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Monday, May 25, 2020

Tteokbokki, Korean Sweet and Spicy Rice Cake "Stir Fry" Recipe, Gluten Free, Vegan Option, Refined Sugar Free Option, Allergy Friendly


My last post here was about how I make homemade Korean rice cakes, called tteok, which have the texture of big chewy noodles. There are many different ways to use this tteok, but I have to say that this way, made into tteokbokki (pronounced dokbokki), by far, is my favorite way. Though it is called a stir fry, I wrote that in quotation marks because there is really no stir frying here at all. You end up with yummy chewy rice cakes, either in cylinders or medalions, in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce. 

There are many types of tteokbokki, but the sweet and spicy version is the most popular, and is commonly eaten as street food in Korea. Though the recipe I based mine off of uses gochujang, Korean chili paste, I don't have that, and honestly, my family  doesn't like things super spicy, so it works just fine with sriracha instead, though it doesn't have the characteristic red color you'll usually see in the spicy tteokbokki. 

I usually make mine vegan, though with fish cakes (here's how I make mine from scratch) is traditional. Tteokbokki often is made with soup stock, and I've made it with a variety of different types of stock, but lately I've just been making my stock by simmering up some dried shitake mushrooms in salted water, and then slicing up and adding the mushrooms to the final dish. This recipe is allergy friendly, and when made without fish and with coconut aminos is free from the top 8 allergens.

My tteokbokki recipe has been a hit with everyone who's tasted it (quite a few people by now), so I'm sure you'll love it as much as we all do.

TteokBokki, Korean Sweet and Spicy Rice Cake "Stir Fry" Recipe, Gluten Free, Vegan Option, Refined Sugar Free Option, Allergy Friendly

Ingredients:
4 garaetteok rice cakes, homemade or store bought
3 1/2 cups broth, OR 3 1/2 cups water, 5-6 dried shitake mushrooms, and salt to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 teaspoons sugar or other sweetener like jaggery syrup (or to taste)
1 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
2-3 eomuk, Korean fish cakes, homemade or store bought (optional)
2 teaspoons corn, potato, or tapioca starch (optional)
Scallions (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions:
1. If using prepared broth, skip this step. Otherwise, boil dried shitake mushrooms in water with a bit of salt until the water has a mushroomy taste and the mushrooms are soft. This can be approximately 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the water, chop up, and return to the pot.

2. Add the garlic powder, soy sauce or coconut aminos, sweetener, and sriracha, and adjust to taste. Bring to a simmer.

3. Cut your rice cakes into 2-3 inch cylinders (or medalions), put them in the sauce, and bring to a boil. Simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes, possibly longer, depending on whether or not your garaetteok were freshly homemade or frozen/somewhat dryer for whatever reason. Taste one rice cake, see if its soft and chewy and a texture you enjoy, and if not, let it simmer a little longer. Be careful not to overcook the rice cakes or they'll be mushy and start to fall apart.
If using fish cakes, chop them up and add them at the same time as the rice cakes.

4. Remove some of the sauce from the tteokbokki, let it cool a bit, and mix in the starch to the cooled sauce, to make a slurry, then add it back to the pot, mix it in, and heat up until thickened. If you want it thicker, feel free to use more starch.

Here's one version of tteokbokki I made with sliced rice cakes instead of leaving them in cylinders; I prefer the cylinder version.
5. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds before serving.

Enjoy!

Have you ever had tteokbokki? Homemade or store bought? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? If you make this, do you think you'd make this the vegan or non vegan version? What is your favorite way to have Korean rice cakes?

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