Tteok Mandu guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings)

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 01/02/2024 Updated: 01/02/2024
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes
This quick and easy tteok mandu guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings) is made with a savory warm and comforting broth, plump and chewy rice cakes and delicious Korean dumplings.
Tteok Mandu guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings)

Tteok mandu guk (떡만두국) or Korean rice cake soup with dumplings is a very popular dish that is traditionally eaten during Lunar New Year (Seollal, 설날). Tteokguk is incredibly warm and comforting, which is perfect for the cold winter months. The plump and tender rice cakes paired with the flavorful savory mandu create such a satisfying and nourishing soup.

A bowl of tteok mandu guk garnished and surrounded by table settings.

This mandu soup recipe uses a quick and easy anchovy broth that you can easily substitute with beef broth, vegetable broth, or chicken broth. You can make your own Kimchi mandu (Korean kimchi dumplings) or buy them at your local Korean grocery store! If you are looking for more Korean recipes, check out our beef bulgogi, japchae (Korean glass noodle stir fry), and budae jjigae (Korean army stew).

What is tteok mandu-guk?

Tteok mandu guk is a traditional Korean soup made with rice cake slices (tteok) and dumplings (mandu) in a broth. This Korean mandu soup is made by boiling mandu in a beef or anchovy broth and topped with egg.

Mandu guk originated in the Korean royal court during the Joseon Dynasty. The dumplings are typically shaped in a half-moon shape and then filled with a mixture of ground meat, vegetables, tofu, and sometimes kimchi. Manduguk is a traditional Korean New Year soup that symbolizes prosperity, longevity, and good fortune in the new year.

A spoon holding up a mandu from a bowl of tteok mandu guk.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

If you love a quick and easy comforting soup, this tteok manduguk recipe was made for you. Here are 3 top reasons why you should make this Korean dumpling soup.

  1. Satisfying and Delicious: the combination of soft and chewy rice cakes with savory dumplings creates such a warm, satisfying meal.
  2. Balanced and healthy: this Korean rice cake soup contains protein from the dumplings, carbohydrates from the rice cakes, and vitamins and minerals from the broth for a wholesome meal.
  3. Easy to make: this rice cake soup with dumplings is so easy to make with only a few ingredients and steps. You can have it ready in under 20 minutes!

Kitchen Equipment

You will need the following kitchen equipment items for this tteok manduguk recipe. I’ve listed everything that I used for you below.

  • Small nonstick skillet: to create the egg garnish (jidan) you will need a nonstick skillet.
  • Large pot: you will need a large pot to hold the broth, rice cakes, and dumplings for your mandu soup.

Ingredients

You can find all of the ingredients for this manduguk at your local Korean grocery store like HMart. I’ve linked everything that I used for you below.

Broth

  • Anchovy Broth Packets: for this Korean New Year soup, I used anchovy soup broth tea bags to create a quick and easy anchovy broth. You can alternatively create your anchovy broth from scratch if you’d like.
A package of anchovy broth seasoning packets.

Seasonings and Toppings

  • Garlic: garlic adds a layer of aromatic flavor to the anchovy broth.
  • Korean Soup Soy Sauce: Korean soup soy sauce is lighter in color and has a more umami saltier flavor than regular soy sauce.
  • Fish Sauce: fish sauce adds a complex salty, savory, and earthy umami flavor to the rice cake soup with dumplings.
  • Salt and Pepper: add salt and pepper to season and taste.
  • Rice Cake: use fresh refrigerated rice cakes for the best texture and flavor. I recommend staying away from the frozen rice cakes.
  • Mandu: you can use freshly made kimchi mandu or store-bought frozen kimchi mandu for your tteok mandu guk.
  • Sesame Oil: sesame oil adds a hint of nutty umami flavor to your Korean dumpling soup.
  • Green Onion: sliced green onion for garnish.
  • Seaweed sheet: sliced seaweed sheet for garnish.
  • Egg yolks: egg yolks are used to make the egg garnish (jidan).
All the ingredients for mandu guk organized and labeled.

Substitutions and Additions

You can customize this Korean dumpling soup with the following suggestions for substitutions and additions that I’ve listed for you below.

Substitutions

  • Broth: instead of an anchovy broth base, you can use vegetable broth, beef broth, or chicken broth instead.
  • Regular soy sauce: instead of Korean soup soy sauce, you can alternatively use regular soy sauce to season the broth.
  • Mandu: instead of kimchi mandu, you can alternatively use vegetable mandu, seafood mandu, or any type of protein mandu.

Additions

  • Ginger: for more aromatic broth flavor in your Korean dumpling soup, add 1-2 teaspoons of grated ginger.
  • Egg whites: if you’d like to use the leftover egg whites, simply pour them slowly into your broth as it simmers to create an egg drop soup.
  • Vegetables: for a more vegetable-forward mandu soup, go ahead and add sliced mushrooms, carrots, spinach, or daikon radish.
  • Spice: for a spicy mandu guk, you can add chili oil gochugaru or fresh chili peppers to your soup.
  • Beef: you can also add beef for a more protein-forward Korean rice cake soup.

How to Make Tteok Mandu guk

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this tteok mandu guk recipe.

Egg Garnish (Gyeran-jidan)

  1. Cook. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil over a nonstick pan over medium heat. Pour in the whisked egg yolk, then lift and tilt the pan to spread it across to form a thin crepe. Cook on both sides until cooked and transfer to a cutting board. Roll the egg and thinly slice.
Sliced up gyeran jidan for using as garnish.

Anchovy Broth

  1. Cook anchovy broth. In a large pot of water, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Then add the anchovy soup broth bag into the water cover and boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Then remove the soup broth bag and discard it.

Tteok Mandu guk

  1. Season the broth. Lower the heat to a simmer and add in the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Let the broth simmer for about 5 minutes.
Seasoned soup base simmering in a pot.
  1. Cook rice cakes. Add the rinsed rice cakes and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking. The rice cakes will be ready when they float.
Rice cakes cooking in a soup pot.
  1. Add mandu. Then add the mandu and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they begin to float at the top. If using frozen mandu, you will need to cook them for 7-8 minutes total.
Mandu guk cooking in a pot.
  1. Garnish. Turn off the heat, and mix in the sesame oil. Garnish with green onion, egg yolk garnish, toasted sesame seeds, and seaweed sheet. Enjoy!
A top down view of tteok mandu guk surrounded by table settings.

Tips for the Best Tteok Mandu guk

  • Quality ingredients: since this rice cake soup with dumplings recipe is so simple, the flavor depends on using high-quality rice cakes, mandu, and broth.
  • Adjust the seasoning of the broth: whether you use anchovy, beef, vegetable, or chicken broth you must taste and adjust the seasoning of the broth based on your preferences.
  • Don’t overcook the rice cakes and dumplings! When you cook the tteok and mandu, make sure to keep the temperature at a low simmer and gently stir to prevent them from sticking and overcooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd dumplings: avoid overcrowding the pot with too many dumplings to give them space to cook and prevent them from sticking together.
  • (Optional) Add egg whites: if you’d like to use the extra egg whites in your manduguk, slowly drizzle them into the Korean dumpling soup once it simmers for an egg drop soup consistency.

Storage Instructions

Tteok mandu guk is best consumed the same day as it is made. You can easily make the broth 2-3 days in advance and cook the dumplings and rice cakes the day it will be served.

Frequently Asked Q’s and A’s

Should I soak my rice cakes or rinse them?

If you are using fresh refrigerated rice cakes, you will only need to lightly rinse them to remove the excess starch from the surface.

Can tteok mandu guk be made vegetarian or vegan?

Yes! you can make this mandu soup with vegetable broth and substitute meat-based mandu with vegetarian or vegan dumplings. Ensure that you use vegetarian sauces as well.

Can manduguk be frozen?

The broth of manduguk can be frozen for later use but the texture of the rice cakes and dumplings will change drastically. It is best to freeze the broth separately from the dumplings and rice cakes.

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Recipe

A top down view of tteok mandu guk surrounded by table settings.

Tteok Mandu guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
This quick and easy tteok mandu guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings) is made with a savory warm and comforting broth, plump and chewy rice cakes and delicious Korean dumplings.
Servings: 4 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Egg garnish (Gyeran-jidan)

  • 2 egg yolks

Anchovy Broth

Tteok Mandu guk

  • 1 teaspoon garlic grated about 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soup soy sauce or regular soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • teaspoon pepper or more to taste
  • 10 oz tteok (Korean rice cake rounds) rinsed under cold water
  • 10 mandu (Korean dumplings)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 stalks green onion thinly sliced
  • 1 sheet seaweed thinly sliced

Instructions

Egg Garnish (Gyeran-jidan)

  • Cook. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil over a nonstick pan over medium heat. Pour in the whisked egg yolk, then lift and tilt the pan to spread it across to form a thin crepe. Cook on both sides until cooked and transfer to a cutting board. Roll the egg and thinly slice.

Anchovy Broth

  • Cook anchovy broth. In a large pot of water, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Then add the anchovy soup broth bag into the water, and cover, and boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Then remove the soup broth bag and discard it.

Tteok Mandu guk

  • Season the broth. Lower the heat to a simmer and add in the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Let the broth simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Cook rice cakes. Add the rinsed rice cakes and cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking. The rice cakes will be ready when they float.
  • Add mandu. Then add the mandu and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they begin to float at the top. When the mandu floats, cook for an additional 1 minute. If using frozen mandu, you may need to cook them longer.
  • Garnish. Turn off the heat, and mix in the sesame oil. Garnish with green onion, egg yolk garnish, toasted sesame seeds, and seaweed sheet. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Quality ingredients: since this rice cake soup with dumplings recipe is so simple, the flavor really depends on using high quality rice cakes, mandu and broth.
  • Adjust the seasoning of the broth: whether you use anchovy, beef, vegetable or chicken broth you must taste and adjust the seasoning of the broth based on your preferences.
  • Don’t overcook the rice cakes and dumplings! When you cook the tteok and mandu, make sure to keep the temperature at a low simmer and gently stir to prevent them from sticking and overcooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd dumplings: avoid overcrowding the pot with too many dumplings to give them space to cook and prevent them from sticking together.
  • (Optional) Add egg whites: if you’d like to use the extra egg whites, slowly drizzle them into the Korean dumpling soup once it simmers for an egg drop soup consistency.
  • Storage Instructions: Tteok mandu guk is best consumed the same day as it is made. You can easily make the broth 2-3 days in advance and cook the dumplings and rice cakes the day it will be served.

Nutrition:

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 705mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

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