Enjoy this super simple, classic Korean tteokbokki – similar to one that you might find on the streets outside of an elementary school in Korea! No extra cabbage, veggies, toppings but super simple and still delicious tteokbokki.
There’s so many types of tteokbokkis in Korea and everyone has their own recipe. I’ve also posted several variations that can be searched for! This one is great for days when I’m feeling extra lazy and don’t have anything left in my fridge! These days with all the world events, we’re spending a lot more time eating at home and trying to avoid going to the grocery too much.. this recipe has been handy! It’s also more of the classic type that’s sold on the streets. While there’s many variations available in Korea, many of the street tteokbokkis in Korea is just rice cake and spicy sauce, sometimes fish cake which I’ve added in this one.
This is another recipe from celebrity chef, Baek Jong Won! He has a lot of variations too but this is probably one of the simplest! The one unique step he takes in this recipe is using anchovy powder; similar to how he uses it in Gukmul Tteokbokki (Soupy Spicy Rice Cakes). 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 and you don’t have to make anchovy stock separately. Make sure to grind the anchovy very fine, if not the powder may float around. I’ve made the mistake this mistake before when I was too lazy to grind it fine. If this happens, you can also skim the top of the broth later. *You can just make anchovy broth by simmering the anchovy in water like usual if you want to skip this step! Whatever is easier!
Enjoy this simple classic tteokbokki! Not too spicy, not to sweet.
Simple Tteokbokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes) - Baek Jong Won
- 10 oz (300 g) tteok 35 small rice cake pieces
- 2-3 slices of fish cake
- 1 Tbsp anchovy powder
- 3 pieces 2 x 2 inches dashima
- 2 green onions
- 2 cups 480 ml water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp gochujang
- 2 Tbsp gochugaru
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp fish sauce
- If using frozen tteok, wash the rice cakes under cold water and place in cold water for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add in the sauce ingredients except for the fish sauce. We will add the fish sauce at the end.
- Prep ingredients. Slice the fish cake into small pieces. Cut some of the green onions into long strips and others chopped.*Using the fried sheets of fish cake is preferred for this tteokbokki. Since it’s a simple broth, using the baked round pieces of fish cake won’t add the same flavor as the sheets of fish cake. This is usually standard in tteokbokki recipes overall.
- Anchovy powder: Dehead and gut anchovy. Place on a nonstick frypan, dry cook the anchovy until lightly browned and fragrant. Toss them into blender and mix until it turns into powder.*Option: If you forgo the anchovy powder, dehead and gut anchovy. Add the anchovy pieces into the broth.
- Make the broth. In a pot, add 2 cups of water. Add in the anchovy powder and dashima. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Dispose of the dashima and skim off any of the foam.*The original recipe calls for about 2 ½ cups (600 ml) water but I found that to be too much.*Boiling dashima for too long will make the broth become bitter.
- Add in the long green onion pieces, the fish cake and the rice cakes. Continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.*Adding in the fish cakes early allows the broth to form a deeper flavor.
- Mix in the tteokbokki sauce into the broth. Make sure there are no clumps. Continue to simmer until the rice cakes are softened and the broth has thickened from the rice cake starch (5-8 minutes). Stir the rice cakes frequently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.*If you feel the broth has reduced too much, you can add more water. This is to your preference.
- Add in the ½ Tbsp of fish sauce, or to taste. *The original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp but I found it too salty.