Sunday, August 29, 2010

Koreans Have Tteok For New Year

By John Lee

Tteokguk is a common Korean food to eat on New Year's Day. It is thought that people have to eat Tteokguk because it is predicted to grant the luck for the forthcoming year and for him or her to supposedly gain an extra year of life. Eating one bowl of Tteokguk in the morning of New Year's Day means that you get one year older. The first day of the New Year is the new beginning for all makings. People start eating Tteokguk made from white rice cake (Tteok) to signify the day's pure and solemn nature. Why is rice cake round? Some people say it was shaped after coins to bring people prosperity and some people say it shaped after the sun. According to a 19th century handbook on traditions, the practice of eating rice cake soup dates back to the late 18th century.

It is significant to make a good broth for this dish to be taste good. Beef brisket is boiled for several hours and the stock is strained to clarify the broth. Long rice cake sticks are cut diagonally and boiled in the clear beef broth. The rice cake slices should be boiled until they're very soft. Make sure you place the egg to room temperature before you beat it and add it to the broth. An egg that just came out of the refrigerator will make the broth murky instead of smooth and thin ribbons.

It is uncomplicated to make Tteokguk today because most of the Korean grocery stores sell rice cake pieces.

This is how to cook Tteokguk:


5 cups BEEF BROTH.

1 lb/455 g sliced "GARAETTEOK" (rice cake), soaked in water for 2 hours

1 EGG, beaten

2 sheets of "GIIM" (seaweed), toasted slightly

SOY SAUCE to adjust seasoning

2 SCALLIONS, cut diagonally


1. Prepare the beef broth early on. Prepare GARAETTEOK (rice cake) slices and remove the egg from the refrigerator and leave it alone in room temperature.

2. Bring the broth to a boil, then add the rice cake slices. Gently simmer until it gets soft. At this time, lightly toast the seaweed on a toaster. Slice the seaweed into 4 pieces with scissors and then into strips. Set it aside. Adjust the soup seasoning with soy sauce and insert the scallion.

3. Stir the soup with chopsticks while adding the beaten egg as a stream. Separate the soup into individual bowls and top them with crumbled seaweed.

All kinds of Tteokguk have been made in the northern part and southern part of Korea, which are different in climate and types of farming. In the north, the farming of rice is rare; people added Mandu (Korean style Dumpling) to Tteokguk and enjoyed Tteokmanduguk.

Tteokguk is sold in many Korean restaurants all year around. Many people order tteokguk in a Korean restaurant.

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