A soupy twist on the Korean spicy rice cake dish, tteokbokki!
Tteokbokki is one of the most popular street foods and quick snacks in Korea. They can be found on street carts, inside hole in the wall restaurants and quick restaurants! They’re most often made of cylinder rice cakes, flat fish cakes and stir fried in sauce. There are many different varieties of tteokbokki with the most common being a spicy and sweet thick red sauce stir-fried with rice cakes. Even with the red sauce, there are variations that are more sticky vs saucy vs soupy. There are also other varieties like spicy carbonara and the added toppings are endless from fish cake, dumplings, ramen, boiled eggs and gimmari! All these variations are delicious and it depends on what you are craving at the moment!
Today, we’re going to be making a soupy version – gukmul tteokbokki! Gukmul translates to soup or broth. Gukmul tteokbokki is not as spicy as the standard spicy tteokbokki but instead has an added broth that is less intense in the red flavor and lends to a cleaner broth flavor. In ratio, the recipe uses more gochugaru (red pepper flakes) instead of gochujang (red pepper paste) because the paste would make the sauce starchier and thick. To be honest, gukmul tteokbokki is not my favorite version since I usually enjoy the very intense flavors from the thick sauce but this broth is delicious. It helped hit the spot for my craving for a soup but with something spicy. And, I have to add that this recipe is really easy.
The soup tteokbokki recipe is from famous Korean celebrity chef, Baek Jong Won. He uses an anchovy based broth for a deep flavor and allows you to enjoy the broth with chewy rice cakes! The broth is a bit unique and made from anchovy powder. Simply stir-fry Korean anchovies on a dry frypan and grind, mix or process in a blender or food processor. This makes the broth have a deeper flavor. *You can just make anchovy broth by simmering the anchovy in water like usual if you want to skip this step! I actually made a batch of the anchovy powder to keep it on stash so I don’t always have to simmer the anchovy broth for 10 minutes as an added step before making other dishes. This is the only “real complex step” in the recipe. After that, just throw in all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for the flavors to blend!
Quick and easy! Add in some hard boiled eggs and optional mandoo, gimmari or really any topping you want to add! For a bit of variety, try out today’s soup tteokbokki!
Gukmul Tteokbokki (Soupy Spicy Rice Cakes) - Baek Jong Won Celebrity Chef
- 10 oz (300 g tteok) Korean cylinder rice cakes skant 2 cups
- 2 eggs, hardboiled
- 2 sheets of Korean fish cake
- 1 green onion scallion
- 1 Tbsp anchovy powder
- 1 kelp piece (dashima 다시마) 2 x 2 inch piece
- 2 ½ cups 600 ml water
- 1 Tbsp gochugaru 고추가 Korean chili flakes
- ½ Tbsp gochujang 고추 Korean red pepper paste
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce 간장
- ½ anchovy fish sauce멸치엑 myeolchi aekjeot
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- If using refrigerated or hardened rice cakes, soak in room temperature water for about 10 minutes to soften. Cut the fish cake into bite size pieces.
- Chop half of the green onion. The other half, cut into long strips. Set aside.
- Broth. Gut the anchovy*. Lightly stir fry a handful of stock anchovy on a frypan (with no oil) until lightly toasted and golden. Process in a blender or food processor to make the powder.
- In a medium saucepan, add the water, dashima and 1 Tbsp anchovy powder. Continue to add in all of the sauce ingredients and mix out any of the clumps. Drain the rice cakes from Step 1 and add them into the saucepan. Add in the rice cakes and the strips of green onion.*Save the chopped green onion for later.
- Continue to simmer until the rice cakes and strips of green onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Top with the chopped green onions and simmer for about another 1-2 minutes. Place the hardboiled eggs on top and any other toppings you want! Enjoy!