instant pot dduk guk (korean rice cake soup)


I have anxieties when it comes to new appliances. I feel like I need to really know how to use it before I can try it on my own.  When we have new appliances, my  husband is the type to just turn it on and go with his intuition.  I read the manual!!  When I got my Instant Pot, I had heard good things about it but I was very apprehensive about this thing that could (in my imagination) blow up on me!!! It took me a few months after I bought it to even take it out of the box and then I watched a few tutorials on youtube on how to use the darn thing so I could have an overview of how the darn thing worked.  One day, I decided to just try it and make ribs of all things and it turned out great! While watching more tutorials and reading more recipes, I got a better sense of my Instant Pot.  And I loved it!  Baked potato? No problem! Jook? Yes!  One pot pasta that saved my butt during soccer season? Absolutely!  It was definitely worth the purchase.

I stayed up a little late on New Year’s Eve and had some champagne so I set my alarm and decided to try Instant Pot to make the beef soup part of the traditional Korean rice cake soup (dduk guk) that is often served on New Year’s Day.  The plan was to then move it and finish the final steps on the stovetop, adding the rice cakes and potstickers (mandoo).  Well, I also happened to win tickets to my first NFL game (Go Niners!) so I was under some time constraints.  The meat came out so well, that I decided to just throw the still semi-hard rice cakes into the instant pot and hasten the results.  I could not find a single recipe online for this and had no guidance – just a gut feeling. So I threw them in, added some time on the pot and gathered everyone for the bowing ceremony.  After we bowed, I had my husband cook up the mandoo that we were adding to the soup and I started the quick release.  OH NO.  Sputtering white liquid everywhere!  Like the mishaps on the facebook Instant Pot group!  I panicked and started imagining disintegrated rice cake soup inside.  I didn’t know what to do but keep cleaning up the volcanic -like liquid.  Did I mention my MOTHER IN LAW is visiting ??? And she’s a tough critic?? OMG, no pressure.  Well, I fearfully announced that I may have ruined our New Year’s meal and waited for the pressure to go down. Apprehensively, I finally opened the pot to find the rice cake floating on the top- not a mushy mess ! Yay!!  I served it up and everyone said it was the best dduk mandoo guk they have ever had.  WHOA and WHEW!

This may not seem like a very big deal to people but to recipe-following me, it was nothing short of a miracle. I’m proud of myself for taking a risk and trying it out and it worked out for me! So I’m going to share it with you.  It was nice to drink coffee and read a book while the Instant Pot did the majority of the work for me – the beef broth!  Thank you for all the people who have read my little blog last year.  It has been a fun journey for me and I hope to continue sharing my recipes with you in 2017!



Serves 6-8


1 lb. Beef (I used about a pound of chuck roast but any beef roast or stew meat or london broil is ok – even short ribs!)

1 package of korean rice cakes (often vacuum sealed packages)

4 Green onion/scallions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Sesame seeds

Drizzle of sesame oil

Salt and pepper

For garnish, 2 eggs and unroasted seaweed sheet

Note: My family enjoys this soup with mandoo and in a pinch, my husband picked up pork potstickers from Trader Joe’s and it was great! We used 2 packages for 6 people.


  • Soak rice cakes in cold water for 30 minutes..
  • Put beef in Instant pot and fill with water to fill line.  Close lid and close the vent to “sealing”.  Set on manual for 32 minutes.
  • While this is cooking, you can make the garnish.  Cut the seaweed into thin strips and cook the eggs evenly and thinly in a fying pan. Slice it into thin strips and set it aside. Some folks use just egg yolk – I’m lazy and just cook the whole egg.
  • Quick release once the time has ended.
  • Take out beef. Shred and mix it with green onion, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, salt and pepper.
  • Reserve half of the seasoned beef for garnishing the soup at the end and put the other half back into the broth. (Note: I took out some of the broth at this point so I could add rice cakes and still be under the fill line).
  • Drain the rice cakes and add to the Instant Pot.
  • Let the rice cakes soften in the hot soup for a few minutes.

NOTE: If you’re making the potstickers, I recommend boiling them separately on the stove and adding them to the soup once it’s done. I have no suggestions on how to incorporate this into the Instant Pot!

  • Season to taste with salt. Start with a tablespoon and keep tasting!
  • To serve, ladle a portion of the rice cake soup in a bowl, add potstickers and top with reserved seasoned beef, egg strips and seaweed strips.

This is my first attempt at writing a recipe so please bear with me and let me know if anything is unclear or needs clarification!  I hope yours turns out like mine did.  My husband was VERY wary of having the rice cakes cook so long but it turned out just fine for us.  Remember to take out liquid before adding rice cakes!!!