RICE CAKE AND DUMPLING SOUP (DDUK MANDU GUK)

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It is tradition in Korea to eat this soup for the Lunar New Year. I recommend using my Oxtail Soup as the base, but for a quick version, shop-bought chicken broth and frozen dumplings will do. You can also lose the dumplings and double the amount of rice cakes to make rice cake soup (dduk guk).

Ingredients

SERVES 4

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water
  • 2 litres (31⁄2 pints) Oxtail Soup
  • 24 Meaty Dumplings
  • 125 g (41⁄2 oz) meat picked from the oxtails from Oxtail Soup, shredded (optional)
  • 225 g (8 oz) sliced rice cakes (dduk), soaked in cold water for 15–30 minutes and then drained
  • Large handful of spring onions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • Large handful of julienned roasted seaweed (kim)
  • Roasted sesame seeds

 

Method

  1. In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Beat a pinch of salt into the eggs and add them to the pan, swirling to evenly coat the base. Cook for 2 minutes, without touching, until the egg is set but just barely browned on the base. Flip and continue to cook for a further 15–20 seconds until the base is set, again trying not to get too much colour on the egg. Slide onto a chopping board, cut into thirds and cut crossways into thin strips. Set the egg strips aside.
  2. In a large pot, bring the soup to the boil over a high heat. Add the dumplings, stirring gently so they don’t stick to one another and simmer for 4 minutes (a little longer if the dumplings are frozen). Add the oxtail meat (if using) and rice cakes and simmer for a further 2 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through and the rice cakes are soft. They should both float to the top of the soup. Season the soup with salt and pepper, but not too aggressively, as the dumplings have a lot of flavour.
  3. Divide the soup, rice cakes, dumplings and oxtail meat (if using) among 4–6 bowls. Top with the egg strips, spring onions, seaweed and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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