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Ttok Kuk (Rice Cake Soup)

(recipe, Karen Hulene Bartell)


This Korean dish is often topped with slices of beef, cooked eggs, and scallions. Packages of white oval rice cakes are available in most Asian supermarkets.


  1. ½ lb. beef brisket
  2. 2 cloves garlic
  3. 1 Tbsp. instant beef or vegetable bouillon
  4. 1 package (32 ounces) Korean oval rice cakes
  5. 2 eggs, separated
  6. 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  7. 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  8. 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  9. 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  10. 3 scallions, diagonally sliced


  1. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil in a large pot. Add the brisket, garlic, and bouillon. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours or until the liquid reduces to two-thirds.
  2. Soak the rice cakes in cold water for 1 hour. Remove the rice cakes.
  3. Scramble the yolks and whites of the eggs separately. Using 1 Tbsp. of the sesame oil, fry the yolks into a thin omelet in a nonstick skillet over high heat, for 1 minute per side or until set. Fold or roll up the omelet and slice into thin strips. Repeat with the egg whites. Set aside.
  4. Remove the brisket from the pot but reserve the broth. Slice it into thin strips and combine with the soy sauce, sesame seeds, and remaining 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil.
  5. Increase the heat under the broth to high. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the rice cakes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the rice-cake ovals for 5 minutes, or until softened. Return the marinated beef to the soup. Salt to taste.
  6. Ladle the steaming hot soup into large bowls. Garnish with sliced egg yolks, egg whites, and scallions.