Vegan Ddeokguk (Rice Cake Soup)

새해 복 많이 받으세요, Happy Lunar New Year!

Year of the rat was a bag of tricks, but we can be thankful year of the ox will be much more optimistic through hard work and being honest with ourselves and others. Although Lunar New Year looks a little different this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t cozy up with traditional eats at home with your quarantine crew, over FaceTime with friends and family or Netflix. My go-to is a veganized version of a my Halmoni’s Ddeokguk (Rice Cake Soup), a celebratory dish that’s said to make you one year older and one year wiser. While this special soup takes time, it’s pretty easy and forgiving to prepare, and you can refrigerate extra broth for up to five days.

Vegan Ddeokguk (Rice Cake Soup)

Cooking Time: 2 Hours 20 Min
– Ddeok (Sliced, Round Rice Cake)*
– Beyond Beef, Browned
– JustEgg Square, Sliced
– Roasted Seaweed Sheets, sliced*
– Sliced Green Onion
For Broth
– 1 Cup of Dried Shiitake*
– 1 6” Piece Daikon Radish, Diced*
– 4 2”x4” Sheets of Kombu*
– 1 Yellow Onion
– 6 Green Onion
– 4 Cloves Garlic
– 2 1” Pieces Ginger, peeled
– 2 Tbs Sesame Oil
– 4 Tbs Soy Sauce
– 4 Qt Water
– Salt to Taste

(* = these items can be found at your nearest Asian grocery store)

1. Start by preparing your broth. Clean the green onions and daikon under cold water, then cut them into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. Peel the yellow onion and cut in half. Peel cloves of garlic and ginger.
2. Place 4 quart pot over medium heat and pour 2 tbs of sesame oil to get warm. Once the oil is warm, start sautéing the dried shiitake. When the shiitake has softened and gotten a slight sear, add the onions, garlic, ginger, daikon and kombu. Add the soy sauce, give the contents a toss, pour in the water, reduce the heat to a simmer and leave it for two hours.

3. When you come back to your broth, it should look like the picture below and your daikon radish should be tender. Discard (or compost) the contents with a handheld straining tool with fine mesh until all that’s left in your pot is a gorgeous golden brown broth, and salt to taste. (Note: The broth will reduce, and this is perfectly okay. If you feel like you need more, just add an amount of water you feel is best and add a little bit of soy sauce and salt to taste)

4. Put the pot full of broth back on the stove and bring to a boil. While that is boiling you can start preparing the ddeok and toppings. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown the Beyond beef till you have crispy crumbles.

5. Thaw the JustEgg square thoroughly or microwave for about a minute. Slice the JustEgg square and roasted seaweed sheets into thin strips.

6. Once your broth is boiling, add as many pieces of ddeok you are going to eat and boil for about 2-3 minutes or until they are al dente, and you’re ready to serve.

Serving Trick: Place ddeok on the bottom of the bowl using a handheld straining tool, then add the just egg, seaweed strips and beyond crumbles on top. Ladle the broth along the side of the bowl so it does not soak your toppings, then garnish with green onion.

So is it ‘Ddeok’ or ‘Tteok’?

You’ve probably seen different spellings of either one or the other, or maybe even both. The answer is that both spellings are correct. Dd- in Ddeok is the literal spelling of ‘떡’ where the letter ‘ㄷ’ is like the letter ‘d’. Because the two ‘d’s have a strong sound, it often sounds like a ‘t’ in the Korean language, and that is where some people might spell it with two t’s.

How did you do? Follow and send (or tag) me your vegan ddeokguk photos to @toshajihnn on Instagram.

Jalmogo, eat well ♡


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