I was born and raised in South Korea. As a Korean tradition, every New Year morning my mom used to make a soup called dduk-guk (rice cake soup) which is essentially broth with thinly sliced rice cakes. I was told that I should eat the soup in order to gain a year of age. So when I was younger, I had two or three bowls of soup every New Year morning to grow faster…but now, I don’t want to eat this soup. That way, I won’t get older. Haha~
It is a Korean tradition to eat dduk-guk on New Year’s Day because it is believed to grant long life. I remember my mom used to take some white rice to the store where they would turn it into rice cake. The rice cake would come out in a very long tube-like shape, which signifies long life. Then, my mom would slice it into thin pieces and make soup or other dishes. These days, nobody goes to the old style store to make the rice cake since we can get it from the Korean groceries, but the memory is still there…
Korean Rice Cake Soup (Dduk-guk)
1 tablespoon chopped chopped garlic
1/2 lb beef stew
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
5 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
3-4 cups sliced rice cake (preferably sliced brown rice cake)
1 sliced green onions
2 large eggs, beaten
pink salt, pepper
1 seaweed paper, crushed
Soak the rice cake in cold water for about 10 minutes and rinse it.
Chop the garlic.
Slice the beef.
Put sliced meat and chopped garlic in a medium size pot, and add soy sauce.
Add sesame oil.
Cook meat in a low heat to reduce AGEs.
When it begins to turn brown..
Add chicken stock or water or half-half and bring it to a boil.
When it starts to boil, add rice cake.
Add sliced green onion and let it boil again in a high heat.
Then add the beaten eggs and turn the heat off right away.
Stir well. Add pink salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with crushed seaweed paper and scallions.
Enjoy~ You are a year older now~! (wink)