It’s nearly February (already!) and that means it’s almost time to break out one of my only once-per-year pieces of clothing that I own: My Korean football jersey. It’s red, and it’s got a tiger on the side. It’s cool. But it’s a little big. So I wear it as my “red” for the Lunar New Year. (And also that one time freshman year I wore it to a “Stoplight” Party…thanks KA). Lunar New Year this year is on February 8. And it’s the year of the Monkey. Which is the year of my husband!
Real talk: my parents are White. So Lunar New Year is not something we celebrate to the extent that regular Asian families do. But we like it. And try to eat Korean food in February for it. This is my attempt (don’t worry, more Korean food coming this month!). It’s a teeny bit simpler than a traditional recipe, but still gets the same idea across!
Similar to the tradition of black-eyed peas for the New Year, dduk guk (Korean rice cake soup) is the traditional dish to eat for the Lunar New Year. In Asian cultures, everyone turns a year older on the Lunar New Year (instead of on your birthday), and this soup “accomplishes” that. Common phrases in Korea are, “have you eaten your soup yet?” and “Are you one year older?” The rice cakes inside inside this soup are chewy. Justin loves them. They are round to represent the full moon! I also threw a little bulgogi (recipe coming) into it at the end, to make it a bit more substantial.
Homemade beef broth soup just makes you feel all fuzzy inside and is a rewarding treat for your hard work. It was a great way to welcome in 2016.
Do you eat anything special for the New Year or for the Lunar New Year? Share your stories in the comments!
Dduk Guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)
- 2 lb local beef soup bones
- 1 C. carrots
- 1 onion
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic unpeeled
- 1 C. Korean dduk cut into circles
- 3 eggs
- 1 t. soy sauce
- 1 t. Sesame oil
- Roasted seaweed optional topping
- Bulgogi optional addition
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drizzle meat and carrots and quartered onions with olive oil and place on an edged cookie sheet.
- Roast for 50 minutes, turning meat/bones over at the 25 minute mark.
- Place all contents of the pan in a large stock pot.
- You can scrape all the good stuff into the pan also.
- To the pot, add bay leaves, garlic, and water until it covers the ingredients about one inch.
- Bring to a simmer and cover for 1.5 hours.
- Remove all large pieces. You can strain, if you'd like.
- Skim fat off the top of broth.
- Separate yolks and whites of the eggs, and dispose of the chalaza on the yolks.
- Cook the yolks in a nonstick pan into a round, and slice thinly as a topping.
- Bring the broth to a boil, and add in Korean rice cakes (dduk).
- Stream in egg whites into boiling liquid.
- Add in remaining soy sauce and sesame oil.
- Top soup with roasted strips of seaweed and egg strips. You can add in a bit of bulgogi for a bit heartier of a soup.