Rice Cake Soup II – with beef and dumplings

Dduk guk with beef and dumplings
Dduk guk with beef and dumplings

I already posted my dduk guk recipe but this is a different take on it – I used beef stock instead and added dumplings. In some ways, this recipe is even simpler to make because the garnishes are easy. Dduk guk is something that all Koreans eat, but based on which province you live in, the recipes are different. Since my parents are originally from North Korea (moved down south during the Korean war), I grew up eating this northern Korean style with beef and dumplings (만두 mandoo) all the time. We always added rice to the dduk guk, mixed it altogether, and ate it with some wonderful homemade kimchi which was fermented in the ground all winter…simply heavenly.. Then I got married, and my husband, having been raised on the  southern Korean style of dduk guk, asked for a different kind with no dumplings and more elaborate garnishes like the one shown in my first dduk guk recipe post.

First, here is how to make beef stock with beef brisket. This beef stock recipe is a great foundation for many other Korean dishes such as Yukaejang and Wugeoji Guk- so pay close attention! You would think that making beef stock is probably all the same but I learned some great tips from my mother-in-law (and she makes the best beef soup I have ever tasted) which I am now passing on here.

Ingredients for beef stock:

  • 1 lb beef brisket
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green onions (for soup, optional)
  • 9 C cold water
  • 2 eggs slightly whipped
  • 1 sheet of dried sea laver cut into strips
  • seasoning for the beef garnish
    • 1/2 tsp gook kanjang
    • 1 tsp jin kanjang (regular soy sauce)
    • 4 T chopped green onion
    • 2 tsp chopped garlic
    • 1 – 2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • 1/8 tsp red chili pepper powder
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper


1. Peel the onion and use it whole. Wash and clean the green onions. Soak the beef in cold water for about 30 min to let it bleed out. If you don’t have time to soak the beef, you can skip this step. No big deal..I skip this step all the time.. :) but don’t tell that to my mother-in-law.. ;)

2. Add water, beef and onion to pot and bring it to boil over medium high heat (uncovered).Once it starts to boil, lower the heat, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 1 hour. The soup boils over easily so keep a close eye and reduce the heat quickly when it starts to boil over. Skim off any foam that forms on top to keep the soup clear.

beef brisket and onion in water
beef brisket and onion in water
beef brisket boiling in water
beef brisket boiling in water (foam removed)

This is a very basic Korean beef stock recipe that is used as a base for many Korean soups such as yukaejang or wugeoji guk. You can also eat this soup just by itself with some rice and kimchi and that’s a real simple comfort food to have in your repertoire.

3. Test the doneness of the beef by piercing it with a fork. If the fork goes in easily then it is done. If there is resistance, cook it a little longer.Take out the brisket, put it on a cutting board and let it cool. Cut it into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch wide pieces against the grain – as shown on the left side of the picture below. Then tear them into smaller pieces by following the grain – shown on the right side of the picture below.

how to cut cooked beef brisket for Korean soup
how to cut cooked beef brisket for Korean soup
how to tear beef brisket for Korean soup
how to tear beef brisket for Korean soup

4. Season the torn beef pieces with the garnish seasoning (soy sauce, red chili pepper, garlic, green onion etc). Massage the beef well with your hand to make sure they are all well seasoned. This is a good time to use the handy dandy plastic glove.

seasoning beef brisket for garnish
seasoning beef brisket for garnish

5. Add 2 eggs to a small bowl, add pinch of salt and whisk it lightly. Set aside.

6. Discard the onions from the soup. Now you are ready to make the dduk guk. Refer to my previous dduk guk post for the next few steps in making dduk guk. Just substitute anchovy stock with beef stock made here. Also, you can add some frozen dumplings in addition to the dduk and you will have dduk mandoo guk (떡만두국). I didn’t have time to make my own dumplings so I used a store bought one (shown below).

pulmuone frozen kimchi dumpling
pulmuone frozen kimchi dumpling

When the dduk and dumplings are cooked they will all rise to the top. You can then add the egg mixture to the soup by pouring and circling it around the pot. This is so the egg is distributed evenly throughout soup. It should look like you made egg drop soup. So instead of the egg and beef garnish used in my first dduk guk recipe, top the soup with the beef garnish made earlier and also some dried sea laver strips.

dduk mandoo guk cooking in pot
dduk mandoo guk cooking in pot
dduk mandoo guk (떡만두국)
dduk mandoo guk (떡만두국)

Hope you enjoy my Dduk mandoo guk- northern style!


Can I add more water in the middle of making the beef stock? Yes, if the stock has reduced too much (let’s say you forgot and left it simmering for too long or forgot to reduce the heat..), you can always add more water to increase the liquid amount. When adding additional water to any kind of meat stock, add boiling hot water. Never add cold water to soup that’s still cooking – this really diminishes the taste.

Can I use canned beef broth or chicken broth for dduk guk?
Yes, you can use canned chicken broth for the soup. I have not had much luck with beef broth though – it just doesn’t taste right.

Is it important to start making the beef stock from cold water or can I put the meat in boiling water?
Starting with beef in cold water makes a more richer tasting soup. If you put the meat in already boiling water, the meat flavor will stay more within the meat and not into the soup.

4 thoughts on “Rice Cake Soup II – with beef and dumplings

  1. I just discovered your website. It is fantastic. I love your photo illustrations as well as the insightful written discriptions. The only problem I faced is when I tried to print the page to take to my kitchen, I didn’t see a condensed recipe for easy printing. Is there one? I just don’t see it on the screen. I wonder if you would consider that for people like me who like to cook with hard copies, not from a computer screen.
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Y.A. Thanks so much! You are right, there isn’t any separate format for easy printing yet but that’s definitely on my ‘to do’ list for 2012 so stay tuned! Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s