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 (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. ashleyramk florida joined 12/14 & has 5 comments

    can i replace beef with some other meat, like chicken? i want to cook this for my family, but we cant eat beef. it seems like a lot of korean soups and such have beef in it.

  2. shadeharbour Illinois joined 2/14 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi,
    Thank you for having this great site. My family enjoys your videos I learned Kimchi and made some. I am making a large batch Monday. One question, I went to my Asian market. They had no dried anchovy but dried Scud. I don’t know what that is. It was a bigger fish. I am on a sodium restricted diet, so I settle on boiled dried Korean shrimp. If I use those instead of the anchovy, how much would I need? I have everything else. I also found a lower sodium fish sauce! It is from the Philippines but at 280 mg for 2 oz, I couldn’t pass it up. I know not the same but in order for me to enjoy,, I need to try to cut the sodium. Please help………

  3. Miss Kim78 socali joined 3/13 & has 40 comments

    Yummy! I love ddukguk. With my dduk, I usually never have the time or patience to soak the dduk, so I tend to skip the step, but it works out fine anyways. I get chewy, cooked just right dduk!

  4. amorekf U.S.A. joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    I am going to try and make this soup for New Year (Jan 31). I want to know if I make a lot of the soup, is it okay to eat later and what can I do to keep the rice cake from getting soggy? Should I not put the rice cake in the soup until I get ready to eat it? That way I can save soup until later and just add rice cake before eating.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      “Should I not put the rice cake in the soup until I get ready to eat it?” that’s right!:)
      Rice cake soup should be eaten right after it’s made because the cooked rice cake will get soggy and the soup will get thicker. If you want to make it advance, make delicious broth first with beef. Then keep it in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, reheat the it and add the sliced rice cake.
      Happy cooking!

  5. Kgirlmd De joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    I just made this with my husband and we love this recipe!!! I’ve used your recipes for several years but finally watched your videos after my sister kept telling me to watch them. Boy, was it easier to make this and the Mandu (which I added to the duk kuk recipe) and it was soooo good. The Mandu was just bursting with wonderful sesame, mushrooms, meat, and oniony flavors, much better using your recipes than just winging it! I think I will order your cook book to make it easier for me. I love you Maangchi!!! Happy New Year!!!!

  6. Shinkis Mom Virginia joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    I made this last night. Since I went vegetarian I had no beef at home, I just did everything the same without the beef. I drove two and a half hours to get the ddeok. Your recipe did justice to my effort. It was so good I had two big bowls and another for breakfast and another for lunch. I made the full recipe even though it’s just me and I have enough for dinner tonight. Rice cakes are holding up pretty well, not getting to soggy. Thank you. I think my New Year good luck started when I found your site!

  7. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Hi Maangchi !

    If i make fresh rice cake myself , do i still need to soak it in the water like you did ? I wouldn’t think so .. but i thought i should ask :D

    Thanks !!

  8. Zulumom Concord, CA joined 9/13 & has 35 comments

    Wonderful and beautiful presentation too, Maangchi! I’m trying hard not to discuss my dog, Zulu, in every comment I make here, but I must say…when he didn’t have any appetite after he almost died and the doctor told me to feed him rice in every meal, he perked up and ate Tteokuk every time I made it for him. I used your original recipe minus the salt/fish sauce to make it low sodium for him, then my husband and I enjoyed with added fish sauce. I’m going to make it again for the whole family on Wednesday (new year’s day) of course! Happy new year!!! xoxo

  9. nlily1037 USA joined 8/13 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I love you’re recipes, and I want to try this one, but is there any way I can make this by substituting the beef? With seafood or vegetables? Thanks :D

  10. bsmi7133 korea joined 12/12 & has 1 comment

    do koreans usually eat this soup on new years day ( Jan 1) or on the lunar new year?

  11. Rainfever29 United States joined 10/12 & has 2 comments

    Hi maangchi! I made this soup a little while back…it came out wonderful! I added a bit salt and pepper and my mom and dad both loved it. The only trouble was that the rice cake got very very mushy after the cooking time was up and by the next day they were even more mushy! Would it be ok to just through in the rice piece right before eating the soup?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      “Would it be ok to just throw the rice piece right before eating the soup?” yes, what you said is exactly right! Make delicious beef stock and you can keep it in the fridge. When you make rice cake soup, reheat the broth. When the broth boils, add rice cake, then you will enjoy chewy rice cake along with delicious soup. I never like rice cake soup that is 1 day old. The rice cake will be mushy and the soup will look like porridge.

  12. Kira.b OK joined 9/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I love your cooking channel. I love fish sauce too.
    I dont work for this company, but if your local asian food store carries this fish sauce:
    is really worth a try. The flavor is really good.
    Thank you for inspiring many of us to cook.

  13. DancesInGarden Canada joined 8/12 & has 2 comments

    I made this for dinner today (with kim Bap, I know not traditional to serve together) after finding frozen sliced rice cakes at a Korean market. I used leftover cooked pork roast and chicken broth, but the rest was the same. Tasty, comforting, filling, the texture of the chewy rice cakes is perfect. Thank you for a wonderful recipe, and something very new for my family that they all loved!

  14. BkzBiGKid New York, NY joined 7/11 & has 3 comments

    Congratz on having this recipe featured on tasted! xD

  15. chrispychris NYC joined 4/12 & has 2 comments

    love your site! all the 1.5 generation koreans thank you. i had another question: i noticed you used a lot of fish sauce. i have never seen this growing up in my korean household. isn’t that more of a vietnamese item? i always saw my mom using soysauce.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      yeah I wish I could find good soup soy sauce with deep flavor. But I never found soup soy sauce that was any good. I have tried many brands of soup soy sauce but none of them were tasty.

      The 3 crab fish sauce is the only one that has the flavor I’m looking for. However, If you are not a big fan of fish sauce, use soup soy sauce.

  16. chrispychris NYC joined 4/12 & has 2 comments

    hi, you don’t need to soak the beef brisket in water or toss the first batch of boiling water? thanks!!

  17. ZenMistress California joined 4/12 & has 7 comments

    delicious, authentic, the real thing. Thank you for this recipe, I made it and this soup really hits the spot. My mom never taught me how to cook, but with your website, I’m learning and figuring things out. Thank you for all your hard work and sharing your recipes. Many old school korean moms don’t teach their daughters how to cook, since they would rather their daughters learned how to study hard and get good jobs. My mom also thought I would somehow magically learn by osmosis but I didn’t have a clue. You have taught me so much. With your soup I can now celebrate lunar new year properly!

  18. nanasse Amsterdam - Paris joined 10/11 & has 17 comments

    ♥ thank you soooo much for this recipe! ♥
    Just made it and it is delicious!!!

    I just added few mandu in it~ wonderful ♥♥♥
    Even better than in some restaurant in Seoul !

    Thank you !!

  19. TDenham77 McLeansboro, IL joined 12/11 & has 8 comments

    As a little time saver, you can use the powder beef broth that they sell in Asian grocery stores. I leave out the egg and add a few dried anchovies, frozen dumplings, and the beef broth powder. You also don’t necessarily have to soak the rice cake. I add mine straight from the freezer though you do have to add a couple more minutes of cooking time.

  20. Meegs Daejeon, South Korea joined 4/10 & has 5 comments

    Why does mine never turn out with that lovely milky color??

  21. LuccaQ Buffalo,NY joined 6/10 & has 30 comments

    I just made a nice big pot of tteokguk for my New Year’s meal. It is so easy and delicious! Happy New Year to all!

  22. Hi Maangchi! I just tried your ddukguk recipe and I loved it :D although I used anchovies instead of beef plus I just sliced up my dduk from making ddukbokki earlier.

    here are the photos! thanks again for the lovely recipe :D


  23. ShiWu Vietnam joined 8/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I was wondering is it okay if i put dumplings in :)

  24. Hi Maangchi,
    one of my siblings is allergic to fish, is there something I can substitute the fish sauce for? Would soy sauce work well? Thanks :)

  25. Hi maangchi
    They don’t have beef brisket where I live is there another meat I can use like flank steak?

  26. Goody joined 6/10 & has 4 comments

    Even though it’ summer and not winter, I made dduk gook for my (Korean) Dad for lunch today and he loved it! He said he liked it because it wasn’t salty – older Korean people like their food a little bland.

  27. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    I made this recently with beef bone stock, (cooked the bones overnight)
    absolutely DELICIOUS!!
    I was sick with a bad cold and this was so good.

  28. Lisbon88 Boston, MA joined 2/10 & has 4 comments

    Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes & enjoyable videos. My family has never been as fond of Korean food as I am, but they LOVE your food. This rice cake soup is now a weekly staple – with a few alterations because of allergies, but essentially the same. Happy New Year.

  29. Deepblu505 Fayetteville NC joined 2/10 & has 1 comment

    Love your recipes have tried many. Spent time in Korea and became very fond of the food there. I was wondering if I wanted to make duc mandu gook , would I just add mandu at the end of this recipe?

  30. borisito glendale, california joined 1/10 & has 3 comments

    i love 떡국 but i have never seen the yolk with egg whites and fish sauce put in there

  31. Hello Maangchi, and Happy new year to everyone, 새해 복 많이 받으세요!
    I just read that the traditional Korean New Year’s day 설날 (seollal) is similar to the Chinese one. I guess it’s 14th February this year. I was wondering if you could post a recipe of yakgwa because I also read that it is a traditional meal for New Year’s day. :)
    Thanks a lot :D

  32. Hi Maangchi,

    What a coincidence, I tried this soup for dinner at Wonju in Koreatown, NY. It was delicious, but I preferred the grilled meat over charcoal. I asked the waitress for extra sesame oil, but she looked back at me weird like I was crazy.

    Have you ever been to Wonju? It’s great, but VERY smoky. I had to wash my clothes immediately after.


  33. Flower Venezuela joined 3/09 & has 10 comments

    By the way, happy new year everybody.

  34. Flower Venezuela joined 3/09 & has 10 comments

    looks really delicious,
    a question can be used just chicken breasts instead of beef.?

  35. Hi maangchi, I tried to make this today.

    The rice cake I had was frozen, long and thick. At the store they said you could slice it for soup, so I tried, but it was very hard to cut (the rice cake kept splitting and eventually I ended up with some rounds and a lot of tiny rice cake splinters). When I put it in the soup they became very soft but still slightly chewy, which I suppose is good?

    The soup itself was very tasty, if not slightly too thick. The egg garnish was very easy and awesome, I will remember this!

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