Tteokbokki typically uses anchovy broth (from dried anchovy) for a depth of flavor. However, we can simply use water (but, it will make a HUGE difference to the taste). For me personally, using chicken/beef/seafood broth when we don’t have anchovy one is better for the taste than merely using water :D. For the spiciness level, it varies depending on the brands (and levels) of the gochujang (red chili pepper paste). Gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes) is often added for the “kick” to the spicy gochujang sauce without altering the saltiness and sweetness of the sauce. But yes, it’s all back to our personal taste, we can make it spicier or sweeter :D. For me, I like my tteokbokki spicy and slightly sweet. And I like to have the gochujang sauce thick and saucy ^^
(Korean Hot & Spicy Rice Cake)
25 garaetteok pieces (white cylindrical rice cakes)
1 cup sliced fish cake
1 cup (or more) cut napa cabbage (or cabbage)
1 - 2 green onions or small leeks, cut into 3-inch long pieces
toasted sesame seeds and angled-sliced leek to garnish
3 cups anchovy broth (chicken/beef/seafood broth or water)
3-4 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
1-2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes), optional
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons crushed/minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Boil anchovy broth in a pan and add in the sauce ingredients. Stir to dissolve the red chili pepper paste (gochujang). Let it boil for additional 2-3 minutes.
2. Add in the rice cakes and boil for about 6-8 minutes until become soft and the sauce is thickened. Don’t forget to frequently stir the rice cakes so that they won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Bring in napa cabbage, green onion, and fish cake. Stir constantly, add the sesame oil, and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Serve immediately and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced leek.
Let me make a confession, this dish is BEST enjoyed when it’s still slightly hot or warm by using chopsticks directly from the pan LOL :D. This chewy and spicy dish is simply addictive! Once I tried it, I craved for more and more. So, it’s no wonder that the Korean government has invested a big deal of money to introduce and globalize this dish. Even, there are Tteokbokki Festivals in South Korea :D. Below is another version of enjoying tteokbokki. To reduce the spiciness or to make it milder, you can add some mayo over the dish. This simple version with mayo is just AWESOME! :D