In many cultures around the world, there are dishes associated with New Year celebrations. Some examples include Japanese osechi, Chinese niangao, Greek vasilopita, and Vietnamese banh chung.
The Korean dish strongly linked to the New Year is the rice cake soup tteokguk. The main ingredient, garaetteok, is a variety of rice cake which has the shape of a long, white cylinder. It symbolizes the hope for a long, healthy life. When cooking, however, the rice cake cylinder is sliced into thin pieces that represent coins and thereby express the desire to become wealthy.
Tteokguk on TV
Chou Tzu-yu of the popular girl group TWICE enjoyed tteokguk on the variety show A Look at Myself (broadcast by KBS, Korean Broadcasting System).
Blown away by the taste of the dish, Tzu-yu slurped down a bowl of rice cake soup in the blink of an eye. The host of the show asked her if she liked the taste, and she replied: “Hǎochī, hǎochī (好吃)!” which means “tastes good” in Chinese. In fact, she ate the soup in such a delicious manner that images from the scene were widely posted and enjoyed popularity on the internet.
One Serving / Cooking Time: 40–50min / 463kcal
Main Ingredients: 500g garaetteok, 200g minced beef, a spring onion, two eggs, two sheets of dried seaweed, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 sheet of kelp, a little bit anchovies and salt for broth, 10 cups of water
Sub-Ingredients: 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp sugar, 4 tsp chopped spring onion, 2 tsp crushed garlic, a little bit black pepper powder
1. Soak the rice cakes in cold water and when they swell, strain out the water through a sieve.
2. Put minced beef and sub-ingredients in a bowl and mix. Pan-fry them to make a garnish.
3. Cut a spring onion diagonally and whip eggs.
4. Make the broth with anchovies and kelp.
5. Break the seaweed into several small fragments.
6. Pan-fry eggs and slice them into long, thin pieces.
7. Add the rice cakes to the broth and boil. When the rice cakes start to soften, add some spring onion and season with soy sauce or salt.
8. Put the tteokguk in a bowl and garnish with the thinly sliced egg, spring onion, and powdered seaweed.
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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