DTLA’s Yangban Society Shares a Sujebi-Matzoh Ball Soup Fusion Recipe

The restaurants chef, Kat Hong, and her husband, John, share a detailed breakdown of the new take on a Jewish classic

“I use my grandmother’s actual matzoh ball recipe,” says chef Kat Hong of the soup she and her husband John will serve as a special during the Passover holiday at their new Arts District restaurant Yangban Society. Kat who grew-up with Jewish grandparents on her father’s side and John who grew up in a Jewish suburb outside of Chicago both have fond memories of the comforting holiday soup and now have created their own take on it.

“You do kind of feel like it’s healing,” says Kat of the rich soup. “So one of the Korean soups that kind of reminds us of that feeling is a Korean sujebi, a kind of dumpling soup.” Similar in its chicken-y mild flavor, here Hong combines her grandmother’s version with the Korean sujebi. She folds the noodles into dumplings instead of knife cutting them. She roasts whole chickens and shreds the meat.

“We then use the roasted bones to make a broth which is how my grandmother did it,” And instead of mirepoix, it’s Korean squash and potatoes for texture.

“It’s like a morph of my grandma’s matzo ball soup and then the Korean sujebi soup, which is all super comforting and simple,” says Hong.

“My grandmother was a purist and simply served her soup with rich chicken stock and one large perfect matzoh ball per person. We have added quite a bit of garnish and “flare” here but it is all totally optional! Add them all or just a few, or none at all. It depends on how much prep time you have and how adventurous you feel like being!”


Roasted chicken stock

Matzoh balls

Shredded chicken

Crispy chicken skins (optional)

Sujebi (optional)

Small Diced Yukon potato (optional) add to soup last 3-6 minutes of cooking

Korean “mirepoix” roasted until tended in schmaltz (carrot, onion, korean squash-hobak) (optional- you can also add regular mirepoix- carrot, onion and celery or simply omit all together and have a purist soup of broth and matzoh balls!)

Dill preserved in fish sauce / or fresh chopped dill (to garnish)

Roasted chicken stock+ shredded chicken

(1 each whole chicken – approx. 3.5 -4 lbs)

Yield: approx. 500 grams/ 1 # of seasoned chicken

  1. Break down the chicken into wings, drums, thighs, and breast crown on the bone (skin on)
  2. Roast 425 high fan setting 3 for 25- 40 minutes or until cooked through (cook time depends on the size of chicken)
  3. Rest for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle
  4. Shred the chicken and season lightly to taste with a small amount of soy sauce or fish sauce
  5. Take the bones and skins and use them to make your roasted stock

Seasoned chicken (you can follow this recipe or just season lightly to taste)

Shredded chicken             450 grams

Fish sauce                 12 grams

Soy sauce                15 grams

Scallions                 35 grams

Garlic powder             2 grams

Roasted chicken stock

Yield: 2 Qts

Chicken bones and skins         1 each chicken

Water                     3 liters

Carrot                    200 grams (2 each)

Onion                     95 grams (1/2 ea)

Celery                 175 grams ( 3 each)

Bring all to a boil. Skim any scum that floats to the top. Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for about 30 min. strain broth from solids. If you want to make crispy chicken skins for garnish, you would take them at this point and slowly pan fry in some fat of your choice until chewy and crispy. Strain from fat and season with kosher salt

Sujebi (optional)

Ap flour                150 grams

Potato starch             150 grams

Kosher salt                 3 grams

Oil, blended                16 grams

Water                    178 grams

Dill, chopped (optional)        10 grams

Mix all ingredients (except for dill) in a stand mixer w/hook attachment for 15 minutes.

Add dill and mix just to incorporate

Roll into a thin sheet (1/8 in)  and cut 1-inch squares

Blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute

Remove the sujebi from the boiling water with a strainer or slotted spoons and cool on a flat tray or plate with a small amount of oil (to prevent them from sticking to each other)

You can also skip the pre-blanching process and simply add to your soup in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, however, this will make your soup a bit thicker and “stewier” from the starch released by the sujebi into the broth.  I prefer a clean, thinner broth so I pre-blanch mine to wash away some of the additional starches.

Matzoh balls 

(Yield: 6-7 each matzoh balls @ 75-80 grams each)

Eggs                     4 each

Water                     102 grams (1/2 Cup)

Melted shortening             68 grams (1/3 Cup)

Kosher Salt                 5 grams

Matzoh meal             135 grams (1 cup)

Using a whisk, combine the eggs, water, and kosher salt.  While still whisking, gradually stream in the melted shortening.  Stir in the matzoh meal, making sure to mix well. Cover the mixture and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Remove and form balls (use wet or oiled hands to make your life easier!!) and drop them into the boiling stock. Cover, and let simmer for approx. 20 minutes.

Dill preserved in fish sauce (this is great to chop and add to the soup as a garnish. You can also season your soup to taste with this fish sauce -or just chop some fresh dill- all great options)

Dill                 50 grams ( 1 bunch)

Fish sauce             200 grams

Seal together in a Ziploc bag and roll tight to submerge dill in fish sauce. Let rest in your fridge for 1 week – 6 months

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