Holiday dining at home: Chicago chef Bill Kim’s Korean rice cake soup with simmered dumplings recipe

“Korean rice cake soup is my favorite thing — really a childhood memory for me,” chef Kim says.

SHARE Holiday dining at home: Chicago chef Bill Kim’s Korean rice cake soup with simmered dumplings recipe
Chef Bill Kim is photographed at urbanbelly in Wicker Park.

Chef Bill Kim is photographed at urbanbelly in Wicker Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

We asked Chicago chefs to share their favorite holiday recipes, dishes that reflect their cultural traditions, and to tell us why the recipes mean so much to them. Here is one recipe to make at home during the holiday season or any time of year.

Chef Bill Kim

urbanbelly (1542 N. Damen Ave.) and The Table at Crate (35 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook)

Dish: Tteok Guk with Mandu (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Simmered Dumplings)

“Korean rice cake soup is my favorite thing — really a childhood memory for me. The dish is something that’s eaten as a celebration when you’re a kid in Korea. It’s also a soup you have on New Year’s that brings you good luck into the next year. I still ask my mom to make it for me every year because I love it so much. It’s something that we connect with and it reminds me of how I grew up as a child” — Chef Bill Kim

Tteok Guk with Mandu (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Simmered Dumplings)

Tteok Guk with Mandu (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Simmered Dumplings) is presented by Chef Bill Kim at urbanbelly.

Tteok Guk with Mandu (Korean Rice Cake Soup with Simmered Dumplings) is presented by Chef Bill Kim at urbanbelly.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of store-bought raw Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)
  • 5 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 pieces store-bought beef dumplings
  • 2 cups sliced fresh rice cakes
  • 12 cup scallion, chopped

Optional garnishes

  • 1 egg “crepe” (recipe follows)
  • 1 pack seasoned Gim nori
  • 1 tsp Korean chili flake

Directions:

1. In a medium Dutch oven, sauté Korean BBQ beef until fully cooked — 3 to 4 minutes. Cool and chop into bite-size pieces and set aside.

2. Add the low-sodium beef broth to Dutch oven and water, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and chopped scallion and cook for 2 more minutes.

3. Add dumplings to the simmering beef broth for 3 minutes or until the dumplings float to the top, and then add fresh rice cake. Cook for 3 minutes or until the rice cakes are soft and tender to the touch.

4. Make sure the broth comes to a boil with dumplings and rice cakes. This helps the broth get richer in flavor.

5. Ladle the steaming soup into an individual bowl garnished with chopped Korean BBQ beef, thinly sliced egg “crepe” (recipe follows), Gim nori and Korean chili flake.

Egg Crepe Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Pinch of salt and 1 turn of black pepper mill

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and season with salt and pepper

2. Heat 12-inch nonstick pan over medium heat; add butter, then add seasoned egg mixture

3. Tilt the pan so the mixture cooks fully on both sides. Do not overcook — there should be no brown color on the egg “crepe”

4. Remove from the pan cool, then roll egg “crepe” and slice into thin strips.

Chef Bill Kim garnishes a bowl of Tteokguk with Mandu.

Chef Bill Kim garnishes a bowl of Tteok Guk with Mandu.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

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