This is a traditional Korean New Year’s soup I grew up eating a few times each year. This year I went all out and made my own broth from offal bones and brisket. However making your own broth is a very time consuming, smelly, and greasy process. The upside of making your own broth is the depth of flavor from the bones that you cannot achieve with premade broth. If you decide to make your own broth, make a lot at once and freeze the unused portion for later use. Some people like to cook the broth down until it is really concentrated, and freeze it into ice cubes that they can later use like bouillon cubes. The anchovy and beef soup bases are much easier to use and less messier if you want to make tteokguk (떡국) quickly. This recipe only uses onions, rice cakes, and daikon radish, but potato is also a popular ingredient as well. Traditional rice cakes are slanted flat ovals shapes but there are other shapes as well. I really like the new ball shaped rice cakes because of their softer and chewier texture.
The best tteokguk I ever had was in Seoul at a traditional Korean restaurant, Yong Su San (용수산), in Samcheongdong. If you ever visit Korea, I would recommend this restaurant as your first stop because it is the best introduction to traditional Korean cuisine and a great value at lunch.
Below are step-by-step photos and instructions for the Korean New Year’s Soup Tteokguk Recipe
Mise en Place Ingredients and Garnishes for Tteokguk
Offal bones and brisket from Wholefoods and Daikon Radish from Dainobu for the broth
The start of the soup with the homemade soup base
Korean New Year’s Soup Tteokguk Recipe
- 8 cloves garlic or 3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 chopped scallions, white parts only
- ½ small daikon radish
- ½ lb beef brisket
- 2-4 offal stock bones
- 1 onion
- 5 dried anchovies
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 C Korean rice cakes
- 2 eggs
- 2 chopped scallions, green parts only
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Roasted nori slivers
- Bring enough water to cover the offal bones and brisket in a stockpot
- Boil the offal bones and brisket for 30min, then drain and risk the bones and brisket. This first boil is to clean the bones and brisket of the first layer of fat and impurities.
- Roughly chop the daikon radish into large 1/4in thick pieces, the garlic cloves into large slivers, and the whites of the scallions
- Bring 10C water to boil in a large stock pot, add the offal bones, brisket, radish, garlic, and scallions and simmer on low covered. After 2 hours skim the top of the broth of any fat with a large spoon. Remove the brisket and chill in the refrigerator. Slice the brisket into thin rectangular pieces to be used later as a garnish for the soup.
- Boil an additional 4-6 hours, then discard the scallion whites and daikon radish
- Refrigerate the broth until it is chilled. The fat will become an opaque layer, remove the fat from the broth and discard.
- Take enough broth for 2 servings of tteokguk (about 4C) and bring to boil with the anchovies wrapped in a small cheesecloth and a few pieces of daikon radish. Then add chopped onions and rice cakes. Boil for 15-30min until rice cakes are soft. People have differing preferences on how cooked and soft they want the rice cakes to be. I prefer really soft rice cakes so I boil for at least 20 min. Season the soup to your liking with soy sauce, salt, pepper, and sesame oil.
- Mix 2 eggs with some salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into a preheated, lightly oiled, round skillet and cook halfway, flip over once. Cut the cooked egg round into slivers to be used as a garnish.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped green scallion, sesame seeds, roasted nori slivers, egg, and sliced brisket. Serve with kimchee or Korean yellow picked radish on the side.
If you want to save time and make this soup in less than 30 minutes, use premade broth instead
Every Year I make this soup on January 1st. Below is the 2016 version. Happy New Year!