Three years ago, I started to eat Korean food. Ever since then, Korean food has undoubtedly become my favorite food of all time. Because I like to eat spicy and enjoy the soft and chewy texture, it wouldn’t be surprising that Tteokbokki is at the top of the list of Korean dishes that I enjoy eating the most. Not to mention that it was also the very first Korean dish that I ever tried. One day, out of curiosity, I decided to try my hand at making it by looking up the recipe online. Surprisingly, the results were quite good, which is why, I would like to share and take everyone through the steps of making it.
Before preceding any further, what exactly is Tteokbokki? Tteokbokki is a very well known and popular spicy Korean street food. It can be made with inexpensive ingredients, which include rice cakes, fish cakes, hard-boiled eggs, cabbage and red pepper paste. However, depending on one’s personal preference, many more ingredients may be added to the dish. In fact, there exist many variations of this dish. For instance, there are cheese Tteokbokki, soy sauce seasoned Tteokbokki, Rabokki, which is short for the combination of ramen noodles and Tteokbokki, etc.
Keeping that in mind, let us now begin with the cooking process. First of all, obtain about twenty to twenty five pieces of frozen rice cake and soak them in a bowl of cold water in order to allow them to soften while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. In the mean time, boil two eggs, chop one-cup worth of cabbage and cut the fish cakes diagonally into strips that are around two inches long and one inch wide. Next, carefully prepare the sauce since it is the highlight of this dish. To do so, obtain exactly two tablespoons of red pepper paste, half a tablespoon of red pepper powder, one tablespoon of sugar, half a tablespoon of soy sauce as well as half a tablespoon of chopped garlic, and mix all the ingredients together by putting them in a small separate bowl. Then, rinse the rice cakes three times with cold water. In a large pan, add one and a half cups of cold water along with the sauce you just prepared and cook on high settings until the whole begins to boil. Once the mixture has come to its boiling point, which not only represents the temperature at which liquid turns into vapor but also marks the temperature at which the vapor pressure is equal to the external pressure surrounding the liquid, put in the rice cakes and fish cakes and let the whole boil again until the rice cakes become soft and tender. After that, add the chopped cabbage and continue to cook on high heat so that the broth turns into a thick sauce. It is only then that the dish is ready to be served and the hard-boiled eggs can be added.
Finally, it should be noted that both the frozen rice cakes and the red pepper paste contain a low percentage of alcohol in them. To be more precise, they both contain ethanol. The reason why that is so is because both underwent yeast fermentation, which is also known as alcohol fermentation. During this type of fermentation, glucose is used with or without oxygen to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide. In a lot of cases, instead of using synthetic additives to prolong the shelf life of some products, ethanol is often used as a preservative because one of the advantageous properties of alcohol is the ability to be volatile. This means that the alcohol will eventually evaporate during the heating process. Therefore, there is nothing much to worry about. With that being said, if you ever decide to make Tteokbokki using the recipe I just provided you with, definitely let me know how everything turned out. I hope you’ll enjoy this dish as much as do.