mandu guk – korean dumpling soup

by Brittney

Use your favorite dumplings to make this recipe for mandu guk or korean dumpling soup! The foundation of this dumpling packed soup is a delicious and quick homemade beef broth that you’ll find yourself making again and again!

Mandu guk is a delicious Korean soup (guk) made with dumplings (mandu). Summer is here and, even though it’s super hot outside, I’m still making this soup – it’s sooo good! A quick homemade beef broth and savory dumplings – it’s definitely what I would consider a comfort food!

A lot of times when I’m making this soup I’ll just grab a bag of frozen dumplings from the store – super easy and convenient! But when I do have the extra time, I definitely prefer to make this soup with my kimchi and pork dumplings

I think I love this soup so much because of the homemade beef broth. The broth is extremely simple to make – just simmer a half a pound of beef, an onion, garlic, green onions and ginger for about an hour and a half to two hours. And the best part? The beef doesn’t go to waste when you’re done cooking it – it becomes part of the garnish for the soup!

After the soup has been simmered and strained, I add salt and Korean soup soy sauce to taste. Soup soy sauce, guk-ganjang, can be found at most Korean markets or you could even buy it online – I use this brand. It’s a bit like soy sauce, but somewhat lighter in color and saltier. It adds such a great flavor to the broth and gives it a bit more complexity. If you can’t find it, you can try regular soy sauce, fish sauce or simply salt, but soy sauce can be a bit overpowering and it won’t have quite the same taste to it. If you can, I highly recommend investing in a bottle of this magic soup sauce

Beef broth and dumplings make a great standalone soup, but what really takes mandu guk to the next level are the garnishes. After the beef has been simmered to tenderness, it’s combined with sesame oil, salt and garlic to make a delicious topping. I also made an egg garnish by essentially frying up two omelets – one with just egg whites and the other with the yolks. They add a bright pop of color and some additional texture to the soup! That being said, you definitely don’t have to add the garnishes – I sometimes skip the eggs if I’m in a rush, but I always make the beef garnish.

a bowl of mandu guk
mandu guk with garnishes

mandu guk | korean dumpling soup

serves: 4-6 prep time: cook time:
Rating: 2.5/5
( 2 voted )


  • water 3.5 L (15 c)
  • beef 250 g (½ lb)
  • (brisket, flank or tri-tip)
  • onion 1 large
  • garlic 6 cloves
  • green onion 5 stems
  • (white part)
  • ginger 2.5 cm (1 in)
  • soup soy sauce* 2-3 tbsp
  • (guk-ganjang)
  • salt to taste
  • dumplings 500 g (16 oz)
  • (from the store or homemade kimchi and pork dumplings)
beef garnish
  • sesame oil 1 tsp
  • garlic 1 clove
  • green onion 5 stems
  • (green part)
egg garnish (optional)
  • vegetable oil 1 tsp
  • eggs 2 large
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Peel the garlic cloves and ginger.
  2. Pour the water into a large pot and add the beef, onion, garlic, white part of the green onions and ginger.
  3. Bring the water to a boil. Skim any foam out of the broth and discard.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer on medium-low heat for 1.5-2 hours or until the meat is tender.
  5. Once tender, remove the meat and set aside. Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables.
  6. Bring the broth back to a boil and add the soup soy sauce and salt to taste (I used about three tablespoons of soup soy sauce and one tablespoon of salt).
  7. Add the dumplings to the soup and cook according to package instructions. If using my mandu recipe, wait until the dumplings float to the top and then cook for an additional two minutes.
beef garnish
  1. Once the meat has cooled a bit, shred and combine with sesame oil, minced garlic and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste if you'd like.
egg garnish (optional)
  1. Separate the yolks and egg whites. Beat and season each mixture with a bit of salt and pepper.
  2. Lightly (very lightly!) grease a skillet with vegetable oil and warm over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the beaten egg yolks to the pan and spread into a thin circle. Lightly fry, flip and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Remove and cut into strips.
  5. Repeat the process with the beaten egg whites.


    korean soup soy sauce
    Alternatively, you could use about a tablespoon of regular soy sauce or fish sauce and a bit extra salt (but I definitely recommend trying soup soy sauce if you can get your hands on some!)

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