Zesty Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake) Recipe

Craving for tteokbokki but you're miles and miles away from Korea? Fear not! Recipe developer Tommy Leung made a tteokbokki recipe that is super-easy to follow. "It's a super-delicious chewy and comforting dish!" says Leung. According to him, the other name for this spicy dish is dak galbi, where "dak" means chicken and "galbi" means ribs. While the recipe has no ribs, Leung notes that "the rice cakes sort of simulates the ribs."

If you haven't tried tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes) in the past, then you're missing out. This popular Korean street food has a sweet and spicy taste that will leave everyone wanting more. There is just something about this dish that makes it so addicting. Probably it's the flavor? The texture? Or both? Tteokbokki is enticingly satisfying with a tender, chewy texture from the Korean rice cakes. The chili flavor might leave you sweating, but you'll be happy. It's such a treat. No wonder it's so popular among Koreans and tourists. While you might think tteokbokki is a snack, it's not. It's a main dish on its own, and it also goes well with soju.

Gather your ingredients for the tteokbokki

According to Leung, preparation takes about 15 minutes. Some of the ingredients used to make tteokbokki are already available in your kitchen — such as vegetable oil, onion, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Vegetable stock is also a key ingredient in making this delicious Korean dish. Since you have vegetables at home, you can easily make the stock. One simple tip is to measure all the ingredients before you start cooking. You'll save a lot of time doing so.

A trip to the grocery store may be needed to complete the ingredients for tteokbokki

Chicken thighs, leek, and black and white sesame seeds are other vital ingredients for making tteokbokki. Unless you have all the items stored at home, you may have to do a little grocery run. While they are available at your local supermarkets, the remaining ingredients may not be. The main ingredients used for tteokbokki are Korean rice cakes and gochujang (Korean chili paste), and you can usually find these in the Asian section at the grocery store. If not, Asian shops are your best bet. "Once you have these ingredients, making this dish is no harder than preparing pasta with sauce," says Leung.

Soak the rice cakes in water to soften them

The rice cakes in packs are dried-out and hard. To soften them, place them in a bowl filled with water. How do you know when it's good to go? Well, there's no exact answer to that because each person has different preferences. Leung recommends tasting the rice cakes for "doneness, and if they find it too chewy, they can continue cooking it for longer." He also notes that tteokbokki is similar to pasta — some people like it al dente, while others like it soft. As for Leung's preference, he likes the former. "I personally like them so chewy to give my jaw a workout."

Slice the chicken thighs and add seasoning

While waiting for the rice cakes, prepare the other ingredients. Slice the chicken thighs into strips. After cutting, place the sliced chicken in a clean bowl and season with the dry ingredients — garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. When you're done, you can then slice the onions. On a side note, you can use chicken breasts or tenders instead of chicken thighs. Leung prefers to use chicken thighs, "as they have a bit more flavor and are a bit juicier."

Cook the chicken and tteokbokki

To get started, add vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat, then sear the seasoned chicken breast for two to three minutes until it turns golden brown. When cooked, place the chicken in a bowl and set aside. Now you are ready to cook the tteokbokki. Fry the onions in a clean pan for two to three minutes, then add the rice cakes. Mix together, add the gochujang, and let it cook for a minute.

For a less spicy result, you can use less gochujang

Some people don't love their food too spicy. To lessen the spiciness of your tteokbokki, Leung advises using less gochujang when cooking and adding more stock. Now, add that vegetable stock, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. After that, you can add the chicken to the pan and cook for another five minutes.

And that's it! Your tteokbokki is now ready. Place the food in a bowl and garnish it with leeks and sesame seeds. If you want to enhance your tteokbokki with other ingredients, you can certainly do so. According to Leung, you can also add vegetables such as cabbage and carrots.

Zesty Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake) Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
Craving for tteokbokki but you're miles and miles away from Korea? Fear not! Recipe developer Tommy Leung made a tteokbokki recipe that is super-easy to follow.
Prep Time
Cook Time
A bowl of tteokbokki.
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1 pack Korean rice cakes
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
Optional Ingredients
  • Thinly sliced leek
  • Black and white sesame seeds
  1. Soak the tteokbokki (rice cakes) in the water while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Slice the chicken thighs into strips and season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Slice the onions.
  4. Sear the chicken with the vegetable oil over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked and golden brown. Put cooked chicken in a bowl.
  5. Fry the onions in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the tteokbokki rice cakes.
  6. Add a tablespoon of gochujang and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add the vegetable stock and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Add the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Serve in a bowl and garnish with leeks and sesame seeds.
Calories per Serving 303
Total Fat 23.4 g
Saturated Fat 4.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 94.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 1.0 g
Sodium 410.1 mg
Protein 17.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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