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Monday, December 4, 2023
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Tteokbokki, spicy Korean rice cakes

Holly Ford

THE KOREA HERALD/ANN – Having a dish full of spicy Korean rice cakes, or tteokbokki, recently in a busy Korean street market brought me a lot of nostalgia. The chewy rice cakes with mildly spicy gochujang sauce … mmm! It was like a taste of my childhood.

I recently went to Korea to visit my family. The two weeks of mandatory quarantine upon arrival was well worth the effort.

After the quarantine was over, I was thrilled to go out and hit different places for meals.
Enjoying Korean street food was no exception.

When it comes to street food in Korea, these street vendor-style spicy rice cakes have got to be the most popular and common snack you will find.

They are so addictive!

Spicy Korean rice cakes. PHOTO: THE KOREA HERALD

For the tteokbokki
– 0.5 kg rice cakes
– One to two sheets fish cake sliced
– One Asian leek sliced
– Two heaping tablespoon Korean chili paste (gochujang)
– One tablespoon Korean chili flakes (See note)
– Two or three tablespoon Korean corn syrup (mulyeot) or one tablespoon sugar
– One tablespoon soy sauce

For anchovy stock:
– Five to six large dried anchovies
– One piece dried sea kelp (dashima)
– Four cups water

Soak slices of rice cakes in a bowl of water for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the anchovy stock. Combine dried anchovies, sea kelp, and water in a pot.

Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for four to five minutes. Discard the anchovy and sea kelp and reserve two half cups of stock. Save the rest of the stock for later use.

In a large skillet, combine anchovy stock, chili paste, chili flakes, corn syrup, and soy sauce; mix well.

Drain the soaked rice cakes and add to the stock mixture. Add the fish cake and leek slices. Bring them to boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice cakes are tender and the sauce has thickened; about five to seven minutes. Serve immediately.

NOTE: If you want your spicy rice cake sauce more smooth, try using the fine Korean chili powder instead of flakes. You can use a blender to process the flakes into very smooth powder. To do so, use about half cup of the flakes to process in a blender. Use the desired amount for the recipe, and store the rest in the refrigerator for later use.


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