A recipe for Duk Mandu Guk (떡만두국, Korean Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup)! Dumplings and thin rice cakes are simmered in a beef broth and served with a variety of flavorful toppings.
Duk Mandu Guk, a warming Korean soup with rice cakes and dumplings, is one of my favorite Korean dishes. It has a little bit of everything- a lightly seasoned broth, chewy rice cakes, and flavorful dumplings. I topped the soup with shredded brisket that I used to make the beef broth, strips of egg, seaweed, and sliced green onions. It is particularly popular during the New Year (Seollal, 설날).
You can add your own homemade mandu or use store-bought. I picked up mandu filled with pork and leeks from my local Korean market for an easy-to-assemble meal. They can be found in the freezer section of grocery stores featuring Korean ingredients. Kimchi Mandu are also delicious.
The broth takes about 1-2 hours to simmer, but it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for a couple of days until ready to serve. The rice cakes must be served immediately after cooking. They will soak up additional liquid the longer they sit and become too soft. This Duk Mandu Guk can easily be divided for smaller serving sizes.
After separating the eggs, I lightly pan-fried the egg yolks (do not brown) in a thin omelet, then sliced to use as a garnish. The egg whites are slowly poured into the soup immediately before serving to create ribbons. If desired, you can also pan-fry the egg whites in a thin layer like the egg yolks as I did in this Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup).
Duk (ddeok, dduk, tteok/떡) are Korean rice cakes made from a specialty short grain rice flour. I was able to find them in the refrigerated section of my local Korean market. If you don’t have them available nearby, you can also make your own.
I haven’t tried personally, but Maangchi has a tutorial on how to make Garaetteok (Cylinder rice cakes- then you can then slice them into ovals for the soup). I usually keep Tteok in the freezer and pull out only the amount I need. They defrost quickly at room temperature.
Soak the rice cakes in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain before simmering in the soup. Make sure to separate any rice cake pieces that are stuck together.
Guk-Ganjang (Joseon-Ganjang/국간장) is a Korean soup soy sauce generally made as a byproduct of doenjang (fermented soybean paste). It is made from soybeans, water, and salt. This sauce has more salt and the light color won’t change the color of the broth. It can be found in the condiment section of markets featuring Korean products.
Maangchi also features a way to make your own. Substitutions aren’t recommended, but some that I have come across include using less soy sauce and adding more salt to taste or using fish sauce (start with a smaller amount and work your way up based on taste).
Duk Mandu Guk (Korean Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup) Recipe
Adapted from Chef Julie Yoon
Duk Mandu Guk (Korean Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup)
- 12 cups (2.8 liters) water
- 8 ounces (227 grams) beef brisket cut into 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) cubes
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
- 4 green onions white and light green parts (reserve dark green for topping soup)
- 3 tablespoons (44 milliliters) Korean soup soy sauce Guk-Ganjang
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 21 ounces (600 grams, ~4 cups) sliced rice cakes tteok, duk
- 2 sheets Gim roasted seaweed
- 4 large eggs divided
- Vegetable oil for greasing pan
- Reserved beef
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 pound (450 grams) Korean dumplings Mandu
- Reserved green onions green parts- thinly sliced
To make the broth:
- Rinse the beef cubes in cold water and drain.
- In a large pot, combine the water, beef, garlic, and white parts of the green onions. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer until the brisket is tender, 1-2 hours. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard.
To assemble the soup:
- In a large bowl, cover the rice cakes in cold water and soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Place a skillet over medium heat. Place a sheet of the gim on the hot skillet to lightly toast on each side until crisp. Repeat with the other sheet. Slice into strips or crumble with your hands and set aside.
- Separate the egg yolks and whites into two separate bowls. Very lightly grease the skillet with oil and place over medium low heat.
- Beat together the egg yolks and add to the pan, tilting to make a thin layer. Once it is just set and not yet browned, flip to cook the other side until just set. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and slice into thin strips.
- Once the beef is tender, strain the broth, season with soup soy sauce and place back over medium heat. Adjust to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shred the beef pieces and place in a small bowl. Discard the vegetables. Season the shredded beef with the minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, black pepper, and salt. Set aside.
- Drain the rice cakes and add to the boiling broth along with the dumplings. Stir the bottom of the pot to keep them from sticking. Cook until the dumplings are heated through and the rice cakes are chewy but not completely softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the egg whites while stirring to create ribbons throughout the soup. Once cooked through, remove from heat.
- Divide the soup among serving bowls. Top with shredded beef, sliced eggs, seaweed, and green onions. Serve immediately.