Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

It's been a long time since we've eaten tteokguk (rice cake soup) so it was a pleasant surprise when the wife took over the reins in the kitchen and surprised me and the kids with this delicious Korean soup. Tteokguk is a traditional dish enjoyed by many (if not all Koreans) during the Lunar New Year holiday. The rice cake used to make tteokguk is first made into a long, white cylinder shape called garae tteok. Its shape and length is symbolic, wishing for longevity in life.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
28 mins
Total Time:
48 mins
4 servings


  • 4 cups water, or as needed

  • ½ pound beef sirloin steak, thinly sliced

  • ½ onion, chopped (Optional)

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (Optional)

  • 4 cups thinly sliced garae tteok (Korean glutinous rice cakes)

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced


  1. Combine water and beef strips in a stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-high heat and simmer, skimming off any foam from the top. Add onion and garlic; simmer stock until flavors combine, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Rinse rice cake slices in cold water and drain well. Stir rice cakes and soy sauce into the stock; bring to a gentle boil until rice cake slices start to float, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir eggs and green onions into the stock. Ladle into bowls.

Cook's Notes:

Optional (but recommended) garnishes for the soup: 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 eggs (fry yolks and whites separately into thin sheets and slice into strips), and seaweed strips (toast seaweed sheets in a skillet over medium heat until crispy; cut into thin strips).

Most Koreans include mandu (dumplings) with tteokguk to make it heartier. If doing so, simply add them in the broth a few minutes before the rice cakes. They are available at Korean grocers and supermarkets with well-stocked Asian food sections.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

715 Calories
7g Fat
138g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 715
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 112mg 37%
Sodium 556mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 138g 50%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 262mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.