Tteok (rice cakes) are a major part of Korean cuisine. They come fresh, dried, or frozen; in logs or disks; sauced or plain. They are so popular that they even have their own festival in Seoul every year. The soft chewiness of the rice cakes matches beautifully with the garlicky, sweet, and richly spiced sauce they sit in. Besides being the cornerstone of street food in Korea, they also make a perfect side dish for a homemade meal.
Tteokbokki – Spicy Korean Rice Cakes
- Wok or large saucepan
- 1 lb Tteok, fresh, dried, or frozen
- 6 oz Bacon, cut into 1 inch slices (or pork belly)
- 3 cups Napa cabbage, cut crosswise into ⅔-inch wide slices
- 4 tsp Sesame oil
- 1 tsp Soy sauce
- 1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 4 tbsp Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 4 tsp Sugar
- 4 Scallion, 1 cut into ¼-inch slices for garnish and the rest cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
- 1 tbsp Toasted sesame seeds
- Soak dried Tteok in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels.Meanwhile, heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp but not burned. Remove to paper towels and pour excess fat from the wok. Turn heat up to high and stir-fry onion, garlic, scallion pieces, cabbage, and soy until vegetables begin to get tender, about 3 minutes.Add gochujang and mix. Add ½ cup water, sesame oil, cooked bacon, sugar, and tteok. Mix and let simmer until the sauce thickens and tteok is soft and chewy. Add a little water if necessary.Adjust seasoning with sugar and gochujang. Serve garnished with ¼-inch scallion slices and sesame seeds.