Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes)

Some people might consider Tteokbokki as a junk food, but to me it’s something I crave when I miss Korean food or Seoul. Definitely this is one of my favorite soul + comfort food. It reminds me of so many things of my life, from the little Tteokbokki joint in front my elementary school to my best friend who’s a Tteokbokki addict. I can always remember the last time I had Tteokbokki, even though I’m quite forgetful, and that was just a week ago when we had it with a German friend in our balcony. So the memory of Tteokbokki is still going onwards for me!

Tteokbokki is the ultimate street food in Korea, and to translate it means stir fried rice cakes. Despite its name, this spicy version is rarely stir fried, it’s actually boiled and then simmered just for few minutes. The term actually comes from the royal court cuisine version, Gungjung Tteokbokki, but we’ll get to that later on.

INGREDIENTS for 2 Servings

300g Korean rice cakes, if frozen soak them in water
120g fish cakes, cut into bite size
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 stalk green onion, cut into 5cm long
2 cup Korean soup broth (dried kelp & anchovy)
salt and pepper to taste
toasted sesame seeds
sauce
1 Tbsp gochujang
1+1/2 Tbsp gochugaru
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce (or +1/4 Tbsp soy sauce)
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice or corn syrup (or +1 tsp sugar)
1 Tbsp minced garlic


STEPS

Prepare the sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and mix well. Then prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Bring the stock to boil in a pot and lower to medium high heat. Add the sauce and stir until dissolved. Add rice cakes, fish cakes and onions and continue to boil about 3-5 minutes until the rice cake softens.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, add green onions and stir occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve on a plate and garnish with sesame seeds.


TIPS

Don’t cook on high heat. Tteok loses its chewy texture and becomes mushy when overcooked.
• If you’re not use to spicy food prepare a boiled egg or something fried. Alternatively, don’t add the sauce on one go, but have a taste half way and add more.
• Use more gochugaru than gochujang to make it less starchy.
• The sauce is going to be quite generous, to dip other street food friends into it! (Gimbab, boiled egg, fried squids, etc) You can also make a delicious fried rice with leftover sauce.

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