Rice cake soup

Tteokguk 떡국

Tteokguk (rice cake soup) is a delicious, filling soup made of disc-shaped rice cakes in a clear broth. Koreans always eat it on Seollal (Korean New Year’s Day), the first day of the Lunar calendar and one of the most important holidays in Korea. Traditionally, according to Korean age reckoning, everyone’s age went up one year on Seollal, and the process wasn’t totally complete until you had a bowl of tteokguk. I make a beef broth in this recipe, but you can use any meat you prefer, or use seafood, or just make an anchovy stock or kelp stock.

You’d ask someone on Seollal: “Did you eat a bowl of rice cake soup today?” Meaning: are you one year older?

These days Koreans also have tteokguk on Western New Year’s day, January 1st, too. The whiteness of the soup symbolizes a clean, fresh start to the new year, and the disc-shaped rice cakes look like coins, so they symbolize a wish for upcoming prosperity for anyone who eats them.

Despite the symbolism, this soup is not just for special occasions: personally, I eat it all the time, because it’s delicious and easy to make! It’s a one bowl meal.

I think the real key to this soup is i making a clear, delicious broth, which takes some care and attention to do. But overall this is a very easy recipe to make: you can buy the rice cakes in a Korean grocery store, or even make your own with my garaetteok recipe.

Why don’t you make a resolution to try tteokguk on new year’s day, and let me know how it turns out!

Ingredients (2-3 servings)


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy pot over high heat and add the beef and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the  beef  is  tender and  has  infused  the water  with  flavor.tteokguk (rice cake soup) making
  3. Roast both sides of a sheet of gim until it’s bright green and very crispy. Put it in a plastic bag and crush it by hand. Set aside.kim (seaweed-paper)
  4. Separate the egg yolks from the whites of two eggs, putting yolks and whites into separate bowls. Add pinch of salt to each and mix with a fork. Remove the stringy chalaza from the yolks.
  5. Add the cooking oil to a heated non-stick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess with a kitchen towel, leaving a thin oily layer on the pan.
  6. Turn off the heat. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan and tilt it so it spreads evenly and thinly. Let it cook on the hot pan for about 1 minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for another minute, then take it off, slice it into thin strips and set it aside.egg garnish (jidan)gyeran-jidan (egg garnish)yellow egg strips (gyeran jidan)
  7. Add the rice cake slices to the boiling soup along with fish sauce and kosher salt. Stir it with a ladle. Cover and let it cook for 7 to 8 minutes until all the rice cakes are floated and are softened throughout. Pour the egg whites by little by little into the soup and cook for 30  seconds. tteokguk (rice cake soup)
  8. Add sesame oil, ground black pepper, and chopped green onion. Stir the soup. Remove from the heat and ladle the rice cake soup into individual serving bowls. Garnish with yellow egg strips, crushed seaweed, and red pepper if you want.
  9. Serve it right away, with kimchi and more side dishes if you want. If you wait too long the rice cakes will get soggy, so everybody dig in and enjoy!tteokguk (rice cake soup: 떡국)

tteokguk (떡국)


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  1. MaangchiLove Montreal, Toronto joined 8/19 & has 53 comments

    Maanchi, this time I followed your recipe exactly. Can’t believe some good beef and garlic makes such a good soup base. It’s my second year making this rice cake soup. I’ve never liked the rice cake soup more! Always hank you :)

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 515 comments

      This table setting looks more than excellent! The rice cake soup including the garnish looks so colorful tasty, along with the vegetable side dishes! “It’s my second year making this rice cake soup.” Wonderful! : )

  2. ChristinaC California joined 2/17 & has 8 comments

    I watch this every New Year, and laugh every time! “Be smart healthy and prosperous!”- echoes of my mom (happiness is overrated ;-) lol!). I love this perfect recipe! Wishing you a happy delicious New Year everyone! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

  3. crizbiii Spain joined 3/22 & has 1 comment

    First time leaving a comment! I absolutely love your recipes and am so thankful to you! This is my first time making 떡국. Hope you’re proud hehe

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  4. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 279 comments

    새해 복 많이 받으세요!
    (My husband is Tiger…)

  5. tintinna California joined 1/22 & has 1 comment

    I made it for the first time and it was delicious! Happy 2022!

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  6. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 279 comments

    새해 복 많이 받으세요!

    Stay healthy everyone!

  7. SusieCooks NY/CT joined 1/21 & has 1 comment

    Thank you for this recipe! My mother’s side of my family is Korean and we have this soup during the New Years holidays. I decided to try to make this soup myself for the first time and came across your recipe. I followed it exactly and it turned out perfectly. It tasted just like my moms!

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