Eating Ttok-Kuk (Rice Cake Soup) on Korean New Year

The first of January is an important day in every country. We Koreans also celebrate this day, and It’s a custom for us to eat ‘Ttok-Kuk’ on this day.

‘Tekgut’ is made from rice cake. When we eat ‘Tekgut’, it means that we are one year older. So, some people make jokes like, “I don’t want to eat ‘Tekgut’ because I don’t want to get older.”


‘Tek’ means rice cake, and ‘Gut’ means soup. so, this is soup with rice cake. To make ‘Tekgut’, we first boil beef in water for three hours to give the soup a beef taste. Then we put rice cake in the soup. But don’t forget to make the rice cake early. We prepare it the day before New Year’s because it needs time to dry out. After the ‘Tek’ dries out, we cut slices. Some families also put dumplings in the ‘Tekgut’. It makes it taste better.

When my parents were young, this was a special kind of food, but nowadays we eat ‘Tekgut’ even on ordinary days.