Saturday, July 20, 2013

Korean Spicy Rice Cakes

Korean Spicy Rice Cakes Tteokbokki


Beat the heat with the heat-and try my simple version of tteokbokki!!!! On the same note this heat wave is killing me, for real, but I guess everybody has the same problem as me. I try to limit my outdoor activities as much as possible because I can't stand even going to the pool with the kids, but I didn't go that much anyways due to my busy schedule. I was working like a bee the last 2-3 months, mostly blog related stuff but busy is good, right?!

Now let's talk a bit about tteokbokki or ddeokbokki- Korean spicy rice cakes. 
You might see them on your favorite Kdrama or on the web, and I must say that there is a great amount of posts and recipes written about this popular Korean snack. There are different takes on the same recipe, and I cannot say mine is better than yours, but I tried to pick up from everybody little bit and make it my own. 
Garaetteok is a variety of tteok or Korean rice cake, formed into a long white cylinder shape. It's made by pounding steamed rice flour, made from non-glutinous rice.

Tteokbokki is a popular Korean traditional food which rice cake is the main ingredient. "Tteok" is the Korean word for rice cake and 'bokki' is the Korean word for fried. It's more commonly known as a street food sold by vendors throughout Korea. An early introduction of tteokbokki was once a part of the Korean Royal Court cuisine, but in the modern times new type of this dish started to be more popular, or to be more precise fusion twists on the old version which is also now based on different measurements of spiciness. Generally gungjung tteokbokki (royal court tteokbokki/stir fried) uses beef and vegetable because it was cooked at the court, but the best known or seen tteokbokki uses other additions too, such as a fish cake, green onions and boiled eggs. Street vendors serve it in the cup (or on the stick) as a snack type of food and it's commonly eaten on the go.
The taste of the rice cakes is chewy, or gummy and at the same time very addictive. When you mix it with sauce, spicy meet sweet and then creates an amazing flavor throughout.  
To stay away from bland taste I added ingredients to lift the aroma and fire up your taste buds. If you love spicy food, this dish is for you and of course you can be your own judge how much gochujang (Korean Red Chili paste) you would like to use, this recipe is spicy but still edible. From 1-5, I would give 3.5 in spiciness. Also, some like it more juicy (with more sauce) and some more thicker.. I like it both ways so it just depends what I am in the mood. You can add more broth/water or let it simmer down to really thick sauce. 


Recipe for Korean Spicy Rice Cakes-tteokbokki 떡볶이


Korean Spicy Rice Cakes -Tteokbokki (떡볶이)
Ingredients:
  • 1 Lb Rice Cakes (store bought or homemade-I will add the link for homemade in the notes)
  • 4 Green Onions-cut lengthwise and about 2-3 inches long, save some green part for the garnish
  • Fish Cakes, optional
  • Boiled Eggs, peeled, optional 
Stock:
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 5 Dry Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 5 Dry Anchovies (if they are smaller, then add few more)
  • 5 Dry Shrimps
  • 2 Garlic Cloves 
Sauce:
  • 3 Tbs. Gochujang (more or less depending on your heat preferences
  • 1/2 Tbs. Mild Red Pepper Flakes/powder (gochugaru) -explanation in the blue link
  • 1/2 Tbs. Sugar
  • Soy Sauce, lightly to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. Sesame seed Oil 
Directions:
  1. First, start to boil ingredients for the stock. Boil for 10 minutes, take it off the burner, cover and let the ingredients release their flavors for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the water by placing it in the other or same pot and boil the stock again. You DO NOT NEED 4 cups of Stock, just 1 and a half TO 2 cups. Place the rest in the fridge after cooling for other dishes. 
  2. Add 1-2 cup/s of stock to boil in a saute pan, add rice cakes and boil on medium high heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix ingredients for the sauce; pour it in another saucepan, let it heat up then add (boiled) rice cakes and ladle/spoon in the sauce a little bit at the time of stock/broth; use wooden spoon to mix the thick paste/sauce with stock. Continuously, but gently stir, so the rice cakes don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook for 5 more minutes. It's up to you how much stock/broth you will use, some like thick sauce, and some prefer more sauce.
  4. Add green onions, and this is a good time to add fish cakes and boiled(peeled) eggs, if you desire. 
  5. Continue to stir and cook for 6 more minutes or until the sauce becomes thick and glossy and rice cakes soft. 
  6. Garnish it with Green onions and toasted Sesame seeds/sesame seed oil (optional) 
Notes:
  • You could use Vegetable stock if you are vegetarian and ditch the eggs and fish cakes if you are vegan. Also beef or chicken broth could be used instead of the homemade stock.
  • You can find Ingredients in Korean, Asian or International Markets-or some could be purchased online.  
  • The best video that I personally would like to recommend how to make tteok is of course on Maangchi.com- she is amazing in explaining how to cook Korean food in a really simple way. In the video you can learn how to make rice cakes called garaetteok from the scratch
  • For stir fried version and to learn a bit more about history of rice-cakes please head over to an amazingly delicious blog "Korean Bapsang"- I really love Mrs. Hyosun's blog and she never fail and always delicious recipes. 
Korean Spicy Rice Cakes -Tteokbokki(떡볶이)


I wish you an amazing week ahead, and awesome rest of the weekend!

Your friend,

Sandra


Sandra's Easy Cooking by sandraseasycooking.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at sandraseasycooking.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at secooking@gmail.com.

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