Tteokbokki (Spicy Stir-fried Rice Cakes)

Today, I’m guest posting at RATEDKB. Bea and Kyle blog about their culinary and travel journeys from California. Bea grew up eating Korean food because her dad was stationed in Korea. She told me she was interested in learning more about Korean street foods and requested a tteokbokki recipe. Please head over to RATEDKB to read the full post on tteokbokki.

As I mentioned in my Gungjung Tteokbokki, Tteokbokki is a beloved Korean dish with many variations and a rich history. Literally translated “stir-fried rice cake”, tteokbokki is made with garaetteok, a cylinder-shaped white rice cake. The recipe I have here today is the spicy kind you will find almost everywhere on the streets of Korea. Other ingredients such as ramen, dumplings, boiled eggs, and even seafood are often added to this dish. Here, I kept the recipe simple. Anchovy broth is typically used for a depth of flavor, but you can simply use water as well. Be aware that the spicy level varies widely among different brands of Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang) and red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru). It was spicy enough for me without any optional red chili pepper flakes added. If you like it very spicy, adding red chili pepper flakes is the way to increase the heat level without altering the saltiness and sweetness. These spicy, slightly sweet and chewy rice cakes are simply addictive!

2 – 3 servings
Ingredients:
1 pound tteokbokki tteok* (about 24 3-inch long rice cake pieces)
1 sheet of eomuk (fish cakeaka oden)
4 ounces cabbage
1 – 2 scallions
*You can find these types of rice cakes either fresh, refrigerated or frozen, (in order of preference for this dish), at Korean markets.

3 cups anchovy broth (or water)
3 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste(gochujang)
1 – 3 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)optional for extra heat
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup (or 1 more tablespoon sugar)
2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

Make anchovy broth. Cut the fish cake, cabbage, and scallions into about 2-inch long pieces.

Add the anchovy broth (or water) to a large pan. Stir in the sauce ingredients, except the sesame oil and optional sesame seeds. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the red chili pepper paste (gochujang)

Add the rice cakes. Boil until the rice cakes become very soft and the sauce is thickened, about 8 – 10 minutes. Stir frequently so the rice cakes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the vegetables and fish cakes. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for an additional 4 – 6 minutes. Taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add the sesame oil and optional sesame seeds right before turning the heat off. Serve immediately.  

Tteokbokki doesn’t reheat well in the microwave. Reheat any leftovers, along with a little bit of broth or water, in a small pan over low heat.

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Comments

  1. Hyosun! I want some of your tteokbokki right now. I’ve been having somewhat cheesy bland food for the past two days and I need the Korean spicy kick in my mouth. (you know what I mean, right?) Looks very delicious.

    • Holly – I wish you were near me. Between testing the recipe and taking photos, we ended up eating a lot of tteokbokki. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Mama Mia!! I’m jumping in happiness as I can now try to make my own tteokbokki, yaheey! :) Thanks for your blog Hyosun. This is my fav korean food, and here in my country (Philippines), they cook one but with lesser rice cakes. haha. I’d like to make tteokbokki with overloading rice cakeeees

  2. Looks delicious! I would love to try this!

    • Thanks, Pola!

    • Anonymous says:

      Just made it ! I’m writing after tasting it the first time ever.Ii is delicious and was easy to make (not much of a cook myself). Kind of hard to get the ingredients.Thank you for posting this recipe.

      (Sending the best from Romania!)

  3. I remembered trying this out with my best friend at a Korean restaurant a few years ago, and we enjoyed it very much. It reminded me of a local Chinese delicacy; which was made of rice rolls but served with sweet and chili sauce!:)
    Reading your post makes me want to plan my next trip to a Korean restaurant soon!;)

  4. I love tteokbokki. I’m going to try this!

  5. This looks very yummy! I have saved this to try sometime soon.

  6. I LOOOOOOVE Tteokbokki! (I still can’t spell it without looking at your title – this is one difficult word to spell but easy to pronounce…) My friend who went back to Korea cooked REALLY good tteokbokki. I regret I didn’t get the recipe from him. I’m heading over now.

    • Hi Nami – There definitely is something about these spicy rice cakes that everyone loves. Hope you try my recipe and let me know how it is. Thanks!

  7. I like this dish too, yummy!

  8. this looks so good

  9. Anonymous says:

    I made this recipe for lunch today—it’s was sooo good! Wow, I really hope Mrs.Ro will publish a cookbook. I was wondering if Mrs. Ro has a recipe for spicy stir fried fish cakes (made with the eomuk sheets); my family really loves those.

    Thanks so much for all the great recipes. I hope I can meet Mrs. Ro sometime. (I live between Washington and Baltimore and work in Rockville at a biotech company.)

    Courtney

    • Courtney – Thank you so much for your kind words! I will add that recipe to my list. I live in Fairfax Co. and work in DC. Maybe if you happen to be in DC one day. Keep in touch.

  10. Hi Hyosun – this looks really nice… although I’ve never heard of this before, and I have no idea how to pronounce it either :D

  11. I don’t mean to sound too American, but I’ve seen this in various manga and K-dramas and I’ve wanted to try it so much so I love you for putting up this recipe. But, do you know if they sell any of these products in American grocery stores like Walmart?

  12. Love this!!!! Will try to make this over the weekend :)

  13. Is it possible to substitute the dashi stock with a different fish stock or maybe a chicken stock?
    Where I live it’s difficult to find the all the ingredients, but I would like to try this very much.

    • Ianna – Just use water. It’ll still taste good. You can experiment with other stock as well if you like. Hope this helps. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

  14. Your the best!!
    I’m not Korean but I love Korea, Korean people and their food..
    I bought the rice cakes last week but forgot how to cock it ..
    Thank you very much!

  15. I loved watching Korean dramas/movies and always wonders the taste of this Tteokbokki. After so long of searching the best of the best for this recipe online, finally I got it. I made it last night, and was so amazed with its taste even my Mum couldn’t stop eating this wonderful dish. We loved it so much. Now I have another dish to add to my favourite list besides kimchi (my all time favourite). Thank you for sharing this very delicious recipe.

  16. Hi Hyosun! Is there any possibility that you could share to us the recipe of making Tteok for this dish and what brand of Short Grain Rice Flour to be used? I only bought few lbs of this sticky rice cake few days ago and when I went back to the store to buy again, they are out of stock :( Thanks again and more power!

  17. Hello…. thanks for the recipe. It was delicious.

  18. hi …thanks for the recipe. It was delicious <333

  19. Thanks so much for the recipe, it turned out great with my home made teok ^^ My husband was nice and surprised too. We eagerly went through your whole site and picked out meals for the rest of the week to give him a taste of home (Ulsan)

  20. Hello Hyosun, I made this for brunch before school yesterday and it was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe! This was the dish that got me interested in korean cuisine years ago (I blame the korean dramas I was watching =p), so it was kind of a dream come true to finally get down making this =D. My fishcakes tasted really fishy though, they were frozen ones bought from my local supermart. Are they supposed to taste like this, or is there any way to reduce the fishy taste?

    Thank you and have a great day ahead!

    • Thank you for trying my recipe, Joanne! Try boiling the fish cake in boiling water first before adding. This will remove some oil and fish taste from the fish cake. Hope this helps.

  21. Hi hyosun! May i ask you if i can replace the “oden” and the scallions with something else? :)

  22. I love it!! I’m stationed here in Korea right now and always stop at food vendors for this. I will pick up the ingredients tomorrow to try. Thank you for this recipe.

  23. Looks great and now I try it out.

  24. Can you cook it even though the rice cake is still frozen?

  25. Reading the steps and looking at the picture made me hungry! My first try of cooking tteokbokki for Christmas almost ended up in disaster because I did not know how to make the sauce thick…. Anyway, I ended making the sauce thick, and it tasted just like the ones I ate in Korean restaurants. Among Korean food, tteokbokki is my favorite. It is addicting!

  26. Hi! What type of soy sauce do you use (i.e. light or dark)? I can’t wait to try this recipe out cause I’ve been craving for some tteokbokki!

  27. Traditionally, is tteokbokki a snack or a meal? What do you eat tteokbokki with?

  28. Anonymous says:

    I am making this right now! I am so excited!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I just got done feeding the family with tteokbokki! It was so good! When I visited Korea I always wanted to eat it from the vendors. I love gochujong, but my mother said it didn’t taste great. I have always regretted not trying it and I never asked my mom to make it. I am 40 now and I just ate 3 bowls! What a snack! I am stuffed and it made me think of my mother, who has been gone for 11 years. Thank you for this yummy treat! I love seeing my kids eating it!

    • That’s awesome! I’m so happy to hear that. Yes, it’s so much fun to eat it from street vendors. I miss it so much! I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Cheers!!

    • I just got done eating the leftovers after work today. It reheated well! So yummy! My mother was Korean and I learned how to make some things but have really been trying to cook more Korean food for my kids. I keep reminding them that they are a quarter Korean! When I saw your blog it made me cry and right now it even makes me tear up. I am thankful that a beautiful and capable woman like you would do this blog. It speaks to my heart and I am so thankful for you! I am in Oregon, so we are on the opposite sides of the U.S. I have made many of your recipes and this summer I am going to try kimchi. My mother made extremely tasty kimchi. Thank you for inspiring me and grounding me. Blessings to you and your family, Suzan

    • Thank you, Suzan, for such sweet words about my blog! I’m so happy to be part of your journey of Korean cooking. Blessings to you and yours as well!

  30. Tried your recipe and I love it!

    I will explore your other recipes too!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just made it ! I’m writing after tasting it the first time ever.Ii is delicious and was easy to make (not much of a cook myself). Kind of hard to get the ingredients.Thank you for posting this recipe.

    (Sending the best from Romania!)

    • Oh I can imagine how hard it is to find the ingredients in Romania. Happy to hear you were still able to make it and liked it. Thank you so much for trying out my recipe and for the nice words!

  32. I love your blog. And I really love tteokbokki! May i ask, what can replace anchovy broth? :)

    • Hi Kzee – You can simply use water. It’ll still taste good. You can experiment with other stock as well if you like. Hope this helps. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

  33. Hi hyosun.
    I just made tteokbokki. Its so delicious. Thanks you for posting such a delicious tteokbokki recipe. . But I didnt realize I made so much tteokbokki. . What is the best way to store leftover tteokbokki?

    • Glad to hear it turned out well for you. Keep it in the refrigerator in a airtight container. It will keep for a few days. See the end of the recipe for reheating instruction. Hope this helps. Thank you so much for using my recipe! Cheers!

  34. Just made it and it’s yum. I used fish balls instead of “oden.” Living in Andong so it’s easy to get ingredients once you know what to look for.

    • Hi Grover – Great to hear it turned well for you! Thanks for letting me know. Fish balls sounds great. Andong? That’s nice. One of the places I’d like to visit again when I go to Korea next time – hopefully soon. Enjoy!

  35. This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make this dish and enjoy it with the rest of my siblings!

  36. Just tried making this… I think it didn’t turn out as nice as I hoped it would because I used packaged frozen rice cakes which cracked and split >.< tastes pretty okay though. Thanks for the simple recipe

  37. it looks so goood! i was wondering if i just use water instead of the anchovy broth, will the sauce thicken on its own? :)

  38. I made this twice without fish cake (but with boiled egg) and it was so so so delicious! I made it with water and the taste was just as delicious as the anchovy broth. Thanks for another great recipe!

  39. I looked for where can I buy already made one but all it gave me is how to make it. -_-

  40. I want to make/bring this to a party- any tips on keeping it warm on the trip over?

    • I’m not sure how far you’re going with it, but how about using a warm Crock-pot, if you have one? And of course cook right before you leave. Also, is it possible to bring all the prepared ingredients and just cook when you get there?

    • Ah! Crock-pot! Didn’t even think of that! It’s about a 20-minute trip- but then they’ve got to stay warm through the party. Thanks! :-)

  41. Anonymous says:

    Is the fish cake really needed?

  42. I just made this today after buying these funny ddeok at the grocery store, they’re cylindrical but they have a small hole all the way through so they’re hollow! Better to soak up the sauce hmm? Anyway, I made this using anchovy broth and no fish cakes, since I cannot eat fishcakes, and it was so good! It really reminded me of the kind I eat when I’m in Korea, tastes just like the stuff sold by the ahjummas on the street. Although the sauce didn’t thicken up as thickly as I would have liked, and it wasn’t quite as orange as the ones I see on the streets but the flavour was just right! Thanks! :]

    • Hi Becca – Haven’t seen the hollow ones around here. You may want to try boil a little longer to draw out the starch a little more from the rice cakes. You can add more liquid as you cook if need to. I’m glad to hear you liked the flavor. Thanks for leaving me the feedback!

  43. Does anyone know how to make a soft rice cake.. Is it brand made or home made rice cakes … is 5 minutes or 20 …. It seems to be chewy

  44. sUjittra soontrontip says:

    ต๊อกบ๊อกกินไปกินที่เกาหลีอร่อยจริงๆ

  45. Hi Mrs. Ro,

    I’ve tried cooking this dish before but the rice cakes doesn’t seem to get soft even after cooking for 1/2 hr. Is the rice cake suppose to be very soft after cooking or still have a bite there? Thank you.

    • The rice cake should be soft. They must have been very hard when you bought them. Try to soak them longer if you buy the same ones or try different/better rice cakes. Hope you try it again soon.

  46. I found that anchovy broth link is broken. Check if it’s correct.

    Thanks for that recipe! I love tteokbokki! :)

  47. If i don’t have hot pepper paste,can i use tomato paste with pepper flakes?

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