Korean Dduk Guk Rice Cake Soup

December 19, 2018
8 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a faster version of the special rice cake soup Koreans eat on New Year’s Day. Traditionally, it’s made with a piece of shin or brisket meat, but I love this soup so much I created an easy, weeknight-friendly version anyone can enjoy year-round.

A note on Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang): This is a lighter in color, but saltier in flavor, soy sauce commonly used in Korean soups. If you can't find it, try some regular soy sauce plus some salt. —Hana Asbrink

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, The Lucky Korean Rice Cake Soup I Eat Every New Year's Day. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups to 5 cups rice cakes (fresh ones are often found around the holidays near the register of your local Korean market; otherwise bagged fresh or frozen is fine)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided (1 teaspoon for beef + 1 teaspoon for egg jidan)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pinch kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 10 cups cold water (you can always add more)
  • 5 eggs, divided (3 eggs, lightly beaten + 2 eggs, separating whites and yolks)
  • 5 scallions, divided (4 cut into 1-inch diagonal chunks + 1 chopped finely for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang), more to taste
  • 2 to 3 sheets large sheets of unseasoned nori seaweed, cut by scissor into matchstick-ish size (to match the jidan), and put in a small bowl
  • More Korean soup soy sauce, soy sauce, or kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper, sesame oil to taste
  1. In a large bowl filled with cold water, soak the dduk/rice cakes for about 10 to 15 minutes (bit longer if frozen). This step shaves off some cooking time in the pot.
  2. Put a large soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the ground beef and minced garlic, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the water and bump up the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Skim off any impurities and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Make jidan: In 2 separate bowls, whisk the yolks and the whites. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a small to medium nonstick pan, and heat over medium-low heat. When heat, pour the yolks into the pan, spreading evenly. Turn off heat. Let it sit in the pan for a minute before flipping and letting sit a minute more. Remove from heat. Repeat process for the whites. After slightly cooled, slice yellow and white omelettes, separately, in half and then into thin strips, about matchstick-sized. Set aside.
  5. Drain the dduk from the water, and add them to the broth. Be careful not to walk away for too long at this point! It will cook rather quickly, just 3 to 5 minutes more, depending on your taste. Dduk should not be al dente, but should definitely not be mushy or gummy either.
  6. Right before you think the dduk is ready, add the scallions to soften in the soup. Add the Korean soup soy sauce. (If you don't have this, add regular soy sauce; note this will make your broth a bit darker.)
  7. Turn off the heat. Slowly drizzle in the 3 lightly beaten eggs, without touching the soup for about 10 seconds before going in with a wooden spoon and gently creating beautiful, airy egg strands (this is seriously my favorite part!). Add the sesame oil to the soup and lightly stir.
  8. Ladle dduk guk into large bowls. Top with cut-up seaweed; yellow and white jidan; and chopped scallion to garnish. Season with more Korean soup soy sauce (or regular soy sauce, or salt), and freshly cracked black pepper, if you'd like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hana Asbrink
    Hana Asbrink
  • Sarah D
    Sarah D
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.

3 Reviews

Sarah D. January 4, 2019
We love dduk gook too!!!!! It's one of my son's favorite things to eat mainly because I make it with oxtail and beef bone broth for a deep savory taste! ha...but it just takes forever because I boil the oxtail and bones for 5 or 6 hours (at night when my children are sleeping). We just had it this week to ring in the New Year! ^_^
Hana A. January 7, 2019
Sounds amazing! The deep beef broth makes winter worth it, doesn't it? Hope you have a wonderful new year, Sarah!

PS: I've heard great things about Instant Pot beef broth if you happen to have one; it will shave a lot of time off!
Sarah D. January 7, 2019
Happy New Year to you too! That's interesting you bring up the Instant Pot. We have one and we usually only use it to cook Chinese and American cuisine in it. I've read negative comments for IP Korean recipes, mainly that the meat is overcooked, chewy, or the broths are not as hearty tasting as the real thing. So I have not cooked galbijjim or any other Korean soups or stews using it. We did make chicken jook (aka congee in Chinese) using the IP and like I wrote above, the broth was not as flavorful as it is the regular way. A long time ago, my friend and I used a pressure cooker to make oxtail and though the meat was very tender, the broth was not white and didn't taste as good as the traditional way of cooking oxtail broth. The way I make dduk gook is more similar to making sullongtang, but just using oxtail and beef bones. I just boil it for a really long time, until it turns white. You can definitely taste the difference between the IP broth and regular way. Do you have an IP? Have you tried Korean recipes in it? Are you successful in getting the same taste?