The perfect chilly winter night treat, the very delicious Korean favorite, hot and spicy Tteokbokki is as warm and cozy as it gets.
A very generous meal for two; great as a snack for three, perhaps four.
Quick and easy, these spicy rice cakes take no more than 30-40 minutes from start to finish.
1 cup of water; another 1/4 to 1/2 a cup if needed
1 big sheet of kelp (dashima) to flavor the stock
1 tbsp of fish sauce
2 level tbsp of Gochujang (Korean red chilli paste)
1 tbsp of sugar
.5 to 1 tsp of mild/hot chilli powder; feel free to adjust to taste. You can also use 1 tsp of chilli flakes. Work with what suits you best 🙂
200 grams of fresh or frozen cylindrical rice cakes; do thaw frozen rice cakes thoroughly before cooking
150 grams of fish balls, thawed thoroughly if using frozen
2-3 green onions, sliced
2 hard boiled eggs
For the stir fry:
2 tbsp of any flavourless oil such as canola or vegetable
1 inch piece of ginger, julienned
2 gloves of garlic, sliced finely
The sheet of kelp preserved from the stock, chiffonaded
100 grams of onion, sliced finely
2 inch piece of pickled bamboo shoot, julienned; this ingredient should be available in Asian grocery stores. Alternatively, add a tbsp of any kind of vinegar instead; the flavour of the stir-fry is be different but it will be just as delicious.
A pinch of salt, adjust to taste. Do remember to account for the kelp and the bamboo shoot which add a savory note to the dish.
100 grams of washed and thoroughly drained gem lettuce, sliced
A drop or two of sesame oil
Place a deep pot on high heat, add the water, the sheet of kelp and the fish sauce and bring it all to a boil.
After about 8 minutes, fish out the kelp and set it aside.
Add the Gochujang, sugar and chilli powder/ chilli flakes and stir to combine well.
Now add in the the rice cakes, reduce the temperature to medium and stir very gently every minute or so and let it boil for about 8 minutes.
As the liquid starts to evaporate and the sauce starts to thicken, stir thoroughly and yet very gently to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Add in the fish balls and half of the spring onions and give it all a gentle stir. If the sauce thickens too quickly, add a little water (1/4 cup or so) and stir gently.
Put the lid on and let it cook in medium for 8 minutes.
Now, add the boiled eggs and stir gently to coat the eggs with the sauce.
Now, let it cook for 2-4 minutes or until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency.
Throw in the remaining slices of green onions and stir to combine.
Meanwhile, place a wide pan in high and add the oil.
When the oil is hot enough to fry, add the kelp, ginger and garlic and reduce the heat to medium.
Let it fry for 5 minutes. Do not stir constantly. You want the ingredients to crisp up and caramelise a little.
Now, add the sliced onions, salt and the bamboo shoot, give everything a quick stir, spread it all out in a single layer and let it cook for another 5-8 minutes until the oil starts to separate.
Now, increase the temperature to high, add the sliced lettuce, toss everything well until combined.
After about 20 seconds, pour in a couple of drops of sesame oil and toss to combine.
Quickly transfer the stir-fry onto a plate as leaving the lettuce in the hot pan for longer will turn it soggy.
Now, serve yourself some stir-fry and some hot and spicy rice cakes and enjoy !!