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Tteokbokki Recipe – Korean Spicy Rice Cake Stir Fry

22/05/2020 (Last Updated: 28/05/2020)
 

Tteokbokki is a super popular street food dish in Korea, thanks to a handful of superstar ingredients. This fiery tteokbokki recipe features mouthwatering Korean chilli flakes, gochujang spice paste and dashi stock, smothered over chewy rice cakes. Masshisoyo!

Bowl of Tteokbokki with boiled eggs, chopsticks and pinch bowls of sesame seeds and Korean chilli flakes.

Why We Love This

We love tteokbokki because it is surprisingly easy to make at home. The stock base can be prepared in minutes, and will fill your kitchen with the mouthwatering aroma of Korean spices. With its blend of red chilli and fermented soybeans, gochujang paste gives this dish a distinctive fiery punch all of its own.

On top of all that is an extra scoop of Korean red pepper flakes to bring that saucy flavour and heat to an all-new level.

And finally, the ‘tteok’ in Tteokbottki are the chewy Korean rice cakes that soak up all that gorgeous sauce. You can use the flat rice cake or the tube tteoks!

Bowl of Tteokbokki with boiled eggs, chopsticks and pinch bowls of sesame seeds and Korean chilli flakes.

 

 

What is Korean Tteokbokki?

Korean tteokbokki (sometimes romanised as dukbokki) is a spicy dish of chewy rice cakes in a thick chilli sauce made with a base of seaweed and/or fish stock known as dashi stock and gochujang red chilli paste.

As a shortcut, we recommend using powdered dashi stock (known as yuksu in Korean or dashi in Japanese), so you can satisfy those spicy Korean rice cake cravings FAST.

Where We Learned This Recipe

This feisty dish first exploded into our lives while roaming the streets of Nampodong in Busan, South Korea. Nampodong is MADE for wandering and eating and shopping – so naturally it was an irresistible lure for two hungry Wandercooks.

We knew the minute we found the tteokbokki hot spot. A spicy aroma filled the air as vendor after vendor worked at massive hot plates. Thick, spicy, saucy red tteokbokki surrounded us on all sides, some with boiled eggs thrown into the mix, others with green onion, slices of eomuk fish cakes and others with seafood.

Luckily for us, tteokbokki is not only available almost everywhere on the streets of Korea, it’s also super easy to make at home.

Which is very, very good news for the old spice lovin’ taste buds, don’t you think?

 

What you’ll need for this recipe

You should have at least some ingredients on hand for this, such as soy sauce, raw sugar, sesame oil and eggs. A few ingredients you may need to track down though are:

  • Gochujang – this is the Korean Red Chilli Paste.
  • Korean Red Chilli Flakes – these seem to have more flavour and less spice kick than regular chilli flakes, so if you’re substituting we’d recommend using only half the amount.
  • Dashi stock – this gives the unique umami flavour to the dish. We’ve explained in a little more detail below so you can pick the right style for your tastes. In a pinch, you can substitute with vegetable or chicken stock. 
  • Rice cakes aka tteok – you can find flat ones, tubular, fresh, frozen and dried! Get your hands on whatever you can. Fresh is best, with frozen a close second. 

All the above ingredients can usually be found at your local Asian supermarket or online.

Bowl of Korean flat rice cakes soaking in water.

What is the stock base for Korean Tteokbokki?

There are two styles of stock flavour you can use as a base for this Korean flat rice cake recipe:

For the best flavour experience we recommend the stronger anchovy version. The smell is strong (to say the least) while cooking, but doesn’t taste “fishy” in the final product – instead it gives the dish a mouth-watering umami kick.

 

How to Make Korean Tteokbokki – Spicy Rice Cake Stir Fry

Fire up a wok, add the water water and bring it to the boil with the dashi stock powder. Add in the gochujang, red chilli flakes, sugar and soy sauce and mix into a luscious, fragrant soup.

Tteokbokki soup stock in a fry pan.

Pop in the rice cakes and bring back to the boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes until the rice cakes are softened. Keep an eye on the wok and stir frequently so nothing sticks. You’ll know it’s done when the sauce becomes thick and glossy and the rice cakes are nicely chewy (go on, test one, you know you want to!).

Tteokbokki rice cakes cooking in the soup stock.

If the rice cakes aren’t soft enough, add in a little more water and continue to cook until ready.

Just before serving pour in the sesame oil and give it all a good stir.

Serve piping hot and delicious!

Sesame oil being added to the cooked tteokbokki just before serving.

 

 

Cook’s Tips

  • For the best chewy tteok texture be sure to soak the rice cakes in boiling water for a few minutes before cooking. Dried rice cakes may take a little longer, so you can either soak them slowly overnight, or speed up the process by soaking in boiling water for 10-20 minutes before cooking.
  • Use flat rice cakes or tubes – they both taste the same!
  • If you have leftover gochujang, there’s plenty of uses to get rid of the tub.

FAQs

How spicy is Tteokbokki?

Overall, Korean Tteokbokki is quite a spicy dish! We often eat this dish with a glass or two of water nearby, but it also goes amazingly with beer. This dish is a real mouth melter if made to traditional heat levels, which is awesome for all those spice lovers out there. We’ve toned our easy tteokbokki recipe down slightly, but if you need to reduce the spice even further you can cut back on either the chilli flakes and/or gochujang.

How do you make Tteokbokki sauce nice and thick?

The trick to a nice thick sauce is low to medium heat and patience! If that’s still not working, try adding a cornflour slurry of 1 tsp cornflour to 2 tsp cold water and mix it through.

Can you reheat tteokbokki?

Yes, we’ve had it for leftovers before and we generally recommend trying to eat everything by the next day. This is because the rice cakes do thicken up and soak up most of the sauce, so they end up losing their chewy texture and becoming a little mushy.

What other ingredients can you put in Korean Tteokbokki?

We love adding boiled eggs and fresh spring onion in ours but here are some other ideas if you want to amp up your dish. Why not try adding:

  • kimchi
  • chicken
  • thinly sliced pork
  • fish cakes
  • ramen noodles
  • cheese (incredible! Similar to our Korean Army Stew!)
  • vegetables – cabbage, bok choy, broccolini, red bell pepper / capsicum would all be great additions
  • sausage 

Variations & Substitutions

  • You’ll usually find street tteokbokki made with long round rice cakes that look like chewy cylinders. But there are other varieties available such as the flat style rice cakes we used in our version. Korean tteok can often be found in local Asian grocery stores (we managed to find some in the middle of Amsterdam – and the gochujang to go with it!) so you should hopefully find some near you. But if you’re struggling to find them, you can easily swap for ramen noodles or two-minute noodles.

Bowl of Tteokbokki with boiled eggs, chopsticks and pinch bowls of sesame seeds and Korean chilli flakes.

Want more magical Korean dishes? Here’s some ideas:

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

 

Bowl of Tteokbokki with boiled eggs and chopsticks.

Tteokbokki Recipe – Korean Spicy Rice Cake Stir Fry

Tteokbokki is a super popular street food dish in Korea, thanks to a handful of superstar ingredients. This fiery tteokbokki recipe features mouthwatering Korean chilli flakes, gochujang spice paste and dashi stock, smothered over chewy rice cakes. Masshisoyo!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 2
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up a wok, add the water water and bring it to the boil with the dashi stock powder. Add in the gochujang, red chilli flakes, sugar and soy sauce and mix into a luscious, fragrant soup.
  • Pop in the rice cakes and bring back to the boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes until the rice cakes are softened. Keep an eye on the wok and stir frequently so nothing sticks. You'll know it's done when the sauce becomes thick and glossy and the rice cakes are nicely chewy (go on, test one, you know you want to!).
  • If the rice cakes aren’t soft enough, add in a little more water and continue to cook until ready.
  • Just before serving pour in the sesame oil and give it all a good stir.
  • Serve piping hot and delicious!

Video

Notes

Cook's Tips
  • For the best chewy tteok texture be sure to soak the rice cakes in boiling water for a few minutes before cooking. Dried rice cakes may take a little longer, so you can either soak them slowly overnight, or speed up the process by soaking in boiling water for 10-20 minutes before cooking.
  • Use flat rice cakes or tubes - they both taste the same!
  • If you have leftover gochujang, there's plenty of uses to get rid of the tub.
FAQs
  • How spicy is Tteokbokki? Overall, Korean Tteokbokki is quite a spicy dish! We often eat this dish with a glass or two of water nearby, but it also goes amazingly with beer. This dish is a real mouth melter if made to traditional heat levels, which is awesome for all those spice lovers out there. We've toned our easy tteokbokki recipe down slightly, but if you need to reduce the spice even further you can cut back on either the chilli flakes and/or gochujang.
  • How do you make Tteokbokki sauce nice and thick? The trick to a nice thick sauce is low to medium heat and patience! If that's still not working, try adding a cornflour slurry of 1 tsp cornflour to 2 tsp cold water and mix it through.
  • Can you reheat tteokbokki? Yes, we've had it for leftovers before and we generally recommend trying to eat everything by the next day. This is because the rice cakes do thicken up and soak up most of the sauce, so they end up losing their chewy texture and becoming a little mushy.
  • What other ingredients can you put in Korean Tteokbokki? We love adding boiled eggs and fresh spring onion in ours but here are some other ideas if you want to amp up your dish. Why not try adding:
    • kimchi
    • chicken
    • thinly sliced pork
    • fish cakes
    • ramen noodles
    • cheese (incredible! Similar to our Korean Army Stew!)
    • vegetables - cabbage, bok choy, broccolini, red bell pepper / capsicum would all be great additions
    • sausage
Variations & Substitutions
  • You’ll usually find street tteokbokki made with long round rice cakes that look like chewy cylinders. But there are other varieties available such as the flat style rice cakes we used in our version. Korean tteok can often be found in local Asian grocery stores (we managed to find some in the middle of Amsterdam – and the gochujang to go with it!) so you should hopefully find some near you. But if you’re struggling to find them, you can easily swap for ramen noodles or two-minute noodles.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Korean Tteokbokki - These spicy rice cakes are a dinner treat to warm up the whole house! Chilli flakes and gochujang are the secret to this fiery morsel. | wandercooks.com
Tteokbokki Recipe - Korean Spicy Rice Cake Stir Fry

22 Comments

  • Reply
    Milica Vladova
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    Oh, I need to make this recipe. I hope I can find these Korean rice cakes in my country.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Fingers crossed you can – they are delish! If not, you could always try substituting with regular rice noodles. The texture will of course be different, but you can still enjoy all that delicious flavour. Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Tatiana
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    Thank you for the wonderful receipe and the beautiful photography! Awesome recipe, I’ll sure try making it during this week! Thanks for sharing it!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Ooh yay can’t wait to hear what you think! 🙂

  • Reply
    Farah
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    Never heard of this before and I feel I was missing out on so much! These sound addictive!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Love making tasty new discoveries, there’s always something new to try!

  • Reply
    Jo Allison
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    I love discovering new dishes so thanks for sharing this delicious Korean recipe! The flavours here sound fantastic and as I’ve never cooked with rice cakes I’m really keen to try it!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Oh fantastic Jo, hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Mikayla
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    I love eating food like this but always get nervous making it myself, but this recipe makes me feel like I can! I love spicy korean food so this is going to be a favorite for sure!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      I know what you mean Mikalya! This one is a goody because the ingredients are so simple and quick to pull together. Glad we could help, we’d love to hear how you go with this one! 🙂

  • Reply
    Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    I’m so not confident when it comes to Korean food but looks like you’ve got it sussed! Great recipe!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Good luck Emma – hope you enjoy your new flavour adventures.

  • Reply
    Jayasri
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    Something new I have learnt today, very interesting recipe bookmarked and love to try it out. Lovely clicks

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Thanks Jayasri, hope you enjoy.

  • Reply
    Luci
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    Spice is totally the best thing for tastebuds 😉 I’ve just added Korean rice cakes, katsuo dashi stock powder and gochujang to my “if I see them” shopping list, because we don’t have a store nearby! Saved the recipe and ready to go as soon as I do stumble across some though!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Great, fingers crossed you can get your hands on some of those tasty ingredients – you won’t regret it. P.S. Totally agree – nothing like a spicy meal to awaken the senses hahah. 😛

  • Reply
    Mica @ Let's Taco Bout It Blog
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    Try saying Tteokbokki ten times fast. :p I would love to make this! I’ve never made a recipe with rice cakes before so I’m really excited to give this recipe a shot! What sides would you recommend I try with this?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Haha we did – the good news is it’s MUCH easier to eat Tteokbokki it is to say. 😛 Being a popular street food snack it’s not often served with sides, but that said you could definitely make a feast out of it with a side of Korean Doenjang Guk (aka Miso Soup) and crunchy spicy Korean pickles. If you still haven’t had enough chilli, then don’t forget to have some Kimchi too!

  • Reply
    Dahn @savor the Best
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    Oh my goodness this looks awesome, you are so right I need this and I am going to have to make it. There is an Asian supermarket near me, I definitely want to try it with the rice cakes. Yum

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Excellent news, hope you enjoy wandering those aisles as much as we do! 😉

  • Reply
    Cristie | Little Big H
    22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

    This so appeals to me, I love all of these flavours and the rice cakes have me intrigued. I’ve never cooked with them before! Adding this to my list of things to make asap…

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/05/2020 at 10:36 am

      Please do! But be warned, those chewy rice cakes are totally addictive. 😉

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