12 Mar 2015

떡볶이 주세요 ! "Please give me tteokbokki!"

There was a time back in high school when I was obsessed with K-Pop. If you don't know what K-pop is, I assume that you've been living under a rock. Basically K-pop itself derives from Korean pop and it was my jam back in the days. 
It's embarrassing to think about it today, but I regret nothing!

If it's not because of K-pop, I will not be eating any Korean food by now. Korean food used to be so foreign to me. But not anymore! Thanks to that phase in my life, now Korean food has become one of my favourite food of all time! 
I'm not sure whether it's the bold and strong flavours of the dishes, the uniqueness of the ingredients, or the spiciness, it just suits my palate really well. I love Korean BBQ, their soups, side dishes (banchan) and of course their street food. 

One of my favourite Korean street food is tteokbokki. It's a sticky and spicy rice cake dish that comes with fishcakes and sometimes-even ramyun. This dish has a great chewiness from the rice cakes and also a daring firey red look from the special Korean pepper paste called gochujang. So delicious to be eaten hot on a rainy day!

I always go to Maangchi's website whenever I feel like making a Korean dish. I have done several of her dishes in the past, and they were really tasty. This lady is a great cook! She has a killer knife skill, she knows her food well, and such a joy to watch :) Subscribe to her Youtube channel for more Korean food goodness!

Back to my tteokbokki, 
I did a some changes to the original recipe that Maangchi posted on her website. Usually, tteokbokki uses the cylinder shaped rice cakes (tteok) but I have the coin shaped ones in my freezer so I used that one instead. 
In Maangchi's recipe, it calls for an anchovy and kelp broth, but I couldn't find kelp nor anchovy (more like, we have tons of anchovy varieties in Indonesia, I didn't know which one is the right one) so I opted for the good old chicken stock powder. Please make sure that you don't put TOO much / if you're using the liquid stock, use the less sodium one. If not, you'll end up trying so hard to fix the saltiness ! - I actually put 2 tbsp of the chicken stock powder to my water and I ended up throwing the water away and start all over again with only 1 tbsp of the powder added. 




Bubbling, hot, spicy and loaded with goodness!
Tteokbokki
Adapted from Maangchi
Makes 8-10 portions

Ingredients:
  • 450 gr coin shaped rice cake (tteok)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp chicken /vegetable stock powder 
  • 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp hot pepper flakes 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 long green onions, cut into 3-inch long pieces
  • 250 gr assorted fishcakes 
1. In a large pan /pot (I prefer non stick), add water and the stock powder. Stir and let it boil for 6-7 minutes
2. In a small bowl, combine gochujang, hot pepper flakes, sugar and minced garlic. Set aside
3. When the water is boiling, add in the rice cakes, gochujang mixture, green onions, and fishcakes. 
4. Stir continuously, let it boil until the sauce is reduced and thickened and the rice cakes are soft (approximately 10-15 minutes)
5. Serve immediately


This recipe yields a huge portion. It's perfect for a get together. But remember, this dish is best served immediately when it's still hot! Do not reheat this dish with a microwave, it'll dry out badly and your rice cakes will get tough :(
The best thing you can do is to reheat it in a small pan and add some water to prevent it from drying out. 


YES. I finally got my tteokbokki fix. 
How I miss pigging out to Korean food with my friend, Pinka back in Melbourne. 


What else should I make next week?



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