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, a 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 the 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 juicier (with more sauce) and some thicker… I like it both ways so it just depends on what I am in the mood. You can add more broth/water or let it simmer down to really thick sauce.
Korean Spicy Rice Cakes -Tteokbokki (떡볶이)
- 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
- 4 Cups Water
- 5 Dry Shiitake Mushrooms
- 5 Dry Anchovies if they are smaller, then add few more
- 5 Dry Shrimps
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 3 Tbs. Gochujang more or less depending on your heat preferences
- 1/2 Tbs. Mild Red Pepper Flakes/powder gochugaru
- 1/2 Tbs. Sugar
- Soy Sauce lightly to taste
- 1/2 tsp. Sesame seed Oil
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.
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.
Meanwhile, mix ingredients for the sauce; pour it into 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 a 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 a thick sauce, and some prefer more sauce.
Add green onions, and this is a good time to add fish cakes and boiled(peeled) eggs if you desire.
Continue to stir and cook for 6 more minutes or until the sauce becomes thick and glossy and rice cakes soft.
Garnish it with Green onions and toasted Sesame seeds/sesame seed oil (optional)
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.