Tteokbokki and Tteokkochi: Fiery, Sweet and Addictive

The hallyu wave has truly taken over the world now. Even in Australia, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has not heard of K-Pop legends such as Psy, BTS or Blackpink. In Melbourne and Sydney, Korean fried chicken joints selling the all-time winning combo of “chicken and beer” have been enjoying great success. However, did you know that Korean fried chicken isn’t actually the number one street food in South Korea?

 

Tteokbokki, also commonly known as Topokki, takes the spot for the most iconic South Korean street food. This humble and affordable dish is much loved across the country. Well into the night, you can find street stalls stewing these rice cakes in large vats of bubbling sweet and spicy gochujang sauce.

These Spicy Korean Rice Cakes are usually served in a bowl with skewers. While the dish has been around for ages, many younger Koreans much prefer to enjoy their tteokbokki with a generous amount of stringy cheese such as mozzarella.

 

You may also serve these Spicy Korean Rice Cakes at your next BBQ! There is a quick and convenient version to these rice cakes- the tteokkochi. These are spicy rice cakes that are grilled and served on skewers (like satay!) to be enjoyed as a snack on the go. The extra crunchiness from the caramelisation on the rice cake and sauce is perfection.

Whether you are a K-drama fan or just curious about Korean food and culture, we cannot recommend this snack enough. It’s super delicious, umami rich and the texture of the chewy rice cakes is just so highly addictive! Just remember to be extra careful if you are wearing a white shirt while eating this. It can get really messy!

Tteokbokki Recipe

Ingredients

  • 350g Korean rice cakes, separated
  • 150g Korean fish cakes, rinsed over hot water & cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups Korean soup stock (dried kelp and dried anchovy stock)
  • 1-2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional)

Instructions to make Tteokbokki

  1. Make the Tteokbokki sauce by combining gochujang (Korean chili paste), raw sugar, soy sauce and minced garlic in a bowl.

Tip: If the gochujang has been refrigerated and is quite solid, add a splash of warm water, then stir well.

  1. Place rice cakes in pot of boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Then, remove them from heat, drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Cut the fish cakes and shallots into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Boil the soup stock in a shallow pot over medium high heat. Dissolve the tteokbokki sauce by stirring it with a spatula.
  4. Once the seasoned stock is boiling, add the rice cakes, fish cakes and onion. Continue to boil for another 3 to 5 minutes (or until the rice cakes are fully cooked).
  5. To thicken the sauce and to deepen the flavour, simmer over low heat for a further 2 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add sesame oil and fold in sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
  7. Top with a generous handful of mozzarella cheese (optional). Serve warm.

 

Instructions to make Tteokkochi

  1. Make the Tteokbokki sauce by combining gochujang (Korean chili paste), raw sugar, soy sauce and minced garlic in a bowl.

Tip: If the gochujang has been refrigerated and is quite solid, add a splash of warm water, then stir well.

  1. Place rice cakes in pot of boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Then, remove them from heat, drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Once cooled, pat dry rice cakes with paper towels.
  3. Thread the rice cakes through a wooden stewer. The amount of rice cakes used will depend on the length of the skewer. Dip skewers into tteokbokki sauce.
  4. Spray generous amount of vegetable oil on heated grill.
  5. Grill on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes of until each side is caramelised.
  6. Remove from grill and garnish with sesame seeds.

 

Note: Don’t stack them, they will stick together!

 

While it is easy to order Korean grocery online in Australia, cooking a dish with unfamiliar ingredients may be daunting for some. If you aren’t keen on investing in a bunch of Korean pantry staples just to try this single dish, Asian Pantry stocks instant tteokpokki!

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