Tteokguk | 떡국

Sliced Rice Cake Soup

Garaetteok (long bar-shaped rice cakes) made with non-glutinous rice are boiled in beef broth. This dish is consumed on New Year’s Day and often during the winter season in Korea.

  • 1 lb (500g) sliced rice cake sticks
  • fresh or prepackaged
  • 3½ oz (100g) beef (brisket)
  • 6 cups water (1.5L)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 large green onion (1 oz, 30g)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce for soup
  • salt, ground black pepper as needed
  1. Wash the sliced rice cakes in the cold water and drain.
  2. Let the beef stand in the cold water for 30 minutes then drain to remove excess blood. Slice the beef thinly across the grain.
  3. Pour the 6 cups of water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. When it boils, add beef slices and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off all the fat and any foam that rises to the surface.
  4. Beat the 2 eggs well with a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
  5. Slice the green onions diagonally.
  1. Reheat the broth with the beef and bring to a rolling boil. Season the broth to taste with additional minced garlic, soy sauce for soup and salt and add rice cakes. Continue cooking for 5 additional minutes.
  2. When rice cakes have softened, add green onion and beaten eggs and stir lightly. Return broth to a boil, then season it to taste with additional salt.
  3. Ladle the soup in the individual bowls. Sprinkle a pinch of ground black pepper to taste.

When the rice cake in tteokguk is left too long in the broth it becomes too soft and it loses its unique chewy texture. Thus, the rice cake should be prepared just before serving. Generally, beef broth is used to boil tteokguk, but sometimes, chicken or seafood broth is used.

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