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Korean Food: Duk Mandu Guk for New Year's Day

Korean Food: Duk Mandu Guk for New Year's Day! This savory Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup is a traditional Korean meal for ringing in the New Year. Every time you enjoy, it feels like a celebration!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 4
Author: Hip Foodie Mom


  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced rice cakes You can find this at any Korean or Asian grocery store; look for the ones that look like flower petals.
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound beef brisket or steak or boneless beef short rib, cut into 1/4 or 1/2 inch pieces
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 6 to 7 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce + more if needed
  • 15 to 20 pieces of ready made frozen dumplings any kind
  • 6 scallions or green onions + a few more for garnish, diced
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 4 sheets toasted gim or nori seaweed cut into thin slivers for garnish


  • Cover and soak the rice cake pieces in cold water for at least 1 hour. You can even soak them overnight and leave them in the fridge. Drain.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat has been browned on all sides, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cold water (or enough to cover your meat and then some; this will become the soup broth so you want to make sure you have enough), cover the pot, increase the heat to high to bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the temperature down to low and let simmer for at least 20 to 30 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.*
  • Add the fish sauce, garlic, soy sauce, frozen dumplings, and season with salt. Cook uncovered for about 3 minutes. Then, add the drained rice cakes and let boil for another 6 to 8 minutes. Taste the soup and season with more salt, soy sauce and/or garlic if needed. Keep checking the rice cakes to ensure you are not over cooking; if you cook them for too long, they become too soft. Add the scallions or green onions and cook for another minute.
  • Using a large wooden spoon, stir the soup and pour in the beaten eggs, while stirring. They will cook instantly and break into small, feathery bits. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with more green onions and the gim. Serve immediately.


* The longer you let your beef simmer, the better it will taste. For best results, let your soup simmer for at least one hour.