Tteokbokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes)

This Korean dish is almost as fun to say as it is to eat! Tteokbokki has been a favorite Korean dish since at least the 19th century, when it was included in the historic Siuijeonseo cookbook. Early versions consisted of chewy rice cakes (called tteok) cooked with a savory soy-based sauce, and it routinely involved sirloin or short ribs. However, from the 1950s on, it became much more popular to cook these rice cakes in a hot and spicy gochujang-based sauce.

Today, you can find dozens and dozens of variations on this quick and tasty meal. (Some versions even call for adding mozzarella!) That said, the classic tteokbokki flavor is absolutely amazing as-is. When you’re shopping at the Asian market for this dish, make sure you look for garae-tteok. These are 2-inch cylindrical rice cakes that do a phenomenal job of absorbing whatever sauce you use to cook them, and they’re perfect for making sure you get that addictive gochujang flavor in every bite.

Once you take a bite of this, you’ll be hooked!


Tteokbokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes)

3 cups dashi broth (or chicken broth)

3 TBSP gochujang paste

1 TBSP Korean chili powder

1 TBSP soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb garae-tteok (Korean rice cakes)

6 oz Korean fish cakes, sliced thin

Sesame seeds to garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the dashi to a simmer. Add in the gochujang, chili powder, soy sauce, and garlic; stir until combined. Bring up to a boil, then add in the rice cakes. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the rice cakes are tender and the sauce is thickened. Stir in the fish cakes, cook for another minute, then remove from the heat. Garnish with the sesame seeds, and serve.

Serves about 4.

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