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Happy Lunar New Year!

On New Year’s Day, we used to make this traditional Korean New Year’s soup for the family. It is traditionally eaten on the Lunar Asian New Year, but we ate it on the solar New Year’s day because that’s when our family got together. Eating this soup is said to set the year ahead with good fortune and health.

It’s warm, comforting soup with thinly sliced, chewy oval rice cakes, savory broth, scallions, and seaweed. Traditionally it was made with bits of beef brisket, pork or seafood base with julliened eggs on top, but I adapted it with a mushroom broth to be plant based.

Soup Ingredients:

  • 400 g sliced rice cakes (found in your local Asian grocery store in the fresh or frozen area)

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • Pinch of Kosher Salt

  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

  • 4 c Mushroom Stock

  • 1 tsp Soy sauce

  • 1 bunch sliced scallion

  • Small package of toasted seaweed

  1. Soak rice cakes (defrosted) in water and separate any that get stuck together.

  2. In a large dutch oven pan, add sesame oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and sautee the garlic and shiitake mushrooms on low heat for around 8 minutes. Add Rice Vinegar until it evaporates.

  3. Add mushroom stock, water, soy sauce and boil on medium for 10 min covered.

  4. Add drained rice cakes and scallions to soup pan and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes until the rice cakes soften. Longer if you want more of the soup to take on a thicker consistency of the rice cake.

  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with crumbled/sliced toasted seaweed laver and sliced scallions on top for garnish.

Other topping suggestions: Julienned zucchini, carrots, jalapeno pepper, sliced tofu, or Kimchi

Variations: Add bok choi or cubed tofu to step 4.

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