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 lb Korean duk (flat oval rice cakes)
- 4 cups broth (beef, anchovy, or chicken)
- 2 cups water
- Soy sauce (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- 2 eggs (cooked in a thin omelet and sliced into thin strips)
- 1 to 2 dried seaweed sheets (roasted and cut into thin slices)
- Garnish: scallions
Gather the ingredients.
Soak rice cakes in cold water for about 20 minutes. Rinse and reserve.
Bring broth and water to a boil and add a tablespoon of soy sauce. Season with pepper.
Add rice cakes and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook rice cakes until tender, for about 10 minutes.
Taste for saltiness and add more soy sauce if needed. Ladle into individual bowls.
Add strips of egg and seaweed. Garnish with scallions.
Beef and Dumplings
For a heartier dish use one of the following variations:
- In a medium-sized pot, cover 350 g of beef brisket with water.
- Add half an onion, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer until the meat is tender, for about 1.5 hours.
- Once the meat is cooked, use two forks to shred it and reserve on the side.
- Once the soup is ladled into the bowls, add the brisket, egg, and seaweed, and garnish with scallions.
- 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 non-stick 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.