TteokGuk (떡국) is a traditional Korean New Year soup. Korean people celebrate the Lunar New Year, and this soup is the main dish for that holiday meal. On New Year’s morning, we wear HanBok (Korean traditional clothes) and greet (bow) our grandparents, parents, or relatives. Older people give a blessing for the New Year to their children along with some money called “SaeBatDon” (새뱃돈). After greeting the older people, family and relatives eat breakfast together. The meal will have New Year’s soup, different kinds of vegetable dishes, fish, jeon, japvchae, galbi jjim, and so on. Since Koreans calculate their age according to New Year, and not according to their actual birthday, eating the bowl of New Year soup on New Year’s Day means becoming one year older. It might sound a little crazy. Sometime we joke, “I don’t want to eat more than one bowl of New Year’s soup, otherwise I would become more than one year older.” hehe
Yield: 2 Servings
Short Korean Lesson
- SaeHae Bok MaNi BaDeuSeYo (새해 복 많이 받으세요) = Have a lot of good fortune for the new year. This is the Korean greeting for New Year's Day.
- InSa (인사) = Greeting
- 3 Cups Sliced Rice Cakes for TteokGuk
- 5 Oz Beef Brisket (½ Cup)
- 1 Green Onion
- 2 Eggs (2 Pinches Salt)
- 2 Sheets Roasted Seaweed
Beef Broth Ingredients
- 7 Cups Water
- ¼ Onion
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Green Onion
- 8 Peppercorns
- ½ to ⅔ tsp Salt
Beef Seasoning Ingredients
- 1½ tsp Soup Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Green Onion
- ½ tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 Pinch Black Pepper
To make the broth, in a large pan, pour 7 cups of water, add the 5 oz beef brisket, ¼ of an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 green onion (half in cut), and 8 peppercorns. Boil for about 45 minutes on medium high.
Meanwhile, make the egg topping. Heat a pan and wipe it with an oiled paper towel. Reduce the temperature to medium low.
I separated 2 eggs. Keep the yolks and whites separated.
Add 1 pinch of salt for each and fry them.
Cut them thinly. I fried them separately for better color, but usually I just mix them together and fry. 😉
Occasionally, remove the foam from the surface of the broth. After 45 minutes, the broth will be reduced to about half. (About 3½ cup).
Remove the cooked beef from the broth and put it aside.
Remove and discard the rest of the vegetables from the broth.
In the reduced broth, add 3 cups of rice cakes. Rinse the rice cakes before you use them. Cook them for 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice cakes are soft.
Mean while, make the beef topping. Thinly cut or tear the cooked beef.
Add the beef, 1½ tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 Tbsp of finely chopped green onion, ½ tsp of minced garlic, and 1 pinch of black pepper. Mix them all together, and set it aside.
Prepare 2 sheets of roasted seaweed. Use one sheet for each serving.
Add ½ to ⅔ tsp of salt to the soup, depending on your tastes.
When the rice cakes are almost cooked, add 1 chopped green onion. Cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
Pour some rice cake soup in a bowl. Then add the egg, beef, and seaweed toppings. Mix everything together before eating. Does it looks delicious? 😉 I hope you will enjoy this. Someday, I will show how to make my shortcut version of TteokGuk.