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Tteokguk- Korean Rice Cake Soup

New Years is always a favorite holiday of mine: new year, new hopes, new dreams, new opportunities.  A tradition in my house that we continue every year is eating Tteokguk, a Korean rice cake soup that is a Korean tradition to eat on New Year’s Day.  What’s fun is that we celebrate with tteokguk twice a year, one for the Solar New Year and one for Lunar New Near. Even though both New Years are behind us (Lunar New Year was just this past Thursday), I thought I would show you how I prepare my tteokguk since you can enjoy this hearty and flavorful soup any time of year.


The decorative egg and seaweed on top add some flavor but mostly fun color to the dish.  Here I cooked the yolk then sliced it very thinly.


The base of the soup is made from boiling beef into a good beef broth that adds awesome depth to the soup.  It includes tteok, or rice cake, which are thinly sliced pieces of pounded rice.


The egg makes it almost like an egg drop soup but with the addition of the beef, rice cakes, and the decorative egg on top.



Tteokguk- Korean Rice Cake Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5 servings
Tteokguk, or rice cake soup, is traditionally served during Korean New Year but can be enjoyed any time of the year.
  • 1 lb tteok rice cakes (soaked in cold water for 15-30 minutes then drained)
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ lb beef, cut into small thin strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly diagonally
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 sheet kim black seaweed paper
  • salt to taste
  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil then add beef and garlic, lower the heat to medium, and cover for about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks and whites and put into separate bowls. Add a pinch of salt to each bowl and mix. Heat on medium a small frying pan, then add vegetable oil and swirl pan to cover pan with oil. Lower the heat to low then pour the egg yolk mixture into pan, swirling the pan to spread the egg yolk out. Cook for about 1 minute or until set then flip to cook on other side for about another minute. Place on a cutting board and when cool cut into thin slices and set aside.
  3. After the broth has been boiling for 20-25 minutes add the drained rice cakes, salt, green onion, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes. When the rice cakes begin floating begin stirring the soup in a circular motion with one hand while adding the egg whites, sesame oil, and ground pepper into the soup. This will break up the egg whites while they cook. Stir for about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and serve in individual bowls. Garnish with crushed seaweed, egg yolk strips, green onions, and sesame seeds. I also like to add an additional squirt of sesame oil for extra flavor!

What are your New Year’s traditions?  What cooking resolutions have you made for the new year?


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