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Make this warm, soothing bowl of rice cake soup with dumplings for your New Year celebration! It’s also a great comfort food any time of year. The recipe shows how to make a quick Korean beef broth, but use any broth/stock you prefer.

Happy Lunar New Year! Tomorrow is Lunar New Year (Seollal, 설날)! Although we eat tteokguk all year round, tteokguk is a traditional New Year dish. I already have two versions of tteokguk on the blog – tteokguk and gul tteokguk (oyster rice cake). This time, I’m showing you how to make a variation made with mandu (Korean dumplings), hence the name tteok mandu guk (떡만두국)!

My previous tteokguk recipe uses beef brisket which is flavorful but takes a long time to cook. In this recipe, I used a quick method to make a beef soup base. You can also use anchovy broth, vegetable broth or even store-bought chicken stock, if preferred.

For dumplings, I personally prefer kimchi mandu for the soup. The robust flavor and crunchy texture of kimchi mandu add a nice contrast to the mildly flavored broth and soft rice cake slices. You can, of course, use any dumplings, including your favorite store bought ones.

To add mandu (dumplings), you can cook them in the broth along with the rice cake slices. Stir gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Boil until all of them float to the top. But, this method will make the soup pretty thick from all the starch released from the rice cakes and dumplings.  

One way to keep the soup from becoming too thick is to cook the dumplings separately in boiling water until they float, and add to the soup after the rice cakes are softened.

I prefer steaming the dumplings and adding to the soup at the end. This not only keeps the soup from getting too thick, but holds the dumpling skins nice and chewy.

Happy Lunar New Year! Hope you and your family have a delicious tteok mandu guk.

Have you tried this rice cake soup with dumplings recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars in the recipe card or in the comment section! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Tteok Mandu Guk (Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings)

Make this warm, soothing bowl of rice cake soup with dumplings for your New Year celebration!

  • 4 ounces beef (chuck or loin)
  • 1 tablespoon soup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 scallion
  • 2 to 3 cups sliced rice cakes (tteokguk tteok, 떡국떡) (Soak in cold water for 10 to 20 min if hardened)
  • 8 to 10 dumplings (mandu)
Optional Garnish
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 sheet gim nori, cut into thin strips
  1. Cut the beef into thin bite size pieces (1 to 1 1/2 inch).
  2. In a medium pot, sauté the beef with 1 tablespoon of soup soy sauce until all the pieces turn brown. Pour in 5 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Skim off the foam. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to boil, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. You can add the dumplings to the soup along with rice cakes in the next step. Another option is to cook the dumplings separately in the boiling water until the dumplings float to the top, and then add to the soup when the rice cakes are cooked. Or, line a steamer with a wet cheesecloth and then steam mandu for about 8 minutes (10 minutes if frozen).
  4. Add the garlic and the rice cake slices to the boiling broth. Boil until the rice cakes turn very soft, usually about 5 – 8 minutes. 

  5. Drop the cooked dumplings and the scallion to the soup. Let the soup come to a boil again. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the steaming soup into individual bowls and garnish with the optional egg and gim strips.

Optional garnish
  1. To make egg garnish (jidan), separate the egg white and yolk. Lightly beat the white by gently cutting it with a spoon. Stir the yolk with a spoon until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Pour each egg part into a thin layer, by tilting the skillet and/or spreading with a spoon. Cook each side briefly. (Do not brown the egg.)
  2. Roll each egg crepe, and slice into short thin strips. Slice the scallion diagonally into thin strips. Roast the gim on a hot skillet. Cut into thin 1 1/2-inch strips with kitchen shears, or simply crush them with hands.

The post Tteok Mandu Guk (Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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Learn how to make Korean vegetable broth for your Korean soups and stews! It’s super easy to make and requires very few ingredients.

In my previous post, 15 Korean Vegan Recipes, I mentioned that many classic Korean dishes can easily be veganized. You can make the dishes like bibimbap or japchae vegan simply by omitting the meat and the egg. For soups and stews, you will need to substitute the meat or anchovy broth with vegetable broth. Here’s how to make Korean vegetable broth!

Making Korean broth at home is really easy! More so with vegetable broth. It doesn’t take much time and requires very few ingredients.

Ingredients for Korean vegetable broth

Called chaesu (채수) in Korean, vegetable broth can be made with a variety of ingredients. However, there are a few vegetables that are typically used to make Korean broth. They are dried dashima (다시마, aka kombu), dried shiitake mushrooms (pyeo-go beoseot, 표고버섯), Korean radish (mu, 무), large scallions (daepa, 대파), and onion.

For rich, flavorful vegetable broth, dried dashima and dried shiitake mushrooms are the two most important ingredients. They are good sources of glutamic acid, an amino acid responsible for savory taste and full of nutrients. If you make Korean food often, dried dashima and shiitake are must-haves in your pantry!

Korean radish lends a refreshing taste to the broth, and scallions and onion add natural sweetness. You can also use vegetable scraps, such as cabbage cores, mushroom stems, onion peels, carrot peels, etc.

In this recipe, I used several of the classic Korean broth ingredients. Sometimes, I only use dashima, and other times I also use shiitake mushrooms and more. It’s that versatile! Also, the amounts of vegetables in this recipe are only guidelines. You can certainly use more or less.

How to make vegetable broth 

The simplest vegetable broth in Korean cooking is dashima broth. All it takes is a few minutes of boiling dashima pieces. To maximize the flavor, pre-soak the dashima for 30 minutes or longer before boiling it. The white powder on the surface is the natural flavor enhancer, so don’t wash it off. 

Another option is to use dried shiitake mushrooms along with dashima. The resulting broth is quite rich and flavorful! This broth is very common in Korean temple cooking. Shiitake mushrooms are full of earthy, savory flavors, which intensify when dried. The liquid from reconstituting dried shiitake mushrooms is good broth by itself. Save the liquid to use in a sauce, soup or stew. 

Sometimes, I throw in some onion to round up the earthy, savory flavors of the broth with natural sweetness of the onion.

Finally, for more depth and complexity, use Korean radish, large scallions, dried chili pepper flakes and/or vegetable scraps, such as cabbage cores, mushroom stems, onion peels, carrot peels, etc.

I used this batch to make vegan doenjang jjigae and baechu doenjang guk. They were delicious! This can be a base for many other Korean recipes, in place of the meat or anchovy broth, such as manduguk, tteokguk, kongnamul guk, mu guk, kimchi jjigae, soondubu jjigae, jjambbong, gyeranjjim, and janchi guksu.

Have you tried this Korean vegetable broth recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars in the recipe card or in the comment section! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Vegetable Broth for Korean Cooking

Learn how to make Korean vegetable broth for your Korean soups and stews! It’s super easy to make and requires very few ingredients.

  • 2 pieces dashima (about 4 inch square)
  • 2 to 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium onion (cut into chunks)
  • 6 ounces Korean radish (cut into chunks)
  • 2 scallions (1 if using large one, daepa or 1/2 leek)
  • 3 to 4 ounces green cabbage cores and leaves
  • 2 dried red chili peppers or 1 teaspoon peppercorns – optional
  1. Soak the dashima and shiitake mushrooms for about 30 minutes in a large pot with 10 cups of water. You can skip soaking if you don’t have time, but soaking maximizes the flavor of the broth. 

  2. Add the other vegetables you’re using to the pot. 

  3. Bring it to a boil over high heat and boil, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the dashima. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to boil, for about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off. Let the broth cool.
  4. Pour the broth through a strainer into a large bowl. Press the vegetables with a spoon or spatula to squeeze out any remaining broth.

  5. Store the broth in the fridge up to a week, or in the freezer up to 2 months.

The post Vegetable Broth for Korean Cooking appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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Jjamppong is a popular Korean-Chinese noodle soup! It’s loaded with pork, seafood and vegetables! The combination of all the natural ingredients creates a hearty bowl of soup that is packed with robust flavors. The spiciness will surely clear your sinuses!

As the weather started to cool around here, I decided to update my jjamppong (짬뽕) recipe that was originally posted in April 2011. Jjamppong (also spelled jjambbong) is a spicy noodle soup, which is one of the two most popular Korean-Chinese dishes alongside jajangmyeon (noodles in a black bean sauce). Often times, Koreans have a hard time choosing between the two when eating out.

Korean-Chinese cuisine was developed by early Chinese immigrants in Korea, and is a huge part of Korean food culture. In Japan, a Chinese restaurant created Champon, a noodle dish loaded with pork, seafood and vegetables in a rich broth. Jjambbong is a similar dish but with lots of red spiciness!

You don’t need to go to a Korean-Chinese restaurant to enjoy jajangmyeon and jjambbong. My jjajangmyeon recipe has been a reader’s favorite. Here, you’ll also find it surprisingly easy to make this bowl of spicy noodle soup at home with easy-to-find ingredients.

Jjamppong noodles

Both jajangmyeon and jjambbong dishes use the same type of wheat noodles. Restaurants use hand-pulled noodles, which are nicely chewy, but for home cooking you can find ready made fresh noodles in the refrigerator section of Korean markets as well as dried noodles. They are generally labeled for udon/jajangmyeon (우동, 짜장면) or jungwhamyeon (중화면). Udon noodles for Korean-Chinese cooking is not the same as Japanese udon noodles, which are thicker and softer.

If you can’t find any of these, simply use spaghetti or linguine noodles.

How do you make the jjamppong soup?

The soup base is typically made with chicken stock for a rich flavor, but you can also use anchovy broth which gives a lighter taste. I often make it simply with water, and it still tastes delicious.

All the natural ingredients the soup is made with — pork, various vegetables and seafood — contribute to the soup’s robust flavors.

 

For the meat, pork is classic, but use beef if you want. Of course, you can omit the meat if you want.  

The seafood in this recipe are what you’ll find in a jjambbong dish at a Korean-Chinese restaurants. They are clams, mussels, shrimp, and squid. But, it’s versatile! Use what you like or have.

There many options for vegetables! I used green cabbage, carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and scallions. Napa cabbage or bok choy will be a good substitute for green cabbage. Bamboo shoots and baby corns will be great additions as well. You’ll only need a little bit of each vegetables.

As always, the spicy level can be adjusted to your taste. You can increase/decrease gochugaru, or even add dried red chili peppers to increase the heat level.

Jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup)

Jjamppong is a popular Korean-Chinese noodle soup! It’s loaded with pork, seafood and vegetables! The combination of all the natural ingredients creates a hearty bowl of soup that is packed with robust flavors. The spiciness will surely clear your sinuses!

For the vegetables:
  • 1/4 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 small carrot (about 2 ounces, thinly sliced into 2-inch lengths)
  • 1/2 zucchini (about 3 ounces, thinly sliced into 2-inch lengths)
  • 3 ounces green cabbage (cut into 2-inch lengths (or napa cabbage or bok choy))
  • 2 to 3 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or 2 soaked and thinly sliced)
  • 2 scallions (cut into 2 inch lengths)
For the meat and seafood
  • 3 ounces fatty pork (thinly sliced)
  • 4 – 6 littleneck clams
  • 4 – 6 mussels
  • 4 – 6 shrimp
  • 3 ounces squid (cut into bite sizes (Do not cut squids too small as they shrink a lot when cooked.))
Other ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon julienned or minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru (adjust for your liking))
  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 cups of chicken stock (or anchovy broth or water)
  • 2 servings (12 – 14 ounces fresh jajangmyeon/udon noodles)
  1. Have a pot of water ready to cook the noodles. (Turn the heat on when you start cooking the soup ingredients. This way you can time it so that the noodles can be finished cooking at the same time the soup is ready.) While making the soup, cook the noodles according to the package instructions and drain.

  2. Prepare the vegetables.
  3. Prepare the pork and seafood.
  4. Heat a wok or a large pot over high heat. Add the oil, ginger, scallion, gochugaru and soy sauce and stir fry for a minute.
  5. Add the pork and stir fry until the pork is almost cooked, about 2 minutes.

  6. Stir in the onion, carrot, cabbage, zucchini and optional mushrooms, lightly salt, and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour in the chicken stock (or anchovy broth/water) and boil until the vegetables are completely cooked.
  8. Add the seafood starting with the clams, which require more time to cook, followed by the mussels, shrimps and squid. Bring everything to a boil again and cook until the shells have opened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Cook the noodles, rinse in cold water, and drain.

  10. Place a serving of the noodles in a large soup bowl and ladle the soup on top. Serve immediately while piping hot.

The post Jjamppong (Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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This boiling hot ginseng chicken soup, called samgyetang (삼계탕), is an iconic summer dish in Korea. Sam (삼) refers to ginseng (insam, 인삼), gye (계) means chicken, and tang (탕) is soup. It’s extremely popular as a nourishing food which helps fight the summer heat. As the Korean saying goes, eating the hot soup is “fighting the heat with heat.” 

On sambok (삼복) days, it’s a Korean tradition to eat foods that are healthy and restorative. Samgyetang is a popular choice. Sambok days are 3 distinct days that mark the hottest summer period. Based on the lunar calendar, they are chobok (초복, beginning), jungbok (중복, middle) and malbok (말복, end). Tomorrow is malbok, which means the summer is winding down!

Hope you get to enjoy samgyetang before the summer goes by. But, don’t worry about it even if you don’t get to, this ginseng soup is a nutritious, comfort food which you can enjoy all year around!

In this post, I’m updating my samgyetang recipe which was originally posted in August 2014 with new photos, answers to frequently asked questions and minor changes to the recipe. Here’s everything you need to know about Korean ginseng chicken soup!

  Ginseng for samgyetang

Ginseng is highly prized for its medicinal benefits, including boosting energy and the immune system. 

If you can’t find ginseng,  you can omit the ginseng from this recipe and still make a tasty chicken soup, although, without ginseng, it can’t be called ginseng soup. When I don’t have ginseng, I make another type of chicken soup called dak gomtang (닭곰탕). 

Korean markets around here sell fresh ginseng in the summer for samgyetang. I usually buy a pack and freeze the leftovers. You can also use dried ginseng roots after soaking in the water to soften.

Garlic, ginger, and jujubes (daechu, 대추) are other common ingredients. Jujubes are quite sweet, so do not use too many of them. Sometimes, other medicinal herbs such as milk vetch roots (hwanggi, 황기) are added as well as chestnuts and ginkgo nuts. 

For the convenience, you can find samgyetang kits in Korean markets. They usually contain dried ginseng, jujubes, dried chestnuts, sweet rice, etc. If you choose to use a kit, follow the package instructions to prepare the ingredients (such as soaking) before using. 

How to stuff the chicken

Samgyetang is made with a small, young chicken (known as Cornish hen in America) for its tender and tasty meat. If you can’t find a Cornish hen, use the smallest chicken you can find, adjusting cooking time. If you need to feed more people, it’s better to cook two small chickens in a larger pot rather than one large one. It takes much longer to cook the inside if the chicken is big, which will cause the outside to be overcooked. 

The chicken is stuffed with soaked sweet rice (aka glutinous rice), chapssal (찹쌀). Some people stuff the chicken with ginseng, jujubes, etc., along with the rice, but I  boil them in the broth to draw out the maximum flavors. Be sure to leave enough room in the cavity for the rice to expand in volume as it cooks.

How to make the soup more flavorful

In Korea, the restaurants specializing samgyetang are very popular. Some are also highly sought-after by tourists. Those restaurants usually feature a deeply flavored, thickened soup. They use all sorts of medicinal herbs and aromatic vegetables, and start with well-prepared chicken stock to boil the chicken. 

At home, we don’t generally go that far. But, if you like a deeper flavor, start with good quality chicken stock (commercially prepared or homemade). I sometimes make chicken stock with the roast or boiled chicken remains and use it as a base for samgyetang. 

To make the soup slightly thick, soak more sweet rice than the amount called for the stuffing and then add to the water or chicken stock while boiling the chicken. It would be even better if you blend the rice with a little bit of water for a creamier texture. The starch of the sweet rice will thicken the soup slightly and give a bit of sweetness to the soup. 

How to serve samgyetang

At restaurants, the whole chicken is served uncut as one serving, but it can easily be two servings. The soup is usually not seasoned while being cooked. It’s served with salt and pepper on the side, so each person can season the broth to taste and  use the remainder to dip the meat in.

The ginseng flavored meat is tasty and tender, and the broth is rich and delicious. Also, the sticky rice stuffing that’s infused with the chicken and ginseng flavors is to die for. If you’re trying it for the first time, samgyetang will be nothing like any other chicken soup you’ve had before.

More chicken soup recipes

Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup) 
Dak Kalguksu (Chicken Noodle Soup)
Chogyetang (Chilled Chicken Soup)
Dakgaejang (Spicy Chicken Soup with Scallions)
Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Napa Cabbage
Pressure Cooker Nurungji Baeksuk (Boiled Chicken with Rice)

Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)

A classic Korean chicken soup made with a small, whole chicken and ginseng.

  • 1 cornish hen ((about 1.5 to 2 pounds))
  • 1 fresh ginseng root (or dried ginseng, rehydrated)
  • 3 tablespoons sweet rice (2 to 3 tablespoons more to boil with liquid if desired) (– soaked for 1 hour (yields about 4 tablespoons soaked))
  • 5 – 6 plump garlic cloves
  • 1 thin ginger slice ((about 1 inch))
  • 2 to 3 jujubes, daechu (대추) ((dried red dates))
  • 1 scallion white part
  • 5 cups of water (or good quality chicken stock)
  • 2 scallions (finely chopped, to garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Clean the chicken. Do not cut off the neck and/or tail, if they are still attached. They help keep the rice inside the cavity. Place the cleaned chicken on a cutting board or a large plate. Clean the inside of the cavity with a paper towel to remove any blood. Fold the attached neck into the cavity to close the hole. 

  2. Stuff the cavity with the sweet rice and a couple of garlic cloves, leaving room (about 1/4 of the cavity) for the rice to expand as it cooks.
  3. Cross the legs and tie together with kitchen twine. Or, you can make a cut on the bottom part of one thigh and insert the other thigh through to keep the legs crossed together. Tightly close the cavity with a toothpick if necessary. This will keep the rice inside the cavity while being cooked. 

  4. In a medium size pot, place the chicken and add 5 cups (or enough to cover most of the chicken) of water or chicken stock. Add the garlic, ginger, jujubes, and ginseng. If the chicken came with the neck that’s been cut off, add to the pot. Also add the extra sweet rice to thicken the soup, if using. You can blend the soaked rice with a little bit of water for a creamier texture, if desired.

  5. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Skim off the foam on top. Cover, and boil for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and boil, covered, for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.

  6. Serve piping hot with the chopped scallions and salt and pepper on the side so each person can season to taste.

This recipe is an update of the original recipe posted in August 2014.

You can also use a samgyetang kit (commercially packaged dry ingredients for samgyetang). Follow the package instructions to prepare the dry ingredients to use in this recipe. Usually soaking is required.

The post Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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