Tteokbokki, also known as simmered spicy rice cake, is a dish prepared using small-sized garae-tteok (also known as tteokmyeon, rice cake noodles or tteokbokki-tteok) which is popular in South Korea. The rice cake noodles are long, white and cylindrical in shape.
Tteokbokki is often accompanied by eomuk (fish cakes), boiled eggs and scallions. Common seasonings include gochujang (chilli paste) to make it spicier and ganjang (soy sauce) if making a non-spicy tteokbokki.
Considered to be a popular comfort food throughout the country, today there are many different variations of this Korean delicacy. Some of them include curry-tteokbokki, cream sauce-tteokbokki, jajang-tteokbokki, seafood-tteokbokki, rose-tteokbokki and many more. The dish can be found at bunsikjip (snack bars) and pojangmacha (street stalls) throughout the country.
Origin & Cultural Significance
It is believed that the first reference to tteokbokki was in Siuijeonseo, a 19th-century cookbook, where the dish was registered using the archaic spelling steokbokgi. As per the book, the dish was known by several names, such as tteokjjim (steamed rice cakes), tteok-japchae (stir-fried rice cakes) and tteok-jeongol (rice cake hot pot).
The version of this dish that was prepared in the royal court was prepared using white tteok (rice cakes), short ribs, sirloin, sesame oil, soy sauce, scallions, rock tripe, pine nuts and toasted and ground sesame seeds.
It is said that the spicy version of this dish that is prepared using a gochujang-based sauce originated in 1953.
Korean Tteokbokki Recipe
- Korean rice cakes - 350g
- Korean fish cakes (rinsed over hot water & cut into bite size pieces) - 150g
- Korean soup stock (dried kelp and dried anchovy stock) - 2 cups
- Onion (thinly sliced) - 60g
- Gochujang (Korean chili paste) - 3 tbsp
- Raw sugar - 1 1/2 tbsp
- Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
- Minced garlic - 1 tsp
- Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) - 1 tsp
- Toasted sesame seeds - 1 tsp
- Sesame oil - 1 tsp
- Green onion (finely chopped) – 1 stalk
- Begin by taking a bowl of warm water and soak your rice cakes in it for about 10 minutes. If they’re already soft, you can skip this step.
- To prepare the tteokbokki sauce, add gochujang, raw sugar, soy sauce, gochugaru and garlic to a bowl and mix properly.
- Next, take a shallow pot and pour the soup stock in it. Over medium high heat, boil the stock. Using a spatula, dissolve the tteokbokki sauce by constantly stirring. Once the seasoned stock starts to boil, throw in the rice cakes, fish cakes and onion.
- Allow the mixture to boil for another 3 to 5 minutes until the rice cakes are completely cooked.
- Let the dish simmer over low flame for the next 2 to 4 mins. This will help to thicken the sauce and enhance its flavour.
- Once done, add the sesame oil, sesame seeds and green onion on top. Give the dish a quick stir and there you have it. Your warm tteokbokki is ready to be served.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1038Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 2850mgCarbohydrates: 190gFiber: 9gSugar: 30gProtein: 31g