Dukguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)


•4 cup garae tteok (rice cake)
•1/2 lb thinly sliced beef strips (tip or sirloin, but most others work as well)
•2 green onions, thinly sliced
•5 garlic cloves, minced
•2 tbsp soy sauce
•2 beaten eggs
•sprinkle of salt & pepper (according to taste preference)
For garnish (optional but recommended):
•1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
•2 eggs, yolks & white fried separately and cut into thin strips (garnish; optional)
•laver or seaweed strips, gim/nori (garnish; optional)
•mandu or Korean dumplings (optional)


1.Make the stock by cutting the beef into thin strips and boiling them in a large pot. Simmer on medium-low heat and skim off any foam or scum using a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Adding half an onion and some garlic cloves for the stock is optional. Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a simmer cooking for 15~20 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, rinse the rice cake slices in cold water and drain well.
3.Stir in the rice cake slices and the 2 tablespoons soup soy sauce. Boil gently about 8~10 minutes or until the rice cake slices start to float. Season with a little salt and pepper. When rice cakes are almost cooked, include the scallion slices and beaten egg.
4.Make the garnish ingredients by separating the egg whites and yolks. In a non-stick pan or skillet, add olive oil and fry them in olive oil into a thin sheet; transfer to cutting board and cut into thin strips. Toast gim (seaweed) sheets over heat until crispy; cut into thin strips.
5.Ladle the soup into bowls, dividing the rice cake slices evenly. For each serving, place a nice handful of the fried egg white, yolks, and seaweed strips.
6.Eat hot otherwise the rice cakes will "booluh," or get soggy.
*Most Koreans include mandu (dumplings) with tteokguk to make it heartier. If doing so, simply add them in the broth a few minutes before the rice cakes. These ingredients are available at Korean grocers and supermarkets with well-stocked Asian food sections.


It's been a long time since we've eaten tteokguk (rice cake soup) so it was a pleasant surprise when the wife took over the reigns in the kitchen and surprised me and the kids with this delicious Korean soup. Tteokguk is a traditional dish enjoyed by many (if not all Koreans) during the Lunar New Year holiday. The rice cake used to make tteokguk is first made into a long, white cylinder shape called garae tteok. Its shape and length is symbolic, wishing for longevity in life, especially since mortality rates were so high back then. That is one reason why the 100th day celebration and 60th birthday carry special significance in Korea. As for the soup dish, there are several variations that include mandu (dumplings), various seafood, and accompanying garnishes/toppings. Though we didn't eat it for a particular reason, I think this soup can be had any time. There is nothing better than slurping down those slippery smooth rice cakes on an empty stomach.


Other Names:

Tteokguk (Rice Cake Soup), dukguk, korean, rice cakes




Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 11:11am


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