Saucy Korean Rice Cakes

24 May

Most cravings have been easily satisfied by local restaurants with contactless curbside carry out with one exception: Korean BBQ.

With summer newly arrived, I’m sure galbi will be on the menu shortly. And we’ve got nothing but time on our hands and chefs sharing their tips in online videos, so why not make my own banchan, too?

Most recently, I was struck with a craving for the soft and chewy rice cakes and grabbed a bag from the Asian market last week along with a trio of smaller size gochujang sauces that’ll be great for my infrequent Korean cooking.

I scoured the interwebs for “easy rice cake recipe” and found many variations of the street snack, also known as tteokbokki, ddukbokki, ddeokbokki, or dukbokki. My impulse buy left me at home in quarantine with limited ingredients, so I improvised with what I had on hand. The result is a Vietnamese – Korean blend of this dish that I’m quite proud of.

Bowl of Korean rice cakes in pepper sauce with bok choy, shrimp, and cheese
Easy, comforting bowl of chewy goodness

Stir-fried Rice Cakes

  • 1 cup small rice cakes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TB fish sauce
  • 1 TB dried shrimp
  • 2 TB gochujang paste
  • 2 TB soy sauce
  • 2 TB sugar (I split white and brown)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Scallions
  • Optional: other veggies, seafood, cheese

If buying store bought, vacuum-packed rice cakes, cover them in water and soak for about 10 minutes.

Get the broth going by adding everything except the scallions and fresh vegetables. I have woodear mushrooms in the pantry and tossed some in at the beginning with the dried shrimp.

Other recipes used anchovy broth, kelp and other ingredients I don’t have on hand, and replaced with what I had (including the fish sauce, which I didn’t see in other recipes).

Once the broth is boiling, add the rice cakes and reduce to a light simmer, cooking for 10 minutes.

Add in additional vegetables you have on hand and cook until soft. Traditional calls for scallions, cabbage, fish cake, and kimchi. I added scallions and bok choy, and garnished with shrimp and fresh pickled ramp bulbs received from Number One Sons and The Farm at Sunnyside home delivery last week.

We’ve got lasagna on the menu, and I dipped into the mozzarella stash and melted some on top of mine (Anh doesn’t like cheese), which made for some fantastic cheese pulls and balanced flavors to the spicy-sweet broth.

Best served with an ice cold beer and children who are napping 😁

These ended up more saucey and left was plenty of delicious leftover broth that I saved for round two tomorrow.

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