Korean Tteokguk (Rice Cake Soup)
This is a traditional dish enjoyed by many--if not all--Koreans during the New Year's and Lunar New Year holidays. Although there wasn't a lot of time for cooking or eating, I got to experience a semi-instant tteokguk for New Year's Day thanks to a good friend of mine. Garnish with green onions; add mandu (dumplings) or thin slices of beef if you like. Serve hot, as rice cakes will get soggy over time.
Cylinder-shaped glutinous rice cakes (garaetteok or garae-tteok) are available in Korean markets. If you're using frozen rice cakes, soak in water for 10 minutes before proceeding.
This soup is not only for special occasions, but can be deliciously enjoyed all year round for large groups and festive events.