Update: Gungjung Tteokbokki (궁중 떡볶이)

In April I blogged about this dish as part of my focus on the royal cuisine of Korea. But at that point I hadn’t tried to make the dish yet. Now I have and I highly recommend it; it’s become a family favorite. If you remember that post, you know that today tteokbokki is known as a spicy rice cake dish that you can get from street vendors in Korea. But the original version, gungjung tteokbokki, that was served to the royal court was seasoned with soy sauce.

Just FYI, the first time I made this dish I tried the recipe on the link I provided in April. And while it tasted delicious, it seemed very time-consuming. So the next time I tried it, I used a variation of the recipe found in Quick and Easy Korean Cooking by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee. And it was quick and easy! The version she includes is the spicy version, but Lee notes that with a couple of adjustments you can make the non-spicy version. Here’s how I make it:

Ingredients
half bag (3/4 lb.) cylinder rice cakes (the bag I buy is 1.5 lb.)
4 sheets of fish cake, cut into strips
carrots, cut into match sticks
onion, sliced
green onions, chopped
any other vegetable you family likes (such as bean sprouts)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. mool yut (Korean malt syrup) or sugar

If rice cakes are frozen, soak in cold water for at least one hour. Heat canola oil in large skillet then add your vegetables, all except the green onion. Stir fry until veggies are tender. Add fish cake, rice cakes (drained), and all of your seasonings. (Note: The rice cakes will still be very hard when you put in them in pan. That’s OK. They’ll soften during cooking.) Stir fry about five minutes; check tenderness of rice cakes. If they haven’t soften, lower the temperature and cover to steam them a little. Once rice cakes are tender, add green onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds.

While this dish is often consumed as a snack in Korea, we make it as our main dish and eat it with rice and some dishes.

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