korean ddukguk (rice cake soup): an adventurous christmas night.

 I love visiting small grocery stores run by those whose culture is different from my own. Yesterday, I found myself meandering around a Korean store, 'ooh-ing' and 'ahh-ing' over the variety of ingredients so different from the ones I usually cook with (I also gave a small squeal of delight when I purchased a rib-steak, one quite large and fresh, for only two dollars!).
 I love kim-chi. Many will hold their noses at that statement, but any recipe which calls for it is alright by me. What I usually do in these shopping situations, where a recipe has not been requested, is find one solitary ingredient -- usually an interesting one -- from which to base the rest of the meal. Last night it was rice cakes. The evolution of the recipe climaxed in the decision to make Korean Ddukguk, or rice cake soup.
 I was blessed to have my best friend with me to share the new and exciting experience of cooking a dish I have never attempted before (though it was demanded of me that I leave the kim chi out of hers). So while we enjoyed our soup, and our silly soma of a TV show, I worked on my favorite project of the year - Christmas presents for all those who are large and lovely figures in my life (I also had the realization I'm a geek, for who else would order a particular tool off of Ebay just to create Christmas presents, and then give a hoot of joy when it arrives).
Guess what you're getting for Christmas, I dare you (unless I've already told you . . . ), in fact, if you can guess -- I'll make you a spectacular dinner.
 Korean Ddukguk (Rice Cake Soup)

4 c. beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 c. sliced rice cake

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1 lb. cooked bulgogi (follow this link to a previous recipe I did)
1 piece of nori (seaweed), sliced

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large pot on the stove. Let simmer for five minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat the egg olks and heat a non-stick frying pan on medium-high. Add the yolks and swirl them around the bottom of the pan to make a thin pancake. Cook thoroughly. Remove from the pan and cut into thin strips.

3. Add the egg white and rice cakes to the broth. Simmer for ten minutes.

4. Add the green onions and let simmer for two minutes.

5. Ladle the soup into bowls and add the bulgogi, sliced seaweed and sliced egg. Garnish with a few pieces of sliced green onion.

6. Pray. Eat. Enjoy. Make Christmas gifts for everyone and feel the cheer exude out of every one.