Tteokguk – 떡국 (Rice cake soup)

Happy new year! For the first day of 2013 we are going to talk about Tteoguk (떡국), a dish that is eaten traditionally on the first day of the new year and for Koreans this is the day when they become one year older rather that on their birthday. A saying explains that you actually have to eat Tteokguk in order to become older. Tteokguk is a soup made with rice cakes (tteok) in broth (guk). Traditionally the broth used is beef broth but there are other versions with chicken or vegetable broth.  Another version also use mandu (dumplings) and in this case the soup is called tteok-manduguk. We had this for lunch on the first of January and the delicate and starchy taste of the soup was a perfect meal for starting the new year with a positive attitude.


This soup is easy to prepare and we provide here the recipe: Ingredients for for 2 people:


  • 400 grams (15 oz) of  tteok
  • 300 grams (10 oz) of beef tenderloin or beef piece with bone
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 tbs of soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 roasted seaweed paper


  • Put Tteok in a bowl with water in room temperature
  • Cut the beef in small pieces
  • Prepare the broth (see below)
  • Create egg decoration (see below) while the broth is boiling
  • Put Tteok in the broth bowl and boil for 10 mins
  • Add some salt if needed.
  • Serve Tteokguk in a bowl and put the eggs decoration, some sliced seaweed paper and the half of the sliced green onion.

Egg decoration

egg decoration tteokguk

  1. Separate yolk and white of eggs
  2. Fry them separate of 5mm thickness with vegetable oil in a pan
  3. Cut them in long strips or diagonal shape on the chopping board


  1. Put beef in a pot with 6 cups of water on a strong fire. Bring it to boil,  reduce the fire and cook it for 30 min
  2. Add soy sauce, pepper and half of the sliced green onion