Tteokbokki - Korean: 떡볶이 - hot as much as rice cake (tteok, 떡) fried (bokki, 볶이) - so fried rice cake. The rice cake is only cooked with the spicy sauce in a wok or a pan, but since the whole thing takes place in the pan, it is called fried. Hence the name for Korean tteokbokki.
What are Korean Tteokbokki?
Tteokbokki is a Korean dish of fried rice cakes covered in a sweet and savory sauce. It is very popular in South Korea and is often sold as street food. It can also be enriched with different ingredients such as mussels, meat or vegetarian ingredients.
In South Korea you can find the Korean rice cake on every street corner. Korean tteokbokki are undoubtedly one of the most popular street foods! The soft rice cake with sweet and spicy sauce. The spicy sauce combined Gochujang, the legendary Korean chili paste Gochugaru (Chili powder also suitable for Kimchi), to its fiery spiciness, which is slightly softened by the sweetness of syrup or brown sugar. So don't worry it might be too spicy.
The ingredients for Korean Tteokbokki!
Teok 떡: This is the Korean rice cake. You can make your own tteok from glutinous rice flour, but you can also easily find it (in the fresh or frozen department) by shopping at Asian markets. They come in a variety of shapes, but the most common type of tteokbokki is cylindrical in length, about the thickness of a finger.
Tteokbokki sauce: There are many ways to make Korean tteokbokki sauce, one of the most common methods is to cook dried anchovies with seaweed (kelp) and water into a broth. Then add the chili paste, chili flakes and sugar. just boil it down and you're done.
You are welcome to try variations with soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, onion or even sesame oil.
Note: The amount of gochujang and sugar can be adjusted according to personal taste. Use more gochujang for a spicier sauce, add more sugar for a sweeter sauce.
Since we often eat vegetarian or vegan at home, here is the recipe for the vegan Korean Tteokbokki Sauce, which we cook with simple vegetable broth. You can find the recipe for the non-vegan version in the recipe tip below!
Inserts for Korean Tteokbokki: As many variations of tteokbokki as there are, so are the options for what to add to the rice cake. Some add mandu (stuffed dumplings), others add cabbage and cheese (also delicious by the way). Our version for the Spicy Korean Rice Cake is the classic way I got it from my wife (vegan) and our favorite at home! We men eat it with a boiled egg 🙂
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Korean Tteokbokki - rice cakes with spicy sauce
For the tteokbokki:
- 500 g Korean rice cake
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- 3 spring onions
For the tteokbokki sauce:
- 3 tablespoon Gochujang *
- 1 teaspoon Gochugaru * Korean chilli powder
- 1½-2 tablespoon Brown sugar cane sugar or syrup
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce Optional
- 2 garlic
Insert and topping (optional):
- 2 eggs if not vegan
- Korean Fish Cakes if not vegan
- spring onions
- Sesame black / white * roasted
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- In a saucepan, boil the eggs for about 5-6 minutes, then peel and set aside.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic. Mix in the remaining ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Clean, wash and cut the spring onions into pieces, about the length of the rice cake. Cut the green of a spring onion into fine rings for later topping.
- In a deep pan, wok or pot, bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly, add the rice cake, spring onions and the prepared sauce.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Now, if not vegan, reheat the eggs in the sauce (about 2 minutes).
- Serve immediately sprinkled with spring onion rings and/or roasted sesame.
- 600 ml water
- 7-8 dried anchovies (head and gut removed)
- 1 sheet (about 15×20 cm) dried seaweed (kelp)