Ddeok Gook (Korean New Year Rice Cake Soup)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins

This is a traditional Lunar New Year dish in Korea. I have seen many different recipes - the only really standard ingredient seems to be the rice cakes -- but I really liked the savoriness of this one. The rice cakes in this soup are not the crispy American kind, but a firm Asian kind used in soups and other dishes. They are like Korean mochi, if that means anything to you. You could use beef broth instead of the anchovy broth if you prefer, although I don't think the anchovy broth really tastes fishy - it's more savory, in the way that Worcestershire sauce and Caesar salad dressing, both of which contain anchovy, are savory. Be careful eating the rice cake: it is so slippery it almost slides down your throat, but gooey enough that you really need to chew it. This is from koreankitchen.com, but I had to do a really specific search to find it, so I thought I'd post it to give it wider exposure, because it was good, and a new treat for me.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 cup thin sliced korean rice cake (ddeok gook ddeok)
  • 14 cup dried anchovy (myeol chi - I think the Japanese word is naboshi)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 ounces beef, cut into thin strips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 sheets nori (seasoned kim , dried laver seaweed)
  • 14 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 14 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 18 teaspoon sugar
  • 18 teaspoon pepper
  • 18 teaspoon minced garlic


  1. Soak the rice cake in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Marinate the beef in the soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, sugar, and minced garlic.
  3. Saute the beef in a skillet, then set aside.
  4. Put the 6 cups of water and the dried anchovies in a pot.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Strain out the anchovies and return the broth to the pot.
  7. Add the rice cakes to the broth.
  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
  9. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until tender.
  10. Add the green onions.
  11. Pour the egg in a little at a time.
  12. Let it set a bit, then stir- if you stir right after adding the egg, the broth gets milky.
  13. Put into bowls.
  14. Garnish each bowl with some beef and some crumbled kim.
Most Helpful

I made this for my husband's birthday. I'm not as skilled at making Korean comfort foods for my hubby as I'd like to be, but this was easy and delicious. He was so excited when he came home from work and saw what I was making. If you start adding too many things (I think) it takes away from the beautiful simplicity of the dish. I guess I can sorta see why someone could say it was bland, but this soup (as with most Korean food) is meant to be eaten with kim chi (or that's how we do it anyway). The spicy cabbage served at room temp is the perfect compliment to the hot, savory broth. Eee, thanks!

BrunchBear February 16, 2010

I made this soup for my Korean homestay student today. Actually, I started by following the recipe, but it took on a life of its own. I thought the stock made with just anchovies and water was very bland, watery, and just didn't have all that much flavour. I added 1 T of dashi (Japanese fish stock granules) which added a lot of flavour. I also did not have any green onion or beef. I substituted chicken for the beef and added a head of chopped baby bok choy after the egg had set in the soup. I also soaked, then sliced, 6 shitake mushrooms and added them and the soaking liquid about half-way through the cooking time. The end-result was very good and my homestay student was one happy camper! My rating is based on the changes I made to the stock. If I had followed the recipe to the letter, it would have rated only 1 star, maybe 2, the stock was that bland! In my opinion it's the stock that makes or breaks a soup! I hope my comments are helpful.

J. Ko October 25, 2006