving.

  9. For a perfectly smooth broth, cool soup, and skim fats when they rise.

  10. Serve with rice (and noodles and meat, if using) and small bowls of sea salt, pepper, and chopped scallions for seasoning to allow your dinner mates to spice the food as they see fit.