Monday, January 26, 2009

Ddeokguk Soup for Seollal

Lunar new year or Seollal is on January 26 this year. Koreans visit family, wear hanbok, see the first rays of sunrise, give gifts to kids, show respect for parents, and eat ddeokguk soup. No one works today, and Korean employees don't even work tomorrow!
We decided to try ddeokguk soup, a mixture of seasonings, rice cakes, and mandu. My friend prepared two versions, a rich, pork mandu for the guys, and a light, kimchi mandu for the ladies.
She topped the soup with egg white or yolk strips and dried seaweed:
The snowy weather was perfect for hot soup:Everyone is one year older upon eating the soup. The soup also provides good luck.
The soup was absolutely delicious! The mandu was so tender, and the broth was flavorful.
Our hostess purchased the side dishes (and mandu) from a local vendor. They included fish, meat, and seasoned spinach, bracken, sprouts, and an unidentifiable vegetable. The wife of our host's boss provided the kimchi'i. She prepares 100 cabbage heads worth of kimchi'i each year! Talk about spicy.
We ate Korean cookies and dried persimmons for dessert. The cookies are deceiving. Though light and airy, they're saturated with oil and sugar. We spent the next five hours chatting and playing Rock Band. Talk about carpal tunnel syndrome! By the time we left, we were ready for dinner!

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Tia said...

Which friend did the cooking? It all looks delicious and sounds like you had a great time!