Tteok-Guk from FuseBOX

Chef Chang crumbles seaweed to add to his soup. (Photos by Anna Mindess)

Chef Chang crumbles seaweed to add to his soup. (Photo by Anna Mindess)

From Warming Winter Foods by Anna Mindess

Tteok-Guk from FuseBOX

(Korean rice cake soup)

For Korean ingredients, Chef Chang recommends Koreana Plaza on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland or HanKook Supermarket in Sunnyvale. “Of course, the best adventure would be L.A.’s Koreatown,” says Chang. Recipe courtesy of FuseBOX.

Makes 2–3 servings

For the beef and daikon stock
2 pounds beef brisket
1 medium Korean daikon, washed, peeled, and sliced into 2-inch-thick rounds
10 cloves garlic
2 bunches scallions (Use entire onion, including green shoots and roots.)

Immerse beef brisket in cold water for 10 minutes to soak out excess blood and impurities. Change water after 5 minutes.

Bring a pot of water (enough to thoroughly immerse brisket) to a rolling boil. Add brisket and let cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then take out the meat (you can discard the water) and rinse it in cold water.

Place the parboiled brisket, daikon, garlic, and onions in a large pot with 8 cups water, adding more water as needed to cover meat and vegetables. Bring to boil and lower heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Skim foam from the top as it cooks.

Fish out and discard the daikon, garlic, and onions, then cook the meat in the broth for another 20 minutes.

Take out the brisket (reserving the broth) and soak the meat in an ice bath. When totally cool, remove from ice bath and mince (or slice) a small amount to add to the rice cake soup, 1–2 ounces per serving, depending on taste. (Remaining meat might be used for a brisket sandwich.)

Strain finished stock through a fine metal sieve. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For the Tteok-Guk
(Korean rice cake soup)

For one serving of soup

2 cups beef daikon stock
1–2 cups oval-cut Korean rice cakes*
1 egg, lightly whisked in a small bowl
1 sheet toasted, unseasoned Korean seaweed (or Japanese nori), torn into ½-inch squares
1 tablespoon scallion slivers (cut in thin rings or 1-inch strips, using both green and white parts, according to taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Daikon kimchi

In a pot, bring 2 cups (per serving) of beef and daikon stock to a low boil. Season with salt to taste. (Remember, there has been no salt added up to this point.) Add 1–2 cups oval-cut rice cakes to the stock and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring the soup quickly to form a “cyclone,” add the whisked egg and stir to form the “egg flower.”

Pour soup into a serving bowl. Add a small amount of minced beef brisket, the torn seaweed, and the scallion slivers. Season with cracked black pepper to taste. Serve with daikon kimchi.

*Korean rice cakes generally come in three main sizes: a thick round rope; a thinner round rope; and oval cut, which is a bias cut from the thick, round rope. In the East Bay, we are lucky to be able to get fresh rice cakes that are made daily at Koreana Plaza, in addition to the packaged ones in the refrigerated section.

Photo by Anna Mindess