Enjoy that delicious umami flavour (100% vegan) with this Korean rice cake soup! Check out the video below and don’t forget to scroll down for the written recipe!
Hey, guys! It’s time for another recipe, and this time I’m making a traditional Korean dish called the ‘tteokguk‘.
Tteokguk (or rice cake soup) is a Korean dish that’s traditionally made for the Lunar New Year. Every new year, most Koreans enjoy a bowl of tteokguk as part of a long standing tradition. Obviously, you can eat this at any time of the year because it’s so delicious!
This dish holds a special place in my heart because I’ve been eating it since I was a child. With the help of my mom’s expertise and knowledge of cooking, I was able to create this really delicious 100% vegan bowl of rice cake soup without compromising any of the taste.
I highly recommend trying this out because I promise you guys, you will not be able to put down your spoon!
Most of the ingredients listed below can be found in your local Asian or Korean supermarket. I started off with preparing the broth where I used three main ingredients: Korean radish, onion, and dried kelp. I believe the broth is the most important step because it holds all that umami flavor! It takes little effort but lots of time to make but it’s totally worth the wait.
Dried kelp–also known as dashima in Korea–is what replaced anchovies in this dish to make it vegan. It is often used in Asia to make broths flavorful.
I’m also using Korean radish (mu or moo in Korea), which is also a key ingredient so try not to skip this. I believe this is similar to Japanese radish called daikon.
Next on the list of key ingredients I want to highlight is the roasted dried seaweed, also known as kim (Korea) or nori (Japan). Compared to dried kelp, roasted dried seaweed usually looks like dry, crackly sheets of edible paper and is often used for garnish.
Lastly, the Korean rice cakes! Yum! You can easily find this at your local Asian supermarket, specifically the freezer section. If you’re having trouble looking for this yourself, you can just show this video to the supermarket staff, and if they are Korean, they’ll know where to find it.
Oh, you can also use Korean veggie (vegan friendly) dumplings in this recipe because it really goes great with the soup! Completely optional, but this for me is a really great addition. You can find Korean vegan-friendly dumplings usually in the freezer section of most Korean supermarkets. I suggest using a Korean brand so that the flavours align well together.
Now, on to the recipe!
Stock (about 2-3 servings):
- Medium onion, halved, skin on
- Large Korean (or daikon) radish, around 3-inch slice (or around 300g) cut roughly in big pieces
- Dried kelp, around 15g
- 6 cups of water
For each serving:
- Around 2 to 2 1/2 cups of stock
- Soft or medium-firm tofu (around 150g to 200 g), cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or TAMARI
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2-3 stalks green onion
- 150-200g rice cake (around 1-1.4 cups)
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or TAMARI (more if desired)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Roasted seaweed, cut up or crumbled up (as much as desired)
- More green onion if desired
- Side dish option (highly recommended): vegan friendly Kimchi
For the broth:
- Peel and roughly cut up the radish into smaller pieces.
- Cut the onion in half but leave the skin on.
- In a large pot, pour in 5 cups of water and add in the radish, onion, and dried kelp. Bring this to a boil.
- Once it comes to a very strong boil, turn heat down to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour to let the flavours come together.
- While the broth is boiling, start working on the other ingredients.
- Once the broth is done, drain the solids out. Use around 2 to 2.5 cups per individual serving of tteokguk.
To make the soup:
- Slice up the tofu into small cubes. Add the tofu into a small bowl with the soy sauce (or tamari) and sesame oil and mix it well.
- Chop up the green onions into thin, long pieces. Save some for garnish later (Note: feel free to chuck the heads of the green onions into the broth for an extra element!).
- Take some dried roasted seaweed and cut it up with scissors or you can just crumble it up with your fingers (check the video).
- Once the broth is done, take 2 to 2.5 cups of broth per serving and transfer into a smaller pot (unless you are making a big batch. Rice cake soup has to be prepared and eaten right away so if you are not using all the broth immediately, cook it in a separate smaller pot).
- Add in the tofu, green onions (save a little bit for garnish), rice cakes, and Korean veggie dumplings (optional). Bring this to a nice boil while stirring every once in a while so the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom. (NOTE: To know when the rice cakes have cooked, you can either taste one to see if it’s soft and chewy, or wait until they float to the top which means they’re ready. This process does not take too long, just a few minutes).
- Add more soy sauce or Tamari, and a little bit of sesame oil. Mix everything well. Give the soup a taste and add in more flavor if desired.
- Transfer the cooked tteokguk into a bowl. Top with green onions and dried seaweed. Serve with kimchi.