Lunar New Year Guk

떡국, TteokGuk

TteokGuk is a traditional Korean New Year soup. Korean people celebrate the Lunar New Year, and this soup is the main dish for that holiday meal. On New Year’s morning, we wear HanBok (Korean traditional clothes) and greet (bow) our grandparents, parents, or relatives. Older people give a blessing for the New Year to their children along with some money called “SaeBatDon” (새뱃돈). After greeting the older people, family and relatives eat breakfast together. The meal will have New Year’s soup, different kinds of vegetable dishes, fish, jeon, japvchae, galbi jjim, and so on. Since Koreans calculate their age according to New Year, and not according to their actual birthday, eating the bowl of New Year soup on New Year’s Day means becoming one year older. It might sound a little crazy. Sometime we joke, “I don’t want to eat more than one bowl of New Year’s soup, otherwise I would become more than one year older.” hehe

Yield: 2 Servings

Short Korean Lesson

  • SaeHae Bok MaNi BaDeuSeYo (새해 복 많이 받으세요) = Have a lot of good fortune for the new year. This is the Korean greeting for New Year's Day.
  • InSa (인사) = Greeting

Video Instructions

Main Ingredients

Beef Broth Ingredients

  • 7 Cups Water
  • ¼ Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Green Onion
  • 8 Peppercorns
  • ½ to ⅔ tsp Salt

Beef Seasoning Ingredients



To make the broth, in a large pan, pour 7 cups of water, add the 5 oz beef brisket, ¼ of an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 green onion (half in cut), and 8 peppercorns. Boil for about 45 minutes on medium high.


Meanwhile, make the egg topping. Heat a pan and wipe it with an oiled paper towel. Reduce the temperature to medium low.


I separated 2 eggs. Keep the yolks and whites separated.


Add 1 pinch of salt for each and fry them.


Cut them thinly. I fried them separately for better color, but usually I just mix them together and fry. 😉


Occasionally, remove the foam from the surface of the broth. After 45 minutes, the broth will be reduced to about half. (About 3½ cup).


Remove the cooked beef from the broth and put it aside.


Remove and discard the rest of the vegetables from the broth.


In the reduced broth, add 3 cups of rice cakes. Rinse the rice cakes before you use them. Cook them for 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice cakes are soft.


Mean while, make the beef topping. Thinly cut or tear the cooked beef.


Add the beef, 1½ tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 Tbsp of finely chopped green onion, ½ tsp of minced garlic, and 1 pinch of black pepper. Mix them all together, and set it aside.


Prepare 2 sheets of roasted seaweed. Use one sheet for each serving.


Add ½ to ⅔ tsp of salt to the soup, depending on your tastes.


When the rice cakes are almost cooked, add 1 chopped green onion. Cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat.


Pour some rice cake soup in a bowl. Then add the egg, beef, and seaweed toppings. Mix everything together before eating. Does it looks delicious? 😉 I hope you will enjoy this. Someday, I will show how to make my shortcut version of TteokGuk.


  1. Suzi says

    Hi Aeri,

    Thank you for posting this for us. If I want to make enough for 4-5 people, (I noticed that your recipe yields two servings) what should I do differently? Will doubling all the ingredients work?

    Thanks and God bless!

  2. says


    I have been going through your website so much and finally decided to make this at home. And trust me, I had alot of fun preparing it and it was worth it! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

  3. 호알레 says

    저… 한국에서 1년 동안 살았는데 귀국한 이후 한국 음식이 너무나 그리워서 옛날에 우연히 보게 된 Aeri’s Kitchen 블로그를 다시 방문하고 떡국을 만들기로 했거든요…(설날이 벌써 지났는데도…) 이번에는 조리법을 정확하게 따라하려고 했으니까 한식품점에 들러서 필요한 모든 재료를 사 준비해 놓았어요~ 그리고 결과를 먹어 보니까…

    아이구~ 굉장히 맛있더라고요! 😀
    한국에서 살면서 만들었던 추억들 떠오르게 하고요…

    언제나 이렇게 맛있는 조리법을 가르쳐 주셔서 정말 감사합니다~!
    좋은 하루가 되시기 바랍니다~!

  4. Doug says

    Hi Aeri. Huikyong and I will be hosting a Lunar New Year party. Last year I made your New Year soup recipe and it was very popular. Now I must make it again as everyone wants it! LOL I have to feed 20 people!

    Luckily we have many friends, who will bring Filipino, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dishes for our celebration. There will be lots of food in addition to the soup.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    새해 복 많이 받으세요

  5. Lisa L says

    SaeHae Bok MaNi BaDeuSeYo (새해 복 많이 받으세요) to you Aeri and family. so did you cook this dish today? i did and my first for this 2011. delicious and fulfilling…the taste still lingers on my mind, simple yet filling! instead of using bean, i use lean pork (can’t eat beef due to religion issue). i’ll cook for the lunar new year which falls on Feb 2 if i’m not wrong. chinese new year is around that time. aish, i’ve been following korean’s tradition more than my chinese one…is ok i dun mind the ‘another-year-older’ 😉

  6. 브렌든 (Brendan) says

    I just cooked this recipe last night! The taste was very nice. The brisket cooked for 45 minutes tastes really nice compared to just like Hamburger meat or something.
    I had one question about your recipe though—every time I have had it previously, it always had 만두(Dumplings) in it. What sort of dumpling would you recommend for this one?
    Thank you again for so many recipes on your site! I have used so many of your recipes as reference if I cannot remember something while I am cooking. ^^ It has been very helpful. 감사합니다!

    Oh, and one other question—do you cook 갈비탕 by any chance? I heard it is very difficult to cook, and better just to eat at restaurant. But, I don’t have any delicious Korean restaurant near me.. I hope someday you will show us how to make it if it is possible! ^^

    • says

      hi 브렌든 (Brendan),
      Thanks for your message.
      About your question, you can use any kinds of dumplings you like.. but you asked me my recommend for this soup.. so I will say.. dumpling for soup.. it has round shape like a small ball.. we usually use them.. you can use those kind of steamed dumplings.. you can check my kimchi dumpling post for it.. ^^
      I will add your request to my list to.

  7. RedRanger123 says

    Hi Aeri,

    Can i use a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast instead of beef. Since the bone and skin give good flavor, would it be a good substitute? I hope you can answer my question. Thank you! I love your recipes!


  8. Yashi says

    Hi Aeri unnie!
    I already have all the ingredients but i can’t eat beef, could i use chicken? Thank you ^^
    I can’t wait to try this recipe, i’m sure its delicious!^^

    • says

      hi Yashi,
      Huk… I replied to your blog before..and now it’s disappeared with my old hosting company.. @,@
      If you are going to use chicken… just skip the part you mix some seasoning with the cooked beef.. instead… after you make the broth.. tear the chicken to the size you want… and put them back to the broth..and cook with the rice cakes.. rest of things will be same. Just you might have to add more salt in this case depending on your taste. 😀 Good luck ~~~

  9. layping says

    oh mine….it’s the time of the year. how time flies! i’m going to make this next week. gosh, lunar new year is just around the corner. are your parents in the states to see cute bryson now? i remember you mentioned that they are coming around this time….

    • says

      Hi layping,
      I know.. really time flies..hehe wow.. your memory is very good.. smart girl 😉 My parents came here Jan 21,,and stayed about 2 weeks..they went to back to Korea.. they had a great time here.. thanks

      • layping says

        bet they were charmed by bryson, huh?
        yes, i got the stuffs to make this soup. are u going to have it this sunday too? wow, wish you a happy lunar new year. it’s a year of tiger for 2010. wooooow

        • says

          hi layping,
          Yes, they did.. they miss Bryson a lot now… hehe one of my Korean friend invited us to her lunar new year meal tomorrow… so I can eat yummy new year soup there.. assa !!! hehe.. thanks .. best wish for 2010 to you and your family… :) love you~~

  10. hae yeon says

    hello! I am exchange student from korea ! I’m living in America with my host family. I wanted to make korean food to my host parents. But I’d never cooked food before.!!
    So I found korean cook website . And finally I found this cite, and It really helped me cook Korean food. ^^
    Yesterday, I tried to cook ddok guk for the first time and It was good!
    But I had a problem with beef. I boiled it for 1 hour, but it didn’t get well done. (still red color). I don’t know what the problem is. Do I have to cook beef separately?
    Tomorrow I am going to make ddook guk to my friends. I hope i can make perfect delicious ddook guk! ^_^

    • says

      Hi, hae yeon (혜연?)
      한국분이시네요 ..너무 너무 반갑습니다.
      I’m happy to hear that you made and served this Korean new year soup for your host family. That’s sweet !!! Oh~~ I wonder if your beef chunk was too big. I usually cut it like the picture, it will be faster to cook. The temperature will be medium-high. If you try it again.. Cut the beef smaller..and cook untill the beef is completely cooked.. if you lose too much water from boiling it, you can add some water occasionally. Good luck..^^ I hope your life in America is happy. 😉

  11. layping says

    hello! happy new year! we had this for our lunch to usher the new year! everyone luved it. hmm, a good way to start the year of ox :p

  12. DJ says

    Ahaa..I love rice cakes! There was once a small Korean shop near where I live, run by two Korean students, they make the most delicious rice cake dishes I’ve ever had! I don’t know the name, but it was pretty spicy. Unfortunately they were shut down soon…

  13. layping says

    yipeeee! finally, we got the recipe :> i’ll be making this on 26th jan. hehe, can’t wait for lunar new year. will u be celebrating with your honey? yes, i want to see u wearing hanbok too!! hanbok is sooo graceful and beautiful too!

  14. farleen says

    so when exactly is the korean lunar new year? is that the rice cake i showed a picture to you a while ago? this looks really delicious. i love how you make your eggs! very clever!!!

    happy new year aeri! so are you going to wear a hanbok? hehe i wanna see! :)

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