Happy New Year! We wish you all tremendous joy, good health, and wealth for you and your families in 2020 and beyond! To celebrate and ring in the New Year, we made Korean rice cake and dumpling soup (tteok mandu guk). This is a savory and delicious soup made of sliced rice cakes and dumplings in a clear broth.
Korean New Year/New Lunar Year
The Korean New Year, New Lunar Year (Seollal, 설날), will also be celebrated in Korea towards the end of the month! It is one of the most important and celebrated traditional Korean holidays. The three-day holiday consists of celebrating the day before, the day of, and the day after the New Year. The Korean New Year also typically falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year.
The tradition of eating Korean rice cake soup
Korean rice cake soup (tteokguk) is traditionally eaten on the Korean New Year. In Korea, after you finish eating your tteokguk it signifies that you are one year older. Since age reckoning is still very common in Korea, age is incremented at the beginning of the lunar or solar year, rather than on the anniversary of a birthday. Age in Korea is handled a little differently than in the international age system. Pretty cool, right?
Tteokguk versus Tteok Mandu Guk
Today, we are sharing a recipe for Korean rice cake and dumpling soup, also known as tteok mandu guk. The only main difference between our recipe and regular tteokguk is that we simply added in some dumplings. This recipe is also a great soup to have any time of the year, not just for the New Year or for a birthday.
What kind of dumplings to use?
There are dumplings you can purchase at Asian markets. We have even found some frozen dumplings in our local chain grocery stores, such as Walmart, Kroger, and Publix.
The best dumplings in our humble opinion are always homemade dumplings hands down. We recommend using our very own homemade dumplings recipe. Please check out our Fried Korean Dumplings (Yaki Mandu) recipe. In the original recipe, we fry them, however instead of frying them, you can just put them in this soup. What we typically like to do is make a big batch of dumplings (mandu) when we intend to fry them, and just set some aside to freeze for steaming or making soup for later on. That way you always have some dumplings on hand in the freezer ready to go for when the dumpling urge hits, or when you need a few for a recipe like for this Korean rice cake and dumpling soup recipe.
We hope you have a Happy Lunar New Year! Hope you and your family enjoy our delicious and easy to make Korean rice cake and dumpling soup (tteok mandu guk).
4 cups water
2 tsp Dasida beef flavor soup/stock powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
10 pork dumplings/mandu (see our mandu recipe, or you can also use store-bought dumplings)
4 cups sliced rice cakes
2 large eggs (yolks and whites separated)
1 green onion
1 sheet of roasted/salted seaweed (gim)
- If you are using frozen rice cakes, cover the rice cakes in cool water and let soak for about 20 minutes. Or thaw the rice cakes the day before wanting to make this soup recipe.
- Let’s make the thin egg strips. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into separate small bowls. Whisk the egg yolks and whites in their separate bowls. Turn a non-stick or cast iron pan on medium-high heat and add 1 tsp of avocado oil to the bottom of the pan. Add the whisked yolks to the hot pan. Spread the yolks out into a thin layer. Allow the egg yolks to cook on one side, then flip to cook the other side (about 2 minutes per side). Remove from pan when egg yolks are done. Next, add another 1 tsp of avocado oil to the same pan. Cook the egg whites and spread into a thin layer. Allow the egg yolks to cook on one side, then flip to cook the other side (about 2 minutes per side). Remove the egg whites from the pan. Slice the cooked egg yolks and cooked egg whites into very thin slices. You should have cooked egg yolk strips and cooked egg white strips.
- Add water to a pot, Dasida beef flavor powder, salt, and ground pepper. Place it on high heat until it starts boiling.
- Once it reaches a boil, add in your frozen dumplings/mandu. Turn the stove down to medium-high heat. Cook the dumplings/mandu for about 10 minutes.
- Then add the rice cakes and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
- That’s it! Turn off the burner, and remove the pot from heat. When ready to serve, top each bowl with a few egg strips, a few green onion shreds, and roasted/salted seaweed shreds.
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