Saturday, 10 November 2012

Ddeokbokki (Korean Rice Cakes in Spicy Sauce) [Recipe]

Can't believe it's this easy.
Ddeokbooki, Korean rice cakes in spicy sauce

The first time I saw the recipe, I thought: 'there's no way I can go through these steps'. Because as you know, I don't cook complicated.

Ddeokbokki (떡볶이), which is often roughly translated as Korean rice cakes in spicy sauce, is one of my real-food idols. It's simple, tasty, and never fails to bring smile on my face. I made an effort to make some using an instant package, but it isn't as satisfying. So thanks to Tina from Taste Food Tour, I finally get an easy recipe for this popular Korean street food. Guess what, I'll share it to the world!


Ddeokbokki (Korean rice cakes in spicy sauce)
Recipe from Tina - Taste Food Tour
(simplified and tweaked a little bit)

  • 750g ddeok (rice cakes; log-shaped and white in colour)
  • 5 tbsp gochujang (fermented chilli paste)
  • 150g odeng (Korean fish cakes, very thin about 2mm)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp canola oil/vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 med carrots
  • 2 shallots
  • 3.5 cup chicken stock (about 600ml water with chicken stock powder will do too)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • some sesame seeds for garnish


1. Prepare the ddeok (rice cakes). If bought frozen, defrost overnight. Put them on a sieve, and the separate and 'rinse' them of excess starch, using hot water. If they're too hard, blanch them.

2. Peel and slice onion, carrot, shallots, and garlic.

3. Slice the odeng (fish cakes) into preferred shape, bite size will do.

4. In a wok or deep non-stick frying pan heat the sesame and vegetable oil. Add the carrots, onions and garlic and stir fry over medium heat until lightly browned. Add in the chicken stock (or water and chicken stock cube), the sugar and the gochujang and stir until gochujang is dissolved. Add the ddeok
and the fish cakes and allow to come back to the boil over medium-high heat.

5. Stir the ddeokbokki continuously; the mixture is prone to sticking.

6. When the mixture is heated thoroughly and has a chance to boil for about 3-4 mins, add the shallots, continue to cook until they are wilted.

7. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped shallots; serve hot.

Some tips from Tina:

Find the rice cakes ddeok  at the front counter of Korean shops or in the freezer section. The fresh yields a better result. Look for ones that are quite soft and with no black spots. Store at room temperature until use- best to use the first or second day you buy it. If intending to use in three days, store in the fridge. If concerned about spiciness, use less gochujang chilli paste at the start and add more to taste. Also, when buying gochujang look on the label for the level of spiciness. This recipe is for medium hot gochujang paste; extra hot is for people who love chilli.

Ingredients: ddeok (rice cakes), odeng (Korean fish cake), and gochujang (chilli paste)

Ingredients: julienned carrot and shallot

The original recipe by Tina includes white sugar instead of the brown that I used, but that's just because a Korean friend suggested so. She said it'll enhance the overall flavour.

But the most reminded sentence by the Korean friends everytime I say I'm going to make some ddeokbokki is: 'you have to put some odeng (fish cake)!'

Slicing odeng

It's very important to separate the rice cakes before putting them into the chilli sauce bath, you don't want to put clumpy rice cakes in. They won't cook thoroughly and if you force-separate them on the pan, they may not be as smooth and chewy as you want them to be.

Ddeok in water bath

Do not worry if you think the mixture is too runny at first; the starch from the rice cakes will thicken it in no time. If it's too thick, you can always add a bit of water. What you're aiming is saucy consistency, you don't want it to be like soup, it should coat the rice cakes nicely.

I did a mistake here: I didn't measure my usage of chicken stock powder, and the result is a bit too salty and induce higher level of thirst after consumption.

Clockwise from top left: sauteing carrot and onion, adding chicken stock, the mixture starts to thicken, final product

It still tastes fabulous though. Frankly, I didn't expect it to turn out this good.

The sauce coats the white, chewy logs beautifully, and it tastes good as well apart from the high salt level. It does have a bite, but I wish I had put more spoonfuls of gochujang. I was being coward to put more, but apparently it isn't near as spicy as I thought. Maybe 7 or 8 spoonfuls next time.


It makes a perfect snack while making endless revision (my final exam is coming up, you see) but I can even enjoy it perfectly as a meal.


Definitely going to make it again.

Have you ever made ddeokbokki? And for Indonesian readers: have you ever seen this kind of rice cakes sold somewhere? Do tell me!


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  1. OMG rin, itu kek uda persis lu beli di korea sanaaa
    aaaaawww, mau dong rin lu ajarin gw + bikinin gw drpd gw ke korea jauh2 kalo trnyata elu bsa mah..

    1. asal ada bahannya gampang banget so. ada ga sih ddeok-nya gini di supermarket" gede gitu? kalo ada kita bikin langsung haha

  2. I bet these deokkbokki are a hit. The color the texture look drooling. Aduh siraman wijen di atasnya itu bikin makin pengenn.

    1. errmm..actually they didn't have a chance to be a hit. i kinda finish all of them yeah..
      they're so delicious, that's my defense :p

  3. I LOVE korean food!! Thanks for sharing this, can't wait to try this out!

    1. u're so welcome! can't wait to see it up on ur blog! :)

  4. great :D got everything I need at home, just need to get the rice cakes hehe. thanks for sharing

    1. u're so welcome!
      Thanks for dropping by, Vivian! :D

  5. You made one awesome deokkbokki, judging from the bright and appetizing color!

    1. It's pretty good although a bit too salty hehehe
      Thanks for dropping by, Kinan! :D

  6. these look awesome. I am now officially in a mood for some Korean cuisine all thanks to you!

    I cooked this a lot too at home, super easy & perfect snack yaa :)

    1. hah beneran?
      where did u get the ingredients? gue jg mau buat di rumah kalo gt! :D

  7. This has become one of my favorite dishes in Korea!

    1. I would really love to try some in Korea! :D
      Thanks for dropping by, Audrey :)

  8. Cara bikin rice cake y gmna, pke tepung apa yah??

    1. Aku sih ga bisa bikinnya, rice cake-nya beli. Biasanya ada di supermarket Korea. :)

  9. WOW. I cannot explain how thankful I am. I was craving for some ddeokbukki since a few days ago but I didn't have any anchovies or kelp. Just then I found this recipe and since I had most of the ingredients at home already I tried it out. The result was amazing. Although it was my first attempt it still tasted yummy. Thank you so much :-)

    1. You are very welcome! Glad it turned out well :)


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