Spicy Rice Cake, DdukBokGi (Ddukbokkie)
DdukBokGi is probably the most popular street food in Korea. I still remember the joy of eating ddukbokgi on the way home almost everyday in my elementary school years. Ddukbokgi is also widely enjoyed at home as a snack or a party dish. Good ddukbokgi depends on the quality of dduk (rice cake) and the flavor of gochujang (hot pepper paste).
For gochujang I recommend Seriously Korean Gochujang or Wholly Gochujang which are made by Artisan Kang who has dedicated two decades of his life in the art of fermentation. These gochujang are also completely chemical-free and gluten-free.
Many people have asked me why their ddukbokgi doesn’t taste as good. Most of the time the reason was that plain water was used to make the ddukbokgi sauce instead of instead of broth. Anchovy broth is best for ddukbokgi but you can use beef or chicken stock if you cannot access anchovies. Some famous ddukbokgi franchises in Korea use secret ingredients like crab for a deeper and more distinct flavor of the broth. For vegetarians, you can use a few pieces of kelp for the broth.
Don’t forget to check out the non-spicy version called “Goong-joong Ddukbokgi" which is also delicious!
You can buy DdukBokGi ingredients online here.
|1 lb 2 oz||Sticky Rice Cake Tube, Garaeddeok 가래떡|
|7 oz||Fishcake, Eomuk or Odeng 어묵(오뎅) (traditional ddukbokgi always includes fish cake but you can omit if you don’t have access)|
|10||Anchovy (dried) 멸치|
|1||Onion (Medium) 양파|
|6||Green Onion 파|
|4 cups||Water 물|
|6 tbs||Gochujang (Hot Pepper Paste) 고추장(use less for medium/mild spiciness)|
|6 tbs||Sugar 설탕 (can use less)|
|2||Egg 계란 (optional)|
|½||Instant Noodle 라면(optional)|
|1 tsp||Sesame Seeds 깨(optional)|
|2 tsp||Gochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루(optional if you want to make it extra spicy. Use fine powder if you can.)|
|2 piece(s)||Kelp (dried, 2" X 2" or 5 cm x 5 cm) 다시마 (optional for deeper flavor of the broth)|
Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Sesame seeds, instant noodle and eggs can be omitted.
Anchovy: Traditionally anchovy is used for the base stock but you can substitute with beef or chicken broth.
Glass noodles: You can also add glass noodles. Pre-cook glass noodles in boiling water until soft. Rinse in cold water and drain. Add it to the dish toward the end of the cooking process.
For non-spicy version, omit soy sauce instead.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.
1. Soak rice cake (optional)
If the rice cake is frozen, soak it in cold water for at least 30 minutes. You can use frozen ones as they are but you will have to separate each tube in the pan once it gets soft in the pan. Soaking is not necessary for fresh-made (soft) rice cake. The rice cake tubes come all stuck together. Separate them before cooking since it is harder to do it in the pan. Cut the rice cake into 4-5 inch lengths.
Soak rice cake (optional)
Cut into 4-5”
2. Make Anchovy stock
Add 4 cups of cold water in a sauce pan. Place anchovies in an anchovy net (or a tea bag) and place it in the water. You can also add 1 or 2 pieces of kelp for deeper flavor. Bring it to boil and keep boiling for 10 minutes on medium heat with a lid on. Remove anchovies from the broth. If the anchovy broth doesn’t seem to be rich enough, you can leave the anchovy net while cooking rice cake with seasoning. But, if you leave it too long, it can give a little bit of bitter taste.
Anchovies in a net
4 cups cold water
Bring to boil
Boil for 10 min
3. hard boil eggs
OPTIONAL: Place 2 eggs (or more as you desire) in a pot of water so that they are at least half immersed in the water. Boil for 15 minutes. Cool them in cold water and peel off the shells.
Hard boil eggs
Cool in cold water
4. Cut ingredients
Cut fish cake into bite size triangles. Slice an onion. Cut 3 green onions into 2-3 inches length.
Cut fish cake
5. Add ingredients
Add rice cakes into the anchovy stock. Add 6 tablespoons of gochujang (hot pepper paste). Add less if your tolerance to spicy food is low. (if you are adding less gochujang, add a little bit of soy sauce for saltiness.) Add 6 tablespoons of sugar, fish cake, onions and green onions. If you want it to be extra spicy, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of fine gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes or powder).
Boil on medium heat for 15 minutes without a lid. Stir once in a while so the rice cake doesn’t stick to the bottom. If there is not enough water, add a little bit of water. Add instant noodles (optional), hard-boiled eggs (optional) and cook on low heat for another 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone and the sauce becomes very thick.
Boil no lid
Med Heat 15 min
Boil no lid
Low Heat 5 min
Serve on a plate and garnish with sesame seeds (optional).
Garnish sesame seeds