I think this is the secret of Asian soft skin is the amount of collagen we have on our soups. In Asia, good quality soups are thickened not by starch like the Westerners we thicken our stews by boiling bones and tendons for a long time. These soups then yield a good amount of collagen, with very low-fat content and no cholesterol, in turn can enhance your metabolism and make your skin youthful.
Our soup for today is one of the best examples of this collagen rich soup, while tendons are not appetizing to most non-Asians (don’t get me wrong other Asians don’t like it as well) I think if you just concentrate on the benefits you will start loving them, it’s an anti-aging potion. For me I love this meat cut, it’s not as flavourful as the meat but if you cook it carefully it can absorb good amounts of flavour, plus the texture is amazing.
Beef Tendon Gumtang Collagen Soup is our recipe for today, a Korean style soup dish which basically is made with tendons and beef meat cooked with daikon radish, sesame seeds, leeks and Korean rice cake on a Korean stock base called Dashida which is similar to the Japanese dashi. It’s a hearty soup and very delicious, perfect when served on a cold winter night.
In a soup pot boil beef tendons and beef shank meat in plain water for 10 minutes. Drain then rinse removing any scum.
Place back the tendons in the pot, set aside the beef shank meat. Pour half of the dashida stock, 3 cups of water and all of the sake, add the white sections of the spring onions, garlic and some sea salt. Bring it to a boil then simmer for 2 hours in very low heat.
Add back the beef shanks, radish, toasted sesame seed and remaining Dashida stock continue to simmer for one more hour in low heat.
Season with sea salt if needed, add the cooked Tteok then garnish with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve.