This is a Korean Lunar New Year’s dish, which is today! Completely and totally by accident I have this recipe on the right day. I feel at one with the universe! Time to buy a lottery ticket. Probably not. But happy Korean Lunar New Year everyone.
This soup uses rice cake discs, not the tube shaped ones used for dokbokki, a spicy rice cake dish. You can find both kinds at a Korean market.
It seems like there is a lot of prep work to this soup but it is very simple and easy. It is usually made with an anchovy broth and cooked with meat in it so I have come up with this tasty vegetarian version. To bulk it up, throw in some mandu/wontons/dumplings at the end and simmer for a few minutes. Even better!
1 pound sliced rice cakes
7 cups vegetable broth (or water with 1 1/2 bouillon cubes)
1 large sheet of dried kelp (kombu)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3-6 green onions, sliced
porcini or portobello mushroom (optional)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 sheet of kim or nori (dried seaweed)
vegetable dumplings, mandu, wonton (optional)
1) Soak the rice cakes for 20-30 minutes
2) Prepare a rich vegetarian broth by boiling the dried kelp in the vegetable stock. Add in the minced garlic. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (while rice cakes are soaking).
3) After 30 minutes, remove the kelp. Add soy sauce, sliced mushrooms, 1/2 the green onion and rice cakes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until rice cakes are soft and chewy. The soup will thicken slightly from the rice cakes.
4) Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into separate bowls. Whisk each bowl with a tiny pinch of salt.
5) Add in the remaining green onion, the sesame oil and the egg whites. (Add the vegetable dumplings if desired). Simmer another few minutes. The egg whites will thicken and curdle, similar to egg drop soup.
6) Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. The soup should be pretty much delicious.
7) For the egg yolk garnish, heat up a small, non-stick frying pan. Add a little oil with a paper towel (just a thin veneer of oil) and then pour in the egg yolk, swirling the pan around so that the egg yolk is a paper thin layer. Cook one side and flip to do the other. Then cut into thin strips. Here is a helpful video on making egg garnish. (I am lazy and do not pour the egg yolk through a sieve as this dude does).
8) Cut the nori or kim into thin strips too.
7) Serve with the egg and seaweed garnish.