New Year Traditions and dduk guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

dukkgook

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it has been one year since I started this blog. I honestly didn’t think I would make it this long. It’s been fun to share recipe discoveries and archive family favorites here.

This new years day, we spent it focused on keeping culinary traditions from Korea and Japan, honoring the heritage of me and my husband. I love traditions that involve food – like Turkey every Thanksgiving – there’s comfort in knowing exactly what you’ll be eating that day every year. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate 2017 than slurping up some soba noodles and eating chewy rice cakes in dduk guk (Korean rice cake soup)!

Out of curiosity I researched background on dduk guk (Korean rice cake soup) and I found a Facebook post by the official “Korean Food Foundation” with some historical background. If you’re interested take a look here.

Here’s a solid recipe for Korean Rice Cake soup that I use all the time from my trusted source for Korean food, Maangchi. I typically use a beef broth as the recipe calls for but this time pre-made some oxtail bone broth for new years day to make it a little more special. As for the soba soup we ate along with other delicious Japanese sides, more on that in a future post!

Note: This dish is not only for new years day, it’s a common weeknight dinner and kid favorite in my house!

Korean Rice Cake Soup (Adapted from Maangchi) 

Serving size: 2-3

  • 1 pound Korean sliced rice cakes (dduk sliced in oval shapes) soaked in cold water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 7 cups water
  • ½ pound beef (flank steak or brisket), chopped into small pieces
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions or scallions, washed and sliced  thinly and diagonally.
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs (for garnish and in soup)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soup soy sauce to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 sheet of kim (black seaweed paper)
  • 1 red pepper (optional), chopped
  • salt

Directions

  1. Put the water in a heavy pot, cover, and bring it to a vigorous boil over high heat for 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and garlic and lower the heat to medium. Cover and let it boil for 20 to 25 minutes more, until you get a delicious broth.
  3. Roast both sides of a sheet of gim until it’s bright green and very crispy. Put it in a plastic bag and crush it by hand. Set aside. (I skipped this step, but it is tasty when roasted)
  4. Separate the egg yolks from the whites of two eggs, putting yolks and whites into separate bowls. Add pinch of salt to each and mix with a fork. Remove the stringy chalaza from the yolks.
  5. Add the cooking oil to a heated non-stick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess with a kitchen towel, leaving a thin oily layer on the pan.
  6. Turn off the heat. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan and tilt it so it spreads evenly and thinly. Let it cook on the hot pan for about 1 minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for another minute, then take it off, slice it into thin strips and set it aside.
  7. Add the rice cake to the boiling soup along with fish sauce, salt, and sliced green onion. Stir it with a ladle. Cover and let it cook for 7 to 8 minutes until all the rice cakes are floating.
  8. Pour the salted egg whites into the boiling soup and let it cook for a minute. (OPTIONAL- I used the egg whites as garnish using the same technique for the yolks)
  9. Add sesame oil, ground black pepper, and chopped green onion. Stir it well. Remove it from the heat and ladle the rice cake soup into individual serving bowls. Garnish with chopped green onion, yellow egg strips, crushed seaweed, and red pepper (optional).
  10. Serve immediately with Kimchi (which is optional but recommended!). Don’t let the rice cakes sit in the broth too long as it will get soggy.

 

 

 

 

 

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