Korean Rice Cake Soup (Duk Guk)

Korean Rice Cake Soup (Duk Guk)

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
494 Calories
6g Fat
93g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 494
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 1377mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 93g 34%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 516mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

With many different spellings but one amazing homey flavor, Korean Duk Guk is a traditional soup eaten on Korean ​New Year's Day. Soothing, simple, and easy to make, this white soup symbolizes a fresh start to the year and its round rice "coins" represent the prosperity and wealth of the year to come.

Korean rice cakes aren't the crunchy rice cakes we know in the U.S., but instead steamed grains formed in cylinder-shaped tubes that are sold complete or sliced into oval "coins." The plain rice cake can be used in many different recipes, from spicy to savory to sweet. Its primary ingredient is glutinous rice. It can also be found with many different flavors and added ingredients like beans, fruits, legumes, and nuts.

Visit the Korean market in your area and enjoy this beautiful, subtle soup.


  • 1 pound Korean duk, flat oval rice cakes

  • 4 cups beef broth, chicken broth, or anchovy broth

  • 2 cups water

  • Soy sauce, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 large eggs, cooked in a thin omelet and sliced into thin strips

  • 1 to 2 sheets dried seaweed, roasted cut into thin strips

  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Korean Rice Cake Soup (Duk Guk) ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Soak rice cakes in cold water for about 20 minutes. Rinse and reserve.

    Soak rice cakes in cold water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Bring broth and water to a boil and add a tablespoon of soy sauce. Season with pepper.

    Bring broth and water to a boil and add a tablespoon of soy sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add rice cakes and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook rice cakes until tender, for about 10 minutes.

    add rice cakes to the broth in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Taste for saltiness and add more soy sauce if needed. Ladle into individual bowls.

    ladle soup into individual bowls

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add strips of egg and seaweed. Garnish with scallions.

    Korean Rice Cake Soup (Duk Guk), add strips of egg, seaweed and scallions

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Enjoy hot.

Beef and Dumplings

For a heartier dish use one of the following variations:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, cover 350 grams of beef brisket with water.
  2. Add half an onion, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Simmer until the meat is tender, for about 1.5 hours.
  4. Once the meat is cooked, use two forks to shred it and reserve on the side.
  5. Once the soup is ladled into the bowls, add the brisket, egg, and seaweed, and garnish with scallions.
  6. If using dumplings, cook them separately to avoid the soup becoming too thick and add them right before garnishing each bowl.

How to Roast Seaweed

If you can't find already roasted seaweed, follow these steps to make your own roasted gim:

  • With a clean cooking brush, brush both sides of gim sheets with olive oil, any cooking oil of your choice, or a 50-50 mixture of sesame oil and canola oil.
  • Place each sheet of gim on a flat nonstick pan on high heat for 10 to 20 seconds until crispy and turn over to cook the other side.
  • Trim for garnish or keep whole in a container at room temperature.
  • Alternatively, you can pan roast without oil, but the added fat makes the seaweed extra crispy.


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