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. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 311 comments

    새해 복 많이 받으세요!


  2. MaangchiLove Montreal, Toronto joined 8/19 & has 59 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 579 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! : )

  3. 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!

  4. 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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  5. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 311 comments

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

  6. 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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  7. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 311 comments

    새해 복 많이 받으세요!

    Stay healthy everyone!

  8. 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!

    See full size image

  9. Yu Li Singapore joined 6/20 & has 5 comments

    Thank you for the recipe! It’s easy to make and it’s hearty and wholesome! Delicious!

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  10. gxbacher Wayne, NJ, USA joined 3/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi again, Maangchi!

    Thank you for another great recipe. My daughters love it :)

    Please note that steps 7 and 8 both say to add the green onions. I think they are better added in step 8, otherwise they will be too soft/cooked.

    Also, I’ve followed the recipe twice exactly as directed, I humbly submit my thougths:
    – I think there is too much water, it comes out much brothier than your pictures. With 5 or 6 cups of water it will look more like your pictures.
    – 2 eggs is not nearly enough to create as much yolk strips and egg white in the broth. I will try 3 or maybe even 4 eggs.

    Thank you again,

    See full size image

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

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for letting me know about the green onion. I had to watch my own video to check it. You are right, they should be added in step 8! I updated the recipe. Thanks again!

  11. Sukilei Toronto Canada joined 3/20 & has 1 comment

    1st attempt, did not have red pepper and skipped that. Everyone loved it at dinner, very hearty and healthy.

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  12. Mandarinede Germany joined 5/19 & has 3 comments

    I got this recipe Link from a friend and I finally made this delicious soup today! I absolutely love this soup and I want to thank you for this wonderful instruction video. I will most definitely make this soup again and again and again and I will try to make the rice cake according to your recipe myself the next time. Thank you so much!

  13. eklektik Metro Detroit joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    I am very satisfied with the way this turned out. Restaurants are not always good for this dish. I used my own ddeok from your recipes as well. 맛있어요

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  14. Beautyhula Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, wishing you a very happy new year 2019! I cooked rice cake soup! Here’s the picture.

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  15. Arthemisefairy The Netherlands joined 12/18 & has 2 comments

    So I made this dish last night, for celebrating the coming of the New Year. The taste of it was delicious, thank you for uploading it! Instead of 2-3, it is sure to make for 4 servings.

    I do have a question however: what is the reason you initially boil the clear water for 12-15 minutes? Is it because of the water quality where you live, or is it supposed to alter the taste of the soup in some way? I myself am under the impression that the boiling of the water for that long beforehand is the reason for this dish becoming a 2-3 person dish, and therefore skipped that step and added the garlic and beef shortly after the water started to boil… What do you think?

  16. evelynrose Montana, USA joined 2/18 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I made your garaetteok for tteokbokki and tteokguk from scratch. I even made my own rice flour using your recipe. I was wondering if I still need to soak my freshly made round rice cakes before I add them into the soup, like this recipe said. You mentioned that the frozen rice cakes must be soaked to soften them before cooking. Does this rule apply to freshly made rice cakes (which, of course, are already soft and chewy) also?

    Happy New Year!

  17. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 82 comments

    Dear Maangchi,

    I really like the soup in seollongtang for this dish. Is that okay?

  18. jinwoo630 Hempstead, NY joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    I prefer to add a couple of dried anchovies instead of fish sauce. And a few drops of sesame oil will suffice bc it tends to overpower dishes.

  19. zipimigdania israel gan-yavne joined 3/13 & has 2 comments

    hello dear maangchi this recepie is very tasty and easy we love it.

    in april i will be in korea please can you recommend me what to buy for my citchen as my coocking is korean. thanks a lot you are a miracle for me.

  20. bluntbeckz New York joined 3/11 & has 3 comments

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It is so easy to make. The Korean grocery store usually sells in 2lb bag. So I double this recipe! More to eat for seconds or for later :)

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  21. SerenaWoo87 Malaysia joined 8/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi. It is okay for me to cook the rice cake 1st & put overnight inside the fridge before eat on next day?

  22. mrf45 joined 4/15 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, do you think I could make this with vegetable broth boiled with some anchovy and dried kelp? We don’t usually eat a lot of beef or chicken. Thanks for all of your hard work and amazing recipes! :)

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

    Hi Maangchi,
    I did not know you had to remake your videos! So much work.. anyway they are always great.
    Happy new year ! ☆★

  24. aTrueRedHead Germany joined 8/14 & has 17 comments

    Hi Maangchi

    Thank you very much for sharing all of these delicious recipe.
    I just made this rice cake soup and ate two bowls. Right afterwards I called up my friend and told her about this fantastic and very easy to make soup.

    I really enjoy your website and the videos. Keep up the great work.
    If you every need a recipe from Germany let me know.

  25. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 311 comments

    새해 복 많이 받으세요!

  26. EstelleJin France joined 1/15 & has 1 comment

    I made Tteokguk from your recipe today. My husband had never tasted this Korean dish before. It was delicious!!! Thank you!

  27. ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13 & has 75 comments


    새해 복 많이 받으세요! 🙏😊 Happy New Year!
    I made rice cake soup!


  28. jeeyoon melbourne joined 12/14 & has 1 comment

    떡국을 맛나게 끄려봐야지~^^

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