I’ll cut to the chase on this post: either you are here for a no-fail recipe for ddukbokki/tteokbokki, or you would take one look at spicy Korean rice cakes and want no part of this. I looked at a bunch of recipes online and then went off book and made up my own. It tasted pretty authentic to me, in my limited experience with this food that I cannot pronounce. Also, I am not Korean. If you’re looking for the taste of grandma, do realize that my grandma is Jewish and has never tasted Korean food in her life.
I didn’t take that many photos as I was cooking, as I was hardly sure what I was doing. But here’s the intermediate and final steps of this increeeedibly simple recipe:
If you can find the Korean rice cakes and gochujang hot pepper paste at your local Asian market, that’s half the battle right there. I went for sliced rice cakes, but you could easily go for the log shaped ones, which I think are more traditional. The sauce is hot and spicy, with great flavors. I left fish out of mine entirely – both the sliced fish cake and the dried anchovies. I’m just not a fish girl. I did use chicken broth, but assuming you use water or veg broth, this should be vegan. (Just check your gochujang ingredients to make sure.) I would have added sliced green cabbage if I had it. Mmm. Wants to make more now I does…
1 lb Korean rice cakes, refrigerated or frozen and thawed
1.5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (or water)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons gochujang
1-2 teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes (Optional – and be careful. They’re hot.)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
5-6 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into long coins
1 teaspoon sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Combine water, broth, garlic, gochujang, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and sugar in a pot or large pan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice cakes and let them simmer until they soften up and the sauce thickens. Add the carrots about 5 mins into the rice cake cooking so they have a chance to soften. When the rice cakes are soft, add scallions and cook for another couple minutes. Taste and make sure everything is cooked to your liking. An extra couple minutes of cooking is not going to ruin anything. Turn off heat and stir in sesame oil. Top with toasted sesame seeds before serving.