Tteokbokki – Korean Spicy Rice Cake

I recently started cooking Korean food. To be honest, this is a whole new world for me in the realm of cooking, just like Hawaiian food is. Japanese food I learned from my host mothers, Chinese food I learned working in a Chinese restaurant, Filipino food I learned from my best friend, but Korean food I’ve only seen made in dramas. As a result, cooking it on my own is 100% an experiment. Luckily, I have the trusty internet.

Tteokbokki (the romanji spelling is debatable) is the Korean spicy rice cake dish so commonly seen in K-dramas. It looks like tubes of mozzarella in tomato sauce, but the flavors are distinctly Korean. This is a classic Korean dish and is great on those chilly nights of fall and winter. I got this recipe from a blog called Maangchi. I highly recommend watching her videos if you want to try this recipe.

Maangchi Tteokbokki

I realize I put this recipe as “Vegetarian”. To be honest, the original is not, but it is completely possible to use vegetable broth instead of the anchovy broth, so I marked this as a vegetarian recipe. Alright, on to the recipe!

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Ingredients:

1 lb Korean rice cakes (these are different from Japanese rice cake; so if you are buying these at the grocery, look for tube-shaped rice cake with Korean on the package)

4 cups water

7 large dried anchovy, head and intestines removed

6×8 in piece of kelp

1/3 cup red pepper paste (gochujang)

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp sugar

3 green onions, cut into 3 in long pieces

Note: this recipe is VERY spicy. If you are sensitive to spice, I highly recommend cutting down the amount of red pepper paste you use. DO NOT cut out the red pepper flakes. I tried this, but I lost the depth of flavor Korean red pepper flakes create. As a result, I recommend decreasing your amount of gochujang, but keeping the sugar and red pepper flakes the same. Perhaps cut the gochujang to 1/4 cup and try it…?

Boil the anchovies, kelp, and water in a shallow pan for 15 minutes over medium-high heat.

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Combine the red pepper paste, red pepper flakes, and sugar in a bowl, then set aside.

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Remove the anchovies and kelp from the water, make sure you get everything; you don’t want bits of anchovy in your rice cakes.

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Add the rice cake, paste mixture, and green onion to the stock. Bring this to a boil, stirring gently.

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Boil for 10-15 minutes, continually stirring, until the rice cake becomes soft and the sauce thickens.

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Remove from heat and serve hot. You don’t want these to become cold, they really just aren’t the same.

Again, I highly recommend reading Maangchi’s original recipe and watching her video. The video does a great job showing the cooking process and is very easy to follow.

I hope you enjoy cooking this as much as I did. We will return to the week of crock pots in the next post 🙂

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