|My version of Tteokbokki (Korean Rice Cakes in Sweet & Spicy Sauce)|
Of late, I've really been bitten by the Korean/Hallyu bug. First it started with a few innocent and curious views of Korean movies. Then it slowly moved into interesting Korean Variety shows; mainly Running Man. Then Korean K-Pop music. And finally this odd crave of Korean food. And the one thing that I was craving the most was Tteokbokki.
I've heard of this rice cake dish before but have not seen it until it's repeated introduction/promotion on the Running Man TV show. A popular Korean snack food that is just mainly rice cakes cooked in gochuchang sauce along with fish cakes. So far I've tried twice locally from 2 different Korean chefs and I loved it!
|Kim Chi, Pre-made Gochuchang sauce and Rice Cakes. Korean Grocery shopping damages.|
So when I discovered the Korean supermarkets at Sri Hartamas, I told myself I gotta try making them myself. Honestly, I went ballistic with the groceries and giving my best asking for advise in my broken Korean language. Fortunately, the Korean store owners were very helpful and we basically understood each other with limited Korean and English combined.
Basically the most important thing you need is the rice cakes itself. A good moderate size of 20 pieces is good enough to serve for 2. Though they are many shapes and sizes for rice cakes, a moderate size one is usually the one to go for; as it's easier and faster to cook.
Throw the rice cakes into the pan of boiling water and bring it to boil. Not much water is needed as it will later be used to reduced into the sauce. No salt is required. I added sliced mushroom for the little extra and a little olive oil. While boiling, constantly stir the rice cakes so it wouldn't stick onto the pan.
Then add on chopped onions and garlic into the mix. The next most important ingredient is the gochuchang sauce itself. I've bought the ready-made sweet & spicy mix and added a bit of my own flavour by adding in Thai Chili sauce and dried herbs.
Just heat up the stove a bit more, constantly stir it and cooked until the sauce is reduced to own liking.
Tteokbokki is served best immediately and hot. Sprinkle it with toasted sesame seeds for the finishing touch. I also added in the kim chi for the extra Korean finishing. Save to say, I made a pretty close Tteokbokki resemblances from the ones I tried from real Korean chefs. Perhaps next round I should try experimenting with my own version of sauces or further study the use of pure gochuchang sauce.
|The finish product.|