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A small bowl of tteokbokki (spicy korean rice cakes) and some medium boiled eggs sliced in half and served with metal chopsticks w
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5 from 6 votes

Tteokbokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes)

Whether you are having it as a comfort food or a snack, here is a quick and easy delicious tteokbokki recipe made with Korean chewy rice cakes cooked in a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce that can be enjoyed all year round.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 726kcal
Author: Joyce Lee

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rice cakes (garaetteok) (tubular shaped, approx. 2.5 cups)
  • 1 sheet fish cake (see notes for substitutions)
  • 1 small onion (finely sliced, approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (added after turning off heat at the end)

Broth Ingredients

  • 3 cups water (Use 3½ cups for a more saucy tteokbokki)
  • 1 piece kelp Optional for more umami. (3x3 inches)
  • tablespoons hondashi dashi powder (see notes for substitutions)
  • ½ cup bonito flakes

Tteokbokki Sauce

Additional Add-ins (Optional, Pick One)

  • 1 cup carrots and cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 cup shredded or processed cheese slices (add on top right before eating)
  • 3 eggs (soft or medium boiled)
  • hotdogs or leftover meat
  • ¼ cup kimchi (roughly chopped)

Garnishes

Instructions

Preparation

  • Peel and slice the onion and set them aside
  • Cut the fish cakes into small pieces and set them aside
  • If you are using green onions as your garnish, finely chop it and set it aside for the end
  • If you are using any add-ins, prepare them now (ie. grate the cheese, boil the eggs)

Make the Tteokbokki Sauce

  • Finely chop or grate the garlic.
  • Mix the gochujang, gochugaru, sugar, and garlic together in a small bowl and set the sauce aside

Make the Broth

  • In a shallow pan, boil water on medium heat. Add in the kelp (optional), bonito flakes, and dashi powder and boil for 5 minutes. If you are not using hondashi dashi powder, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce instead.
  • Scoop out the bonito flakes and kelp and discard them

Cooking the Tteokbokki

  • Add in the tteokbokki sauce, onions, cabbage and carrots (optional), and rice cakes, and cook for about 5 minutes. Once the sauce starts to simmer, it's important to keep stirring it so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in the fish cakes and cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened into a glossy sauce.
  • Do a taste test and adjust the sauce to your liking. Then try a rice cake, they should be soft and chewy. If they are still hard, continue to cook for a few more minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, drizzle in the sesame oil and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and/or green onions and add in any add-ins. If you are adding cheese, add that on top to melt it as well. Enjoy!

Notes

  • To tweak the spiciness of this tteokbokki recipe, adjust the amount of gochugaru chili flakes.  
    • mild = 0-1 teaspoon
    • medium = 2 teaspoons
    • spicy = 3+ teaspoons.
  • I highly recommend using hondashi dashi powder but if you can't find it, substitute it with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • If you cannot find bonito flakes or kelp, omit it - you will only lose a bit of umami from the kelp and smoky flavor from the bonito flakes.
  • To keep the rice cakes chewy, don't overcook them. Once the sauce has thickened and the rice cakes are soft, turn off the heat.
  • If you cannot find fish cakes in sheet form, you can use fish balls instead.
  • If you add cabbage or carrots, it will take longer to thicken the sauce.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 726kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 2463mg | Potassium: 489mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 429IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg