Tteokbokki (also spelled ddeokbokki or topokki) is a popular Korean street food featuring tender, chewy rice cakes tossed in a spicy sauce made with gochujang, a fermented chili paste, and dried gochugaru chili powder. It can include various add-ins, like slices of fish cake, fresh cabbage, hard-boiled eggs, and steamed dumplings.
In Korea, a few styles of tteokbokki predate the spicy version, which became popular in the 1950s thanks to a Seoul street vendor named Ma Bok-rim. Personalize your tteokbokki with additional ingredients, or swap the spice for the salty, savory notes of soy sauce.
Ganjang (also spelled gungjung) tteokbokki is one of the oldest variations on the Korean dish, featuring a sweet and savory soy sauce-based glaze instead of red pepper paste.
Many homemade tteokbokki recipes include hard-boiled eggs for texture and a boost of protein. Add cooked, peeled eggs in the final moments of cooking to coat in sauce.
Transfer all of the crispy rice cakes into the cinnamon-sugar mixture you set aside and give it a toss until all of the rice cakes are evenly coated. Transfer to a plate, and you’ve got churro-inspired tteok.
For extra pizzazz, hit it with a generous pinch of flaky salt. Make a simple chocolate sauce to accompany your crispy-chewy rice cakes if you fancy. A plate of dessert tteok is best tucked into while still hot—it’s how you ensure you get peak ooey-gooey-chewy warmth in each bite.
"Rabokki,” a combination of the terms “ramyun” and “tteokbokki,” combines rice cakes with Korean instant ramen noodles (known as ramyun) for added texture and flavor.
In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar and set aside. Now for the rice cakes: For a snack-size portion, use about 1 cup of tteok, preferably the cylindrical ones. Heat up about 2 tsp. neutral oil (like vegetable or canola oil) in a large skillet, add your tteok, and cook each side of the rice cake until lightly charred, about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-low heat.