Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)
Happy (Lunar) New Year everyone! I hope this post finds everyone happy and well.
In a Korean home, a new year celebration always involves tteokguk or manduguk. When I was little, I was told that I couldn’t become a year older if I didn’t consume a bowl of tteok guk on New Year’s Day. Although that sounds like a nice proposition at this point in my life, I couldn’t wait to get older back then. But one thing has stayed constant. I still don’t need any excuses to devour a bowl of tteokguk. It’s one of my favorite cold-weather soups.
This is a super simple recipe that can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Although it is commonly consumed on new year’s day, it’s a perfect cold-weather dish. In fact, we’ve been enjoying tteokguk all throughout January, thanks in part to a huge-mongous pot of brisket stock I made at the end of last year! But no worries my friends. You don’t need homemade stock for this dish. A store-bought stock will do.
I apologize for the long absence. I just needed some time to recharge. I will get to and answer all questions and/or comments in the next week.
Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup) Recipe
Serves 2 people as a main dish
3 1/2 – 4 cups beef or anchovy-dashima stock*
2 1/2 cups sliced rice cakes (tteok)
2 eggs, lightly beaten (separately)
2 scallions, chopped
1 – 2 sheet(s) laver (seaweed a.k.a. gim or nori), toasted
1 TB tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
salt and pepper
canola or grape seed oil for cooking
- Place the sliced rice cakes (“tteok”) in a bowl full of water. Allow to soak for 15-20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat 1 egg with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Oil the pan and pour the egg into the pan. Cook on both sides (like a thick crepe) until golden brown. Remove from heat and slice thinly. Set aside.
- In a pot, bring the stock to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the tamari and 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir. Add the slice rice cakes (“tteok”) to the boiling stock. Lower the heat to medium and allow to boil for about 5-7 minutes until the tteok is cooked through.
- While the tteok is boiling, toast the laver (“gim”) directly over low heat or on a pan over medium heat. Toast both sides until crispy or no longer limp. Crush the toasted gim using your hands. Set aside.
- Once the tteok is cooked through, add the chopped scallions to the pot and stir. In a small bowl, lightly beat 1 egg with a pinch of salt and pepper. While stirring the pot in a circular motion, slowly drizzle in the egg. As soon as the egg sets (should be immediate), remove the pot from heat. Salt to taste if necessary.
- Divide the soup into 2 bowls. Top with sliced eggs from step 2 and crushed gim from step 4. Sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper and additional chopped scallions if desired. Serve while hot.
You can use just one egg, and omit either the pan-cooked egg in step 1 or drizzled egg in step 5. But it’s so good with both!
I used homemade brisket stock. I will post the recipe for the stock sometime this weekend. (Update: The recipe has been posted and can be found here). It’s not as convenient as a store-bought broth or stock, but it’s pretty easy to make. I usually make a huge pot and freeze for later use.