Wednesday Food: Travel to S. Korea Part 2

Welcome back to our venture into Korean cooking!  Last week, I introduced you to one of my best friends, Suzan Alday, from the CIA.  And this week, as promised I'm going to share a soup recipe that she taught us back in the old college days called Ddukgook.

Suzy and I back in the trailer days!
This recipe has Rice Cakes in it.  If you like noodles or glutinous yummy bits, then you will love rice cakes!  You can find them at many Asian markets and I am fortunate enough to have one just 3 blocks from my house.  There are 3 different kinds; fresh, frozen, and dried.  I prefer using the fresh or frozen ones (the fresh are usually in the refrigerated section of the store).  They soften up pretty quick and easy.   Let's get to it!


Sesame Oil
about 1# sirloin beef, cut up into chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion,sliced
4oz mushrooms, sliced
6c. beef stock
1 bunch of bok choy, rough chopped, keep the stalks separate from the leaves
1/2 bag frozen or fresh rice cakes
1 egg, beaten
a few shakes of soy sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch of scallions,chopped

1) Put the frozen or fresh rice cakes, in a bowl of water and let them sit till your ready to use them. (This will help them cook evenly and quickly)

2) Heat the sesame oil in a soup pot and saute the beef till browned.  When the beef is done remove it from the pot and set aside.
3) In the same pot, with all the juices and fat from the beef, saute the onions, garlic, bok choy stalks and mushrooms till slightly browned.

4) Add the beef stock and cooked beef to the pot and let it come to a boil.

5) From this point, the soup moves along pretty quickly.  Turn the heat down so the soup comes to nice simmer and add the bok choy leaves first and cook just for a minute.  Drain the rice cakes and add them to the pot.  Cook till the rice cakes are nice and soft.  You don't wanna cook them too long or else they get very mushy and not so great :)

6) Add the beaten egg.  Stir, so that the egg doesn't cook on the bottom, and you have nice strands of cooked egg throughout the soup.  Don't forget to taste and see if you need to add salt and pepper.  Also add a few drops of soy sauce - just for the heck of it! 

7) Portion into the bowls and sprinkle on the chopped scallion.  The fresh scallions add a nice bite to the soup.  Alittle crunch and alittle spice to it - Yummy!

*this soup is something that you want to eat all of.  No leftovers!  The rice cakes become very mushy and the soup will get all jelly like, its not the best way to eat it.  So if you make it you have to eat all of it.  Which really isn't too hard, because it's so good!

This is a great warm, feel-good meal.  Whether you're Korean or of Italian/Eastern European heritage, or whatever background for that matter - there is a whole lot of tastiness to be had!  Even if you are unable to get the rice cakes, it is still a great cold weather soup.  But I have said it before, my favorite part are the rice cakes!   I always get excited to slurp them up and chew! 

Eric was waiting for his soup to cool off but I can't wait that long!
Remember, when the kitchen gets too hot, get back in there and keep cooking!


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