Hot and spicy rice cake

Tteokbokki 떡볶이

When I lived in Korea I learned the secret to making good tteokbokki from a famous place in a market. It was run by an old lady who could always be found stirring her tteokbokki. People were lined up to buy it.

I saw she used dried anchovies in her stock, and that ingredient made a huge difference in the flavor.

I once ran out of dried anchovies and made tteokbokki without it. It didn’t taste at all like what I was expecting. So don’t forget to always make a good stock with dried anchovies when you make this!



  1. Add the water, dried anchovies, and dried kelp to a shallow pot or pan.
  2. Boil for 15 minutes over medium high heat without the lid.anchovy stockanchovy stock
  3. Combine hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, and sugar in a small bowl. Remove the anchovies and kelp from the pot and add the rice cake, the mixture in the bowl, the green onion, and the optional fish cakes and hard boiled eggs. The stock will be about 2 ½ cups. ddeokbokkiddeokbokkiddeokbokkie
  4. Stir gently with a wooden spoon when it starts to boil. Keep stirring until the rice cake turns soft and the sauce thickens and looks shiny, which should take about 10 -15 minutes. If the rice cake is not soft enough, add more water and continue stirring until soften. When you use freshly made rice cake, it takes shorter time. If you use frozen rice cake, thaw it out and soak in cold water to soften it before cooking.ddeokbokki
  5. Remove from the heat and serve hot.



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  1. katperng Davis My profile page joined 2/16
    Posted February 7th, 2016 at 6:55 pm | # |

    Just tried this recipe out and it was sooo good! I didn’t have any dried anchovies but I substituted it with some chicken bullion and fish sauce and personally I think it turned out wonderful!
    I paired it with two types of kimchi: Radish kimchi that I made myself and some store bought kimchi!

    See full size image

  2. Dsydgh Indonesia My profile page joined 2/16
    Posted February 6th, 2016 at 8:55 am | # |

    Hi maangchi! I just want to ask what kind of your dried anchovies that you use to making this? In my place, i have two kind of dried anchovies, first is salted dried anchovies and second is unsalted dried anchovies. What should i use? Thank you so much!

  3. rian.nguyen My profile page joined 1/16
    Posted January 14th, 2016 at 9:59 pm | # |

    How long does it take to cook spicy rice cakes?

  4. Vicencio21 United States My profile page joined 11/13
    Posted January 12th, 2016 at 11:49 am | # |

    Hi! I really want to make this, but I am having troubles finding the dried anchovies. I saw that you said in a previous comment to use chicken broth, but I cannot eat chicken. Is it okay if I use anchovy sauce? If so, how would I use it?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 12th, 2016 at 12:58 pm | # |

      I don’t think anchovy sauce works well because it’s salty. How about using beef broth or vegetarian stock?

  5. Jeyvoi Germany My profile page joined 1/16
    Posted January 7th, 2016 at 6:23 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi!
    I cant find a Shop with dried kelp, can i use something like roasted Seaweed?

    Thank you for your great work!
    I Made many delicious food with your help.
    You have a lot of Fans from Germany. Greetings !! :) ㅋㅋㅋ

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 7th, 2016 at 9:26 am | # |

      I’m very happy to hear that your Korean cooking is going well! : )
      You can skip dried kelp and use only dried anchovies. It will make the broth tasty.

  6. Sam413 My profile page joined 12/15
    Posted December 16th, 2015 at 12:22 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I made this tteokbokki using store-bought rice cakes. I soak them in water to thaw, then add it to the pan once the broth was done. After the sauce thickened, I put them on a plate to eat and was shocked! Some of the tteokbokki is chewy, and some were mushy and soggy. Do you think it is because I boiled it too long, or is it the rice cakes?

    • Shotoshi canada My profile page joined 1/16
      Posted January 29th, 2016 at 9:59 am | # |

      Sam413 Store bought rice cakes can be hard, most especially if you leave them in the fridge or on the counter too long. But dont bother soaking them, this actually prevents you from achieving greater flavor. The rice cakes should absorb some of the broth and seasoning when in the pan, when you soak them you create a moisture barrier. Having soaked them this may add to the effect of them being mushy or soggy. You might have also overcooked it as well. After the rice cakes are put in dont take more than 15-20 minutes with it on the stove. Next time even if they are hard just put them in. theyll soften in the pan.

  7. Jen0520 My profile page joined 11/15
    Posted November 28th, 2015 at 7:53 pm | # |

    I was living with a Korea girl that she taught me how to make rice cake sauce. It was delicious besides the ingredients you need is a lot more than what Maangchi asked for. But I have to say, Maangchi’s recipe is much more delicious and authentic and effortless to follow!! It is amazing. I will certainly using this recipe forever!!!

  8. ashleyn My profile page joined 11/15
    Posted November 17th, 2015 at 11:28 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Thanks for putting this up! My fiancé is Korean and he insists on putting myeolchi dashida, lots of garlic, and mozzarella. He skips the anchovies (because of the dashida) and green onions. What is your opinion on this variation on the recipe? How can I tell him to improve it?

    Thanks!!!! Love you!

  9. Jordan O My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 28th, 2015 at 4:39 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I’m going to try making this dish and I was wondering if it would be a problem if I used a deeper pot to make this? I don’t have any flat pans like the one you used in the video.

  10. itzmizzy My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted August 17th, 2015 at 12:25 pm | # |

    Hello! i love watching your videos and cooking them. I have a slight problem though. Where i live, there is absolutely no dried anchovy sold. What should i substitute the stock with? – besides vegetable stock.

    Thank you! much love.

  11. that1girlie WA My profile page joined 4/14
    Posted July 19th, 2015 at 2:53 am | # |

    Just want to say thank you for your recipes. I am half Korean grew up with foods all homemade. This is my favorite food. Now I can make it thanks to you. My mom doesn’t use measurements, so she would just make it by request. Taste like my moms. I am going to surprise her and make it for her.

  12. ElizabethXO My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 18th, 2015 at 5:07 pm | # |

    I tried making this for the first time, and instead of using the fish I used chicken broth.
    It turned out like a soup because the sauce didn’t thicken, should I have reduced the amount of water I used? Or convert the other ingredients?
    I’m not sure how this is suppose to taste since I’ve never had it before.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2015 at 10:33 am | # |

      If you keep cooking and stirring the rice cake, the broth will thicken. Or use less chicken stock.

  13. jujuJane My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 5th, 2015 at 12:02 am | # |

    Thank you so much for this recipe and video! :)
    I made this yesterday and it was sooooo good! I don’t usually like spicy food, but I’d thought I’d take a chance because it looked really tasty.
    My parents really liked it too and there is none left. I’ll be making this again! :p yum!

  14. K0okieM0nsta My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 4th, 2015 at 7:00 pm | # |

    Hi! Sorry for reacting on such an old post, but I’m in a bit of a struggle. I absolutely love Korean food but I’m a vegetarian so my choices are a bit more limited. Even though you’ve mentioned the importance of the anchovis multiple times already, is there any way I could make good vegetarian rice cakes?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 4th, 2015 at 7:06 pm | # |

      You could use vegetarian stock or make your own delicious stock. I can suggest boiling some dried shiitake mushrooms, radish, onion, and dried kelp with water over low heat until the stock turns a little brownish. To make delicious tteokbokki, the stock should be delicious.

  15. Adryyal1106 My profile page joined 6/15
    Posted June 13th, 2015 at 11:21 am | # |

    Hi maangchi, good night.. I really like your recipes.. And I always watch you in your video really inspiration. .. I wanna make this toekbokki but in my house doesn’t have oven to make garaeddeok, and in my village is really hard to find gachugaru and gachujang, what is your tip to solve this problem. . Thanks maangchi.. Always success.. .사랑합니다

  16. xxiuhann My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 5th, 2015 at 12:11 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi.
    I really want to try out this recipe but i’m having trouble gathering ingredients.
    Can I use something else to replace the kelp?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 5th, 2015 at 12:14 pm | # |

      Yes, you can skip dried kelp but don’t skip dried anchovies. To make delicious tteokbokki, the broth should be delicious. Good luck!

  17. AmanAmarth My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 3rd, 2015 at 7:32 pm | # |

    I bought rice cakes from my local Asian Market. The instructions said to soak them in water for 12 hours. after 12 hours they were still hard as rocks. I kept them in for 2 days. still hard. Please help.

  18. likemycookie The Netherlands My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 25th, 2015 at 9:26 am | # |

    I’m going to make this for dinner tonight! I hope it will turns out yummy :) I have to improvise tho because I don’t have dried kelp and dried anchovies at the moment :(

  19. aora25 My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 20th, 2015 at 1:27 pm | # |

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious. Since anchovy that size is so hard to find, I replaced it with anchovy cube.
    Thank you for sharing delicious Korean recipes to us. I have tried a few and I will try more of your recipes.

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