‘Tteokbokki‘ – Spicy Korean rice cakes with 7 minute eggs

Spicy rice cake, known as ‘Tteokbokki’ is an ultimate Korean street food. Every single one of us grew up eating this and it was the very first dish I ever cooked at home using my little brother as a taste tester. It is still extremely popular anywhere in Korea, where we have countless little joints, street vendors and even one of the streets of Seoul named after it (guess what kind of restaurants you can find there 😉 ). And if you are a foodie planning a trip to Seoul, this area is worth stopping by.

Back to the dish, as this being the national street food, there are so many versions of it and I have cooked in many different ways myself. Recipe I am sharing today is definitely one of my favorite. The simplest version of this dish would only require fermented Korean red chili paste, red chili powder, corn syrup or sugar and garlic with a little bit of water for the sauce. And eggs are usually hard-boiled. It is still delicious and satisfying made this way. But my recipe has a few additional ingredients such as fermented black bean sauce and oyster sauce for more depth of flavor and mild red chilies for freshness. And final addition of soft boiled eggs with rich runny egg yolk makes this dish a true heaven :-). I think you should try and see it for yourself.

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  • Prep time: 10mins
  • Cooking time: 13-15mins
  • Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 400g. Korean rice cakes, preferably not frozen
  • 3 tbsp. gochujang (fermented Korean red chili paste)
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. fermented black bean sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsp. gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3 cloves. garlic, crushed
  • 2 cup. water
  • 120g. white or brown onion, chopped bite size
  • 150g. white cabbage, chopped bite size
  • 100g. leek, chopped 1 inch length
  • 2 red chilies, chopped 1cm length
  • 2 large eggs

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Place rice cakes in room temperature water and set aside. If you are using frozen ones, boil them until they are just about to get soft but still springy. Mix gochujang, oyster sauce, fermented black bean sauce, gochugaru, sugar, garlic and water. Add the mixture in at least 3 inch deep pan, and bring it to a boil. Drain the rice cakes and add them in a pan with chopped onion and cabbage. Let it simmer in medium high heat for 8-9 minutes. There is no oil in the pan so make sure to stir well while simmering and prepare leek and chillies.

In another pan, boil enough water to cover two eggs completely. Gently place the eggs, and cook for 7 minutes. You are looking for runny yolk with delicate but fully cooked white. In my experience, the key here is to use the freshest eggs you could possibly get. After 7 minutes, take them off the heat and put them in a cold water for a few minutes to stop the cooking process. Gently peel when they are cool enough and set aside.

When the rice cakes and sauce have been simmered for 8-9 minutes, add in chopped leek with chillies and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Most of the sauce should have been absorbed and slightly caramelly. I like my rice cakes to have a bit of bite, but if you want softer rice cakes, cook for another few minutes until they reach the texture you like. You might need to add a little more water if there isn’t enough sauce to cook with. (There is nothing wrong with mushy rice cake, my dad always eats them that way). Remember to stir well  and make sure to leave some sauce for runny yolk to get mixed in later. Take them off the heat and serve with eggs. 

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