How To Make Tteokbokki Recipe – Best Korean Spicy Rice Cake!

Tteokbokki, the famous Korean spicy rice cake is also often referred to as Ddeokbokki, ddukbokki or dukbokki by the Koreans. Often enough Asians will refer to those spicy rice cakes as Korean rice sticks or Topokki (which they think is easier to pronounce).

Tteokbokki is made of Korean fish cake (eomuk) and white rice cake together with sweet and spicy Korean chilli paste called Gochujang.

This is definitely one of my favorite Korean food, so in this post I’ll share with you the ways and recipe on how to make tteokbokki (Korean rice cake) that is irresistible!

The History of Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki first originated from the late Josean Dynasty. During then, it actually turned up in a cookbook “Siui Jeongseo”, according to the Korean history data.

It is interesting to know that medical records (book named “Shik nyo chanyo”) do have ddeokbokki in it too! The medical book had information on how to cure people with illnesses and diseases with different sort of food. Surprising ddeokbokki was included in the medical book as well.

In the past, tteokbokki was originated plain and brown in color. It was also known as “gungjung ddukbokki” because it was from the Korean palace and was part of their cuisine.

When Korea became independent in the nineteen-fifties, tteokbokki transit from plain to become sweet and spicy after the chilli sauce gochujang was introduced. Also in the olden days, ddukbokki was made of flour.

And now of course, the modern topokki sold by many restaurants and food brands taste sweet and spicy red, and it’s made of rice instead of flour. The reason was to complement the global market which prefers rice to flour as a healthier choice.

Ddukbokki has made a name for itself since then until now, where many renowned international brands and restaurants tried to globalize the dish with a huge billion-dollar budget assistance from the government.

In the current modern days, there are some slight differences or rather constructive changes comparing the traditional tteokbokki to the current one.

Today’s version is spicier than the past savory one while the former has innovated more ingredients into the dish.

Some of those ingredients that are added to ddukbokki are fried vegetables, dumplings (mandu), ramyon (rabokki), sausages etc. Original ingredients are tteok (rice cake), garlic, onions, gochujang etc.

The Secret of Korean Spicy Rice Cake

During a trip to Korea, I was introduced to one of the stores in the streets that sell great tteokbokki. Man…the queue was so long that it took me around 25 minutes to get it.

That was the first time I tried the famed Korean spicy rice cakes.

To my astonishment, it was real good! The normal rice cakes was totally enhanced by the gochujang sauce and I nearly couldn’t stop eating.

Later during the same trip, I was brought to a class where they taught us how to make ddeokbokki. Since I really like the taste of it, I paid 101% attention to the teacher.

She even revealed her secret recipe on how to make such an outstanding Korean spicy rice cakes. So today I’m also going to let this secret out to my readers here and hope that all of you will be able to enjoy the best tteokbokki that you make yourself.

So here is the secret.

In this tteokbokki recipe, the 2 ingredients that you must not miss out is the dried kelp and dried anchovy.

Dried kelp is one of the most important broth base that is commonly used in many Korean recipes. It has an umami flavor and really brings out the taste of the broth.

Dried anchovies is also one of the main ingredients in Korean stews and dishes, raw ones are used to make fermented (pickled) fish. There are different sizes of anchovy, usually the smaller ones are used for side dishes while the larger ones are or stews and broths.

There are different ways to consume dried anchovies too. You can treat them as a snack (taste especially well with the gochujang sauce), or you can fry them with some shallots, garlic and salt to achieve something like a crunchy fish salad.

You may try to make topokki without the 2 ingredients mentioned above and I can almost guarantee that the fragrant and taste will be radically different.

And of course you can’t miss out the rice cake. If you are going to make the dough with rice flour yourself, use either a bread machine or a good quality food processor that is strong enough to knead the dough.

So let’s go and start cooking with my tteokbokki recipe!

How to make Tteokbokki easily?

How To Make Tteokbokki

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 3

How To Make Tteokbokki

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Korean red chili pepper paste (Gochujang)
  • 3 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (Gochugaru)
  • 3/4 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces fish cake
  • 2 green onions, sliced into 2-inch long
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 pound tteok (cylinder shaped Korean rice cake), cut into 3-inch long
  • 1/2 stalk carrot
  • 5 pieces dried kelp
  • 5 dried anchovies (with intestines removed) or 3 cups anchovy broth
  • 3 cups water
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. First of all, boil some water. After water is boiled, pour it into a bowl.
  2. Add the rice cakes into the hot water. Soak it for around 15 minutes. This is an important first step you have to start off with if you want better texture and chewier Korean spicy rice cakes later on.
  3. On the other side, get a skillet. Add dried kelp, dried anchovies and 3 cups of water into it. Bring to boil for about 10 – 15 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Add in gochujang, gochugaru, sugar, garlic and carrots. Stir them well to make sure the chilli paste and chilli flakes are dissolved.
  5. Remove the anchovies and kelp from the stock.
  6. Add in the rice cakes, fish cake, hard-boiled egg and green onions. Bring to boil and keep stirring for about 10 minutes until the rice cakes turn soft and the sauce thickens.
  7. Boil longer if the rice cakes have not become soft, else the texture wouldn’t be as nice.
  8. Serve the dish while it’s hot. You may add some sesame seeds if you like to.
  9. One thing to take note is that if you wish to reheat tteokbokki, pour it into a pan and add some water. Stir it over low heat.

The 3 Best Tteokbokki Recipes

Ramyeon Tteokbokki (Rabokki) Recipe

If you would like to add some variety to your ddukbokki recipe, then a combination of ramen plus rice cakes may be a great addition.

It took me a few tries to really get the perfect ramyeon that I wanted it to be, and when I say perfect I really mean it.

Below is the ramen tteokbokki recipe so you can spend less time figuring it out and have more time enjoying the food  🙂

How To Make Ddeokbokki Ramen?

This recipe does not differ too much from the original topokki above, except that this one includes the Korean ramen noodles.

Soak the tteok (Korean rice cakes) in water for about 15 to 30 minutes.

Prepare dried kelp and anchovy broth in a medium to large pan. Bring it to boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

After that, remove the kelp from the stock. Add in sugar, minced garlic, gochujang and gochukaru. Stir them until the chilli paste totally dissolves.

Add in the rice cakes and fish cakes (small quantity here for both or else whole meal will be too filling). Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add in the ramen noodles, hard-boiled egg and green onions. Simmer till the noodles are cooked.

Serve while it’s hot.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sugar
2 ounces eomuk (fish cake)
1 tablespoon Gochujang
3 teaspoons Gochugaru
3 green onions, sliced into 2-inch long
1 hard-boiled egg (optional)
200g cylinder shaped Korean rice cake, cut into 3-inch long
3 pieces dried kelp
3 cups anchovy broth
1 clove garlic
Sesame seeds (optional)

Cheese Tteokbokki Recipe

As you might know, I really love cheese and everything I do I try to come up with a recipe that is able to utilize cheese but of course it has to taste good.

Instead of just the normal ddeokbokki that we always do, this is a slight modification with cheese added to the dish.

Think of baked cheese rice and baked cheese pasta. If you like the taste and combination, then probably you will like this cheese topokki too.

How To Make Cheese Topokki?

To have a better texture Korean spicy rice cake, soak the tteok in water for around 20 minutes.

Prepare the hard-boiled egg. Boil the anchovy broth in a medium to large skillet. Add in the kelp, sugar, chilli flakes and chilli paste into the pan. Boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the kelp from the stock. Put in the Korean rice cakes and simmer for another 10 minutes to let the tteok turn softer.

Put in the egg, green onions and shiitake mushrooms into the pan and stir for 5 minutes.

At the same time, preheat the oven to 450 degree Fahrenheit. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the spicy cheese dukbokki before placing the dish into the oven for heating. Heat for around 10 minutes until the cheese are melted.

Bring it out from the oven and serve it hot.

Ingredients:

300g Mozzarella cheese
3 green onions, sliced into 2-inch long
1 tablespoon Gochujang chilli paste
4 teaspoons Gochugaru chilli flakes
200g shiitake mushroom
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 pound cylinder-shaped Korean rice cake (3-inch long)
3 pieces dried kelp
3 cups anchovy broth
1 hard-boiled egg

Gungjung Tteokbokki Recipe

If you wish to make some ddukbokki for your kids who do not really take spice, then the Gungjung tteokbokki is a perfect choice.

It’s is a more unique kind of topokki dish. Not only it is non-spicy but there are a lot more ingredients added into it such as beef, vegetables and mushrooms.

In the past, gungjung tteokbokki was also known as the original royal court stir fried Korean rice cake. It is made as non-spicy because this dish was originated before 1910 and during then the chilli peppers were not introduced yet.

How To Make Gungjung Topokki?

Gungjung Tteokbokki

Photo: Kourmet

Soak the Korean rice cakes in water for 5 minutes to make it softer.

Cut the ribeye or sirloin beef into slices. Mix them with the sauce to marinade them and place them in the refrigerator.

Use a medium skillet and heat it up. Bring the marinated beef out from the fridge.

Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add the rice cakes, water, soy sauce, sugar, ground pepper and carrot into the skillet and stir for 2 minutes until the rice cakes start to turn soft.

Add in the beef, garlic, mushrooms, green bell peppers and onions into the pan and stir them together with the rice cakes for about another 2 minutes. Do keep a lookout not to overcook the beef or else the meat will be tough.

Pour the gungjung tteokbokki dish from the pan to a plate. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and it’s ready to serve.

Ingredients:

3 ounces ribeye or sirloin beef
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
100g sliced onions
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
5 shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 pound cylinder-shaped Korean rice cake (3-inch long)
1/2 cup sliced green bell peppers
1 stalk sliced carrot
1 clove garlic
Canola or Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup water

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 minced clove garlic

Where To Buy Spicy Korean Rice Cakes (Instant Tteokbokki)?

Cooking is always time consuming. So if you have a very busy schedule but suddenly crave for ddeokbokki, don’t fret because there’s a way!

There are various online shops that sell instant topokki. Some of the online stores which I find comfortable dealing with are Amazon and Koa Mart. The prices are reasonable and the quality is good.

After you bought the instant rice cakes, what you need to do is to open up the seal of the cup that contains the rice cakes. Add in the pre-made sauce, some hot water and put it inside the microwave for around 1 to 2 minutes.

With that, you have the instant tteokbokki and you are ready to eat! It’s that easy.

But of course if you are looking for highest quality and best dukbokki, then the only way is to cook it yourself with those tteokbokki recipes given above.

Please help to share this blog post with your family and friends if you enjoyed reading and cooking the rice cakes J Enjoy your Korean rice cakes and have a great day!

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