Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Korean rice cake soup that’s traditionally eaten on Seollal, the Korean new year. It lands on the first day of the Lunar calendar and it usually coincides with the Chinese new year. I never tried it or heard of it until Moudi introduced me to it. We came across this recipe on while we were browsing food recipes and looking up YouTube videos. He had mentioned how delicious it is and how he hasn’t had it in years so I decided to try and make it for him one day and now it’s become a staple in our home. The story behind it is that “the whiteness of the soup symbolizes a clean, fresh start to the new year, and the disc-shaped rice cakes look like coins, so they symbolize a wish for upcoming prosperity for anyone who eats them.” It’s kind of sweet and fun right?!


  • 1 lb sliced rice cakes soaked in cold water for 30 min and drained
  • 7 cups water
  • ½ lb beef shank chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs (egg yolks and egg whites separated)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small sheet of seaweed or seaweed snacks would work too
  • 1 serrano or thai chili pepper (optional), chopped


  1. In a large bowl add 1 lb of rice cakes and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Put 7 cups of water, 1 tbsp of fish sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper in a heavy pot, cover, and bring it to a boil over high heat. (Discard any foam that rises to the top)
  3. Separate the egg yolks from the whites of 4 eggs and place into two separate bowls.
  4. Add pinch of salt to each and mix with a fork.
  5. Add 1 tsp of vegetable oil to a frying pan and using a paper towel spread it to a light even layer. Add your egg yolks and cook until done.
  6. Using a pizza cutter or knife slice the egg into thin ribbons and set aside. (This will be part of the garnish)
  7. Roast both sides of a sheet of gim over a low flame until it’s bright green and very crispy. Crush and set aside.
  8. Add the rice cakes to the boiling soup along with 1 tsp sesame oil. Stir, cover and let it cook for about 7 minutes or until all the rice cakes are floating.
  9. Pour the egg whites into the pot and let it sit for a minute before stirring and breaking apart.
  10. Ladle the rice cake soup into bowls. Garnish with yellow egg strips, crushed seaweed, and thinly sliced thai green chillies and enjoy hot! We like to add some sriracha to the soup for a bit of a kick.

Recipe adapted from:

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