Published 3/8/2020 Updated 8/12/2022 by Seasoned by Jin
Korean Rice Cake Soup, also called Tteokguk was believed to bring good luck, prosperity and literally gain a year of age. Although it is a popular soup to consume on Korean New Year’s Day, Koreans enjoy this soup all throughout the year.
What does tteokguk taste like?
Tteokguk broth is typically made with beef. The meat you use for the broth is personal preference. Some people even use ox tail or ribs to make the base broth. For this recipe, I used the brisket meat, to keep things clean and light. But you will see, when this piping hot beef broth is consumed togther with the soft rice cake and savory toppings, it really warms up your whole body!
what kind of rice cake do i need for tteokguk?
For Tteokguk. you need to purchase the flat, oval shaped rice cakes, typically in white color. These are made from glutinous rice, water and salt. In the Korean Market, these come prepackaged and air sealed. I did notice that the market ones require longer boiling time and tend to be more chewy than the fresh ones from the tteok store. I usually like to buy mine fresh from the tteok store, and sometimes you can find brown rice tteokguk tteok as well. The fresh ones need to be stored in the freezer, if it’s not going to be used right away.
how do you store the rice cake?
The prepackaged ones can be stored in the fridge, however, the fresh ones should be stored in the freezer, if not being used right away, or they can mold!! If you are using frozen rice cake, they need to be soaked in cold water prior to cooking. I soaked mine in cold water for about 15-20 min. prior to adding to the broth.
Do you need to preboil the rice cake?
It’s personal preference wether you want to preboil the rice cake before adding them into the soup. but it’s not a required step. For my recipe, I did not preboil the rice cake, but I did soak it. It’s the starch in the rice cake that makes the soup thicker and more opaque.
is it necessary to marinate the meat?
The answer is no, it is not necessary to marinate the meat after you boil it. You can simply shred or cut the meat and serve with soup. This is an additional step my grandmother used to take when she made me tteokguk. I have tasted both ways, with and without the meat marinated, and they are both yummy. But of course for me, I prefer my grandmother’s way.
what are some topping/garnish ideas for tteokguk?
Garnish/toppings vary with region and personal preference but the common ones are pan-fried julienned egg yolk and white, scallion and seaweed flakes. Here are some of my suggestions for additional toppings:
- julienned carrots, pan-fried
- chopped bulgogi
- roasted seaweed
Tteokguk has to be one of my all-time favorite comfort soups, even til this day. Definitely a kid friendly meal too!! If you haven’t heard, tteokguk goes super yummy with Korean dumplings, aka mandu. If you want to try making Korean Mandu, click here for the recipe.
did you enjoy this korean rice cake soup recipe?
Be sure to check out more of my delicious soup recipes!
Korean Rice Cake Soup, Tteokguk
- 8 oz beef brisket
- 3 cups sliced rice cake
- 9 cups water
- 2 tsp sea salt more if needed
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 egg pan fried and julienned
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp chopped scallion
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
- Soak meat in cold water for 30 min.
- Add 7 cups of water into a large pot and add the meat. Bring water to boil and boil on high for 5 min. Turn to medium heat and continue to cook for 40min or until fork goes into meat easily.
- Make the meat marinade. Add all the ingredients and stir well. set aside.
- Wisk one egg and pan fry on low heat. Julienne the egg.
- Soak rice cake in cold water if frozen or desired for 15min and drain.
- When meat is tender, remove from pot and set aside to cool.
- Shred the meat with hand or slice with knife. Add the meat marinade and toss gently. Set aside.
- Add 2 cups of water into the pot and bring to boil. Add salt, pepper and garlic. Next, add rice cake and continue to cook for 4-5min or until rice cake is soft.
- Serve generous amount of Tteokguk in a large bowl with julienned eggs and marinated meat. Enjoy!