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!
- 1 pound tteokbokki tteok, 떡볶이 떡 (about 24 3-inch long rice cake pieces) - See note.
- 1 sheet of eomuk 어묵 (fish cake - aka oden)
- 4 ounces green cabbage (yangbaechu, 양배추)
- 1 - 2 scallions
- 3 cups anchovy broth (or water)
- 3 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang, 고추장)
- 1 - 3 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru, 고추가루) - 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 (see note). Soak the rice cakes for about 20 minutes if hardened or refrigerated. 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.
- You can find these types of rice cakes either fresh, refrigerated or frozen, (in order of preference for this dish), at Korean markets.
- Add 8 to 10 medium dried anchovies (the guts removed) and 1 piece of dried dashima (about 4-inch square) to the pan along with 4 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, uncovered, over medium high heat, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove anchovies and dashima from the stock. See more here: http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2011/06/how-to-make-anchovy-broth-for-korean.html