This stew reminds me of Campbell’s Tomato Soup in a weird way. It’s sweet, hearty, and thick, definitely comfort food. My Korean friend Kimie Kim suggests putting ramen noodles or cabbage in it. I used cabbage.
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water
6 cups water
1 veggie broth cube or 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
2 tablespoons gochujang (spicy soybean paste sold in Korean grocery stores)
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 pound tteok (Korean rice cakes/mochi sold in the refrigerator section of Korean grocery stores, any shape)
1.5 cups chopped green onion
3 – 5 cups white cabbage (it will cook down)
3 green onions, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil or to taste
Salt to taste
Soak mushrooms for 10 minutes or longer, reserve the liquid. Add the mushrooms and bouillon cube or paste and the mushroom water to a pot of 6 cups of water and bring to a near boil and then turn down the heat to medium-high so it still boils but not robustly. Add sugar, rice vinegar, and gochujang. Taste test the broth and add salt or gochujang to taste. Add the Korean rice cakes and cook them for 15 minutes or until the rice cake is yummy, soft, and chewy, about the texture of a giant al dente noodle. Turn heat down to low and add cabbage and/or ramen noodles. Stir the cabbage until wilted or the ramen until just softened. Add green onion and sesame oil and serve immediately.