Tteokguk Is More Than Just Holiday Food for Koreans


    January 21, 2023 08:29

    Koreans traditionally eat tteokguk or rice cake soup during the Lunar New Year holiday, but the warming and filling dish is often enjoyed throughout the cold winter months. It can be little starchy and bland, but by replacing certain ingredients it can be transformed into a nutritious and healthy meal.
    ◆ Oats
    Oats can supplement other nutrients since they are rich in protein and vitamin B. Mixing oats with steamed white-rice flour can make it more nutritious.
    The beta-glucans in oats lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels and strengthen immunity, while avenanthramide-C, a polyphenol found mainly in oats, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can even prevent dementia. 
    ◆ Seaweed and Oysters
    Develop stronger bones by adding seaweed and oysters. Capsosiphon fulvescens is low in fat but rich in calcium and iron. It contains 574 mg of calcium per 100 g, five times more than milk, and 43.1 mg of iron per 100 g, 40 times more than milk.
    People who suffer from anemia can get a much-needed iron boost by adding seaweed to their tteokguk.
    Oysters, meanwhile, contain 90 mg of zinc per 100 g, which is an essential building block for testosterone to support a healthy libido.
    ◆ Perilla Powder
    Perilla powder is the best condiment to make tteokguk taste more savory. It contains policosanol and antioxidants that help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
    Perilla powder also contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the brain. But make sure to add it to the soup at the last moment, because boiling it for a long time can cause the tteokguk become thick and gelatinous.  
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