Tteokbokki (Vegetarian)

Updated: Apr 4


Tteokbokki is a classic Korean dish that now carries a heavy popular "pop" culture status in terms of trendy Asian foods to eat. Regardless of being classed as trendy, the dish itself is incredibly delicious and full of amazing textures and umami. Tteokbokki's main component are the rice cakes that are made from glutinous rice flour. You can buy these frozen from various oriental supermarkets, however, they are so simple to make from scratch and taste so much better than buying them frozen. For this recipe I wanted to make fresh Tteokbokki with a dashi/gochujang broth and finish that with some mozzarella. This dish will most definitely make you smile and i'm sure that you will love it!

Total Cook Time 1hr / Prep Time 1hr

To serve 3-4


Rice Cakes:

300g glutinous rice flour

170-180ml hot water

1 tsp salt

sesame oil to roll

Gochujang Broth:

2 garlic cloves

1 1/2 tbsp gochujang

2 tbsp fine korean chilli flakes

1 1/2 tbsp honey

1-2 tbsp light soy

800ml water

4 dry shitake mushrooms (dashi)

hand sized piece of kombu (dashi)

Additional Ingredients:


1/2 bunch spring onions

1-2 tbsp sesame seeds


Rice Cakes:

  1. Let's start this recipe by making the rice cakes, you will need to source some glutinous rice flour, most asian supermarkets should stock this. Depending on which brand you buy will possibly change the amount of boiling water added, although, this is more of an eyeball thing when making up the dough. Start by adding 300g of glutinous rice flour and 1 tsp of salt into a large mixing bowl then mix well. Next gradually add 170ml of boiling water whilst constantly mixing. When all of the water is added begin to knead the dough by hand to bring the dough to make 1 cohesive ball. We are looking for a rough dough that is neither too wet or too dry almost like a really dry mashed potato (refer to image below). If the dough does not come together at this point simply add additional boiling water.

2. Now to steam the dough, you can either add the dough to a steamer and steam for 30-40 minutes or use a microwave. For this recipe I simply added to a steamer then steamed for 30 minutes on a high heat. When the dough becomes soft and slightly translucent remove the dough then place onto a work top generously coated in sesame oil to prevent the dough from sticking. Take care when removing the dough as the dough will be extremely hot.

3. To make the dough much more pliable at this stage we now want to begin to pound the dough using either a pestle, tenderiser or rolling pin. Pound the dough for 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough starts to become smooth and elastic. As the dough begins to cool you can also start to kneed by hand to make speed up the process. The more time spent into pounding the dough at this point will offer a more elastic and better textured rice cake. When the dough is ready roll back into a ball then cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and we can now begin to roll out the dough.

4. Now using your palm lightly roll each piece of dough into a cylinder approximately the size of a fat cigar. Roll each "cigar" as evenly as possible using both hands until we have long cylinders of dough that are approximately 1/2 an inch in diameter. Repeat this process until all of the dough is rolled out into equal sized cylinders. When rolled cut each cylinder of dough into approximately 2 inch pieces. When all of the dough is cut drizzle the rice cakes with sesame oil and place onto a tray to one side and we now have our rice cakes.

Gochujang Broth:

5. For the next component of this recipe we want to make up the gochujang broth. To add umami to the broth we want the base to be made up of a simple dashi stock. Start by adding a hand sized piece of kombu and 4 dried shitake mushrooms to a small saucepan with 800ml of cold water. Place onto a medium to low heat and slowly bring the stock up to a gentle simmer. We don't want to bring the stock up to a boil as it may become bitter. Slowly simmer the stock for 5 minutes to infuse then when ready remove the kombu and shiitakes and to the dashi we can now add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 1/2 tbsp of gochujang, 1 1/2 tbsp of honey, 1-2 tbsp of light soy and 2 tbsp of gochugaru (fine korean chilli flakes). Mix well to encorporate the gochujang into the broth then allow to gradually reduce and intensify.

6. Now to begin to bring everything together, start by adding a drizzle of cooking oil to a large frying pan then add the rice cakes and fry on a high heat until crispy golden brown. For some bizarre reason the rice cakes take some time to get golden brown as they tend to dehydrate first before they start to fry. When evenly golden we can incorporate the broth.

Additional Ingredients:

7. Just before we begin to finish the dish, prepare a few additional ingredients to serve by tearing up some mozzarella, slicing some spring onions and setting some toasted sesame seeds to one side. We will utilise these to finish the dish at the very end.

8. To bring the dish together add the gochujang broth to to the rice cakes and begin to reduce the broth. Add a drizzle of sesame oil to prevent the rice cakes from sticking together then continue to reduce. We are looking for a reduced sticky sauce that coats the rice cakes nicely. When ready scatter some mozzarella around the rice cakes and continue to cook until the mozzarella melts then when ready we are good to serve.

9. To serve simply top the dish with some toasted sesame seeds, fresh spring onions and an extra drizzle of sesame oil and nourish...hope fun making rice cakes and I hope you enjoyed this recipe...

Additional Notes:

When making up the dough for the rice cakes, add the water gradually as each brand of rice flour will require different amounts of boiling water. If spicy food really isn't your thing then add just 1 tsp of the gochujang opposed to 1 1/2 tbsps. For the broth instead of reducing and coating the rice cakes you could treat this dish as if it were a ramen by keeping a thin broth and adding ramen noodles and various other toppings. Have fun with this recipe and peace as always!

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