Monday, December 7

Recipe: Ddeok-guk 떡국

As the colder weather grows ever more constant, we all desire that nice warm bowl of soup to heat us up. Combine this cold weather with the upcoming New Year and one dish instantly comes to mind. Ddeok-guk (떡국).
A savory dish, that is most famous for the rice cakes in it. It is both filling and hearty, the perfect meal for a cold evening. In Korea Ddeok-guk is consumed on New Years Day to signify the transition into the new year. Try it on New Years or anytime Jack Frost comes calling. Recipe courtesy:
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sliced rice cake, beef brisket, garlic, fish sauce, green onion, eggs, laver (dried sea plant), sesame oil, black ground pepper.


1. Boil 8 cups of water in a pot.
2. Soak 3 cups of sliced rice cake in cold water.
3. Chop 100 grams (about 1 cup-1.5 cup) of beef brisket into small pieces.
4. Prepare 3 eggs in 2 small bowls:
In the first bowl, put 2 egg yolk;
In the second bowl, put 2 egg white and 1 egg;
Add a pinch of salt to each bowl and mix well.

While you’re waiting for the water to boil, you can make your garnishes, starting with gyeran noreunja jidan (thin egg yolk strips):

* Heat up a non-stick pan. Let it get really hot. Add a few drops of vegetable oil, and wipe off the excess hot oil with a paper towel.
* Turn the heat off. Pour the egg yolk mixture from “bowl 1″ above into the pan and spread it thinly. You want to make a thin yellow paper out of the egg by tilting the pan.
* When it’s cooked about 70%, turn it over and let it sit on the pan to cook the other side.
* Slice it thinly and set it aside.

Now let’s make kimgaru (laver powder). This one is easy:

* Roast a sheet of laver (kim) directly on the stove top. Both sides of the laver should be roasted so that it can be crushed easily.
* Put the roasted laver into a plastic bag and crush it! Then set it aside.

Good work! Now let’s get back to the soup:


1. When the water boils, put in the beef. Boil over low medium heat for 20-30 minutes.
2. Open the lid and add 1 clove of minced garlic, 2 tbs of fish sauce.
*tip: the water will boil off but you want to keep it at 6 cups. You can add more water as you need it.
3. Drain the rice cake slices and put them into boiling beef soup. Close the lid.
4. A few minutes later, open the lid to check if rice cake slices are floating on the surface. You can taste a sample now.
5. Pour in the egg mix from “bowl 2″ above, a little at a time.
*tip: Don’t stir it until the egg mixture is cooked a little in the broth
6. Chop some green onion and add it to the pot.
7. Turn off the heat and drizzle some sesame oil and grind a little black pepper.
8. Transfer the rice cake soup to serving bowls. Garnish with the roasted laver powder and the thin egg yolk strips.

Serve it hot!

Image courtesy: newsongNY

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