This easy Tteokbokki recipe features soft and chewy rice cakes smothered in an irresistibly delicious sauce, to give you an intense burst of umami flavor in every bite. This one-pan meal is delightfully easy to make yet loaded with comforting flavors to pamper your tastebuds.
What is Tteokbokki?
Tteokbokki (떡볶이), also known as dukbokki, topokki, or ddeokbokki, is an extremely popular street food item in Korea with many different variations as well as rich history.
Translating to “stir-fried rice cake”, Tteokbokki is made with garaetteok, cylindrical white rice cakes that have an addictively chewy texture.
Iconic for being the ultimate comfort food or “soul food” amongst Koreans, these spicy rice cakes are known for their irresistibly delicious taste and texture that is especially comforting to have in the colder weather.
Korean spicy rice cakes are often made with popular additions such as fish cake, hard-boiled eggs, and/or ramen noodles which are wrapped together in a blanket of umami-rich sauce made with a base of Gochujang (Korean red chili paste).
There are many variations of this dish, but I will be sharing with you guys how to make tteokbokki that is just as delicious as those sold in traditional street vendors, if not better.
What do I need to make Tteokbokki?
Having grown up in Korea, there are fond memories of the food I grew up on, most notably the Korean tteokbokki that was served in the food carts in the streets of Seoul.
I’ve made countless variations to my tteokbokki recipe to trace back to that nostalgic taste, which is the recipe I will be sharing with you today.
Here is everything you will need to make your own batch of tteokbokki:
- Korean rice cakes (Tteok): the main component of this recipe. I recommend using fresh rice cakes, but the frozen kind will also work well. To prepare frozen rice cakes, simply soak the rice cakes in room temperature water for about 10 minutes prior to cooking.
- Korean fish cakes: often sold frozen in sheet form. Preparation is easy – simply run under warm water for a few seconds to defrost to be prepared for stir-frying.
- Green onion and hard-boiled eggs: the eggs are completely optional, but added as an extra layer of comfort. You can also add ramen noodles depending on your preference.
- For the sauce: Gochugaru (Korean chili powder), sugar, minced garlic, soy sauce, Gochujang (Korean red chili paste), and honey.
As long as you have these ingredients on hand, preparing Korean spicy rice cakes will be delightfully simple, made fresh in just a few minutes in one pan!
Tteokbokki is definitely one of the most simple Korean dishes to make, but one that is incredibly delicious and addictive. It is satisfying enough to be served as an entire meal but makes for a perfect evening snack as well.
Tips to make the best Tteokbokki
In the few first attempts of making this dish, it’s been a challenge of mine to replicate the taste of those served at Korean street food stands.
It took a couple of tries for me to perfect this recipe, but I am sharing with you today a few essential tips that will bring your Tteokbokki to the next level.
- The key component of this recipe is to start with a generous amount of broth and sauce and simmer it down slowly to ensure all ingredients are packed with flavor, as well as the beautiful red colors that are significant of this dish. By speeding up this process, you will prevent the flavors from developing into each ingredient.
- Be creative with the optional toppings! Although rice cakes and fish cakes are the two core components to this recipe, you can add toppings like noodles (ramen noodles or glass noodles are popular additions), hard-boiled egg, tempura, or dumplings to bring the dish to the next level.
- The sauce is truly divine, and serves as a great dipping sauce for all of these toppings mentioned, to give that spicy kick in every bite.
- For extra umami flavor, replace water with anchovy or dashi stock.
I hope you enjoy this easy & delicious spicy rice cakes recipe, and please leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram if you have any questions. Happy cooking!
Other Korean recipes you may like:
- 15-Minute Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
- Mayak Eggs (Korean Marinated Eggs)
- 10-Minute Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
- Korean Braised Potatoes (Gamja Jorim)
- Easy Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)
Tteokbokki (Korean Spicy Rice Cakes)
- 3 cups water or anchovy stock/dashi
- 400 g rice cake thawed if frozen
- 2 sheets Korean fish cake defrosted and cut in bite-sized pieces
- 2 green onion cut into 2-inch lengths
- 2 soft-boiled eggs optional
- Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Add rice cakes and sauce. Stir around the skillet to combine, and boil for about 8-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Add fish cake, green onion, and eggs, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!