Gungjung Tteokbokki, New and Improved

So awhile back I posted a recipe for gungjung tteokbokki (궁중떡볶이), which is a favorite in our house. Gungjung tteokbokki is the palace version of this dish, which is now more famous for being spicy than savory. Spicy isn’t tolerated so well in our house yet (our son’s only 5) so this non-spicy works great for us. And the original recipe I’ve used for more than a year was good enough until a month or so ago the PTA at our Korean school made the dish. Suddenly my gungjung tteokbokki paled in comparison.

In fact, their version was soooooo good that I asked the PTA president for the recipe. As expected, I received this description “put a little oil, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil in a pan…”–aren’t Korean cooks famous for winging it (or maybe that’s just great cooks in general). So while my cooking has improved immensely in the last few years, I’m still not really comfortable making a new recipe without knowing the amounts to use. But at least now I knew what ingredients I should be looking for in a recipe.

A few nights ago, I finally had the opportunity to try a version of the PTA’s gungjung tteokbokki. I based my recipe off this video from the Jeonju University food service department,, but as usual I tweaked it some. Mainly I tripled the recipe from what is on the video. They use only 20 pieces of tteok (rice cake); I used a 2 pound bag. But I didn’t triple the sugar because they just seemed like too much. My version is listed below.

I cooked this while the kids were at taekwondo and when they came home they were amazed by the smell. Then I think these two kids ended up eating at least a pound of the tteok all by themselves. I was hailed as a great cook, as good as our exchange student’s grandmother (which I doubt, but it was sweet of her to say). I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.

Gungjung Tteokbokki, 2 Thumbs Up Version
In a large bowl mix:
9 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. garlic, minced
3 tsp. sesame oil
pinch of pepper
pinch of sesame seeds
1 1/2 c. water
Stir together well; add in tteok, stir until well coated. Let sit for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together:
1 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce
1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 Tbs. garlic
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
pinch of both pepper and sesame seeds
1/4 c. water
Stir until mixed together well, then add 1/2 pound to 1 pound of ground beef (what I used) or sirloin strips, thinly sliced. Again, mix up until meat is well coated. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.

Slice one medium carrot, 1/2 large onion, and two green onions.

Once meat has marinated for at least 1o minutes, add meat and its sauce to a preheated pan. Once it’s begins to boil, add in carrot, onion, tteok, and sauce tteok has been in. Boil, covered, until tteok are soft and liquid is reduced by about half. Add green onions and cook for another minute or so.


2 pound bag tteok, cylinder shaped


2 thoughts on “Gungjung Tteokbokki, New and Improved

  1. I made this today, but I only had chicken ><. BUT, I will buy more Ddeok soon and try it with beef. But the recipe turned out well and my picky sister enjoyed it! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s