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Main dish • Savoury

Hanah’s Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Hanah Lim, Habanero Consulting Inc.
Hanah Lim

Interaction Designer

Tteokguk is a traditional Korean dish my family has every year for New Year’s. In Korean culture, by having this soup you turn one year older! From as far back as I can remember I’ve always had this soup for the holidays and I would watch my grandma and mom prepare it. Over the years I have learned how to make the soup myself, so now I get to enjoy making it for my family!

Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)



  • 1 pound sliced rice cakes (can be found in your local Asian grocery store)
  • ½ pound beef (flank steak or brisket)
  • 7 cups water
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon soup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • Handful frozen dumplings (optional)
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 to 2 stalks of green onion
  • 1 to 2 eggs
  • 1 sheet of roasted dry seaweed


Step 1

If using frozen rice cakes, soak them in cold water for 15 to 30 minutes then drain.

Step 2

In a deep pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the beef and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Turn the heat down to medium and cover the pot to let beef cook for 10 minutes. While you wait, start to prepare the toppings.

Step 4

Cut the sheet of seaweed into large pieces and place into a Ziploc bag. Crumble the seaweed into small pieces.

Step 5

In a small bowl, crack one of the eggs and whisk. Or separate 2 eggs with yolk and whites in separate bowls. Add a pinch of salt to both bowls.

Step 6

Add a teaspoon of cooking oil to a heated non-stick pan and swirl the oil around the pan.

Step 7

If you separated the eggs, heat a pan over low heat and add the yolks, tilting the pan so they spread evenly.

Step 8

Turn the heat off and let the egg yolks cook for 1 minute. Turn the egg over and let it cook for another minute.

Step 9

Take the egg off and and slice into thin strips. Do the same process for the egg whites.

Step 10

Wash the green onions and thinly slice them.

Step 11

Once the beef has cooked for 10 minutes, add the rice cakes to the boiling soup.

Step 12

Add soup soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Stir the rice cakes and let it boil for 5 minutes.

Step 13

After 5 minutes, if you have dumplings, place them into the soup. Let it boil for 3 minutes.

Step 14

Add sesame oil and chopped green onions to soup. Save some green onion for garnish later. If you didn’t choose the sliced egg option, pour your whisked egg into the soup and stir.

Step 15

Turn the heat off and ladle the rice cake soup into individual serving bowls.

Step 16

Garnish with crumbled seaweed and chopped green onions and, if applicable, thinly sliced eggs.

Step 17

Enjoy by itself or accompanied with a side dish of kimchi!

Photos from Hanah

A large white bowl brimming with broth and rice cakes is topped with sliced egg and chopped green onion.
A warm bowl of tteokguk to kick off the new year.

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