2 to 3cupssliced rice cakes (tteokguk tteok, 떡국떡)Soak in cold water for 10 to 20 min if hardened
8 to 10dumplings (mandu)
1/2sheet gim nori, cut into thin strips
Cut the beef into thin bite size pieces (1 to 1 1/2 inch).
In a medium pot, sauté the beef with 1 tablespoon of soup soy sauce until all the pieces turn brown. Pour in 5 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Skim off the foam. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to boil, covered, for 10 minutes.
You can add the dumplings to the soup along with rice cakes in the next step. Another option is to cook the dumplings separately in the boiling water until the dumplings float to the top, and then add to the soup when the rice cakes are cooked. Or, line a steamer with a wet cheesecloth and then steam mandu for about 8 minutes (10 minutes if frozen).
Add the garlic and the rice cake slices to the boiling broth. Boil until the rice cakes turn very soft, usually about 5 – 8 minutes.
Drop the cooked dumplings and the scallion to the soup. Let the soup come to a boil again. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the steaming soup into individual bowls and garnish with the optional egg and gim strips.
To make egg garnish (jidan), separate the egg white and yolk. Lightly beat the white by gently cutting it with a spoon. Stir the yolk with a spoon until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Pour each egg part into a thin layer, by tilting the skillet and/or spreading with a spoon. Cook each side briefly. (Do not brown the egg.)
Roll each egg crepe, and slice into short thin strips. Slice the scallion diagonally into thin strips. Roast the gim on a hot skillet. Cut into thin 1 1/2-inch strips with kitchen shears, or simply crush them with hands.