Tuesday, 24 June 2008

K-popped Kitchen: Spicy Ddeokbokki

After weeks of searching, I finally found rice cakes at the supermarket in the fresh noodle section. D’oh. I wonder why it didn’t occur to me to look there before. For my friends back home, check out the Korean mart for rice cakes.

Korean rice cake and the Chinese nian gao (New Year cake) are actually the same thing. However, in Malaysia nian gao is quite different. Malaysian nian gao is brown in colour, extremely sweet and sticky and often served dusted with grated coconut during Chinese New Year.

Okay! So, I've got my rice cakes. Let's make Ddeokbokki! There are many ways to prepare this humble lump of rice flour – you can stir-fry it, put it in soup or even make Ddeokbokki skewers and grill it on the barbeque! Today, I made Spicy Ddeokbokki. My recipe’s all vegetarian, but you can use dried anchovies instead of kelp for a sweeter stock.

Step 1: Ingredients!

Uh oh. Looks like the resident beggar showed up.

  • About 15-20 rice cake sticks
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of gochujang
  • 6 dried kelp knots soaked in water or a small handful of cleaned dried anchovies (ikan bilis)
  • 3 stalks of green onion cut into 5cm strips
  • 2 bowls of water
  • sugar to taste

Step 2: Make a simple stock!

In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a simmer. Add kelp knots (or anchovies) and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: All in the pan!

If you’re using anchovies, remove them from the stock then add the gochujang. Mix until gochujang is well dissolved then add rice cakes. Stir while simmering. The sauce will thicken as the rice cakes cook.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Season with sugar, if you like it sweet, and add green onion. Stir for a few seconds, turn off heat and serve.

Step 4: Eat!

Quick and easy, huh? It’s as easy as making instant ramyeon!

More K-popped Kitchen!
Mu Saengchae
Every Day Bibimbap
Su jeong gwa (Persimmon Tea)
Tuna Kimbap
Kimchi Jjigae


jehan said...

oh, yummy! i remember this is the third dish my korean husband cooked for me when we were still engaged... he would always come to our house with plastic bags and tell and show me how to cook korean dishes so i could easily learn and adjust when i go live with him already in korea..

meiruo_chan said...

look yummy...it's been a long time since rooster posted up thing in kpopped kitchen. Thanks rooster. definitely try it later!

Orchid said...

is kelp the same as seaweed?

Lyka said...

something must be wrong with me.. no matter how i tried, i've never really liked korean food.. help!

Coro said...

Easy. Thanks for the recipe, but where can we look for 'gochujang' (what is this actually..)..

Rooster said...

Orchid: Yes, kelp is seaweed. It's the big tall ones you usually see in marine photography.

lyka: Ha ha, that's ok. To tell you the truth, it's not my most favourite cuisine either, but adding a dish or 2 to your dining table just adds some diversity. :)

coro: You can get gochujang at the Korean mart. It's fermented hot pepper paste and is used in many Korean dishes to give it that signature spiciness. Check out Orchid's Everyday Bibimbap recipe.

meiruo: Thanks Meiruo. Yea, it has been a while, hasn't it? I think I'll have to make more Ddeokbokki recipes. I still have 1/2 packet of Ddeok left!

jehan said...

@ orchid

kelp are large seaweeds... but compared to the korean dried (lavered) seaweeds, kelp have stronger taste, i find them itchy to the tongue actually so i dont fancy kelp that much...


have you tried korean ice cream or their dried (lavered) seaweeds? my aunt who really hates korean dishes came to love them when i let her taste koran ice cream and bought her dried sea weeds she wraps with her rice...

@ coro

gochujang is a spicy red pepper paste (in red containers or white tubes) which you can actually see in korean grocery stores and in supermarkets offering international goods.

Rooster said...

Actually, what does Ddeokbokki mean? I know Ddeok is the rice cake(is it?), but what's bokki(볶이)?

oh-stargloss said...

Here in England, they sell them as small rectangles :). Another delicious way my mum cooks it for me is frying it with vegetables/sour "choi" and meet...the sauce comes from the amount fo water you add because it's all flavour. That's out chinese way lol ;)
I think I'll try this as well.
Also, it's great with kimchi...korean people have "spicy rice cakes" with a kimchi based sauce.
AAH I'm hungry! Your dish looks wonderful

オリビア由美 said...

Oh my thank you soooooooooo much for this!! I just discovered this dish recently, and I love it!!! But now i can make it myself!! YAY

Orchid said...

@Rooster, please make this when we go and visit you. :-)

Tofu said...

I made this. I was good but I added ham to it.

jaayx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaayx said...

Thanks, it's a lot easier then the other way that I've tried. I prefer it spicy & savoury though, or with ramen like those dishes in korean restaurants! (=

The rice cake is actually a Shanghai-nese dish as well, similar to Korean rice cake but it's stirred fried with either vegetables/salted vegetables.

(Sorry, deleted the previous post due to sentence error)

Anonymous said...


i found this quite detail in everything. and with video showing the process of cooking.

Andrew Thomas said...

"Bokki" means panfried, or stirfried--so when you make ddeokbokki, you're making panfried ricecakesssss


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