When I lived in Korea I learned the secret to making good ddeokbokki from a famous place in a market. It was run by an old lady who could always be found stirring her ddeokbokki. 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 ddeokbokki 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 pound of cylinder shaped rice cake, bought or homemade. (Use a little more if you’re not adding hard boiled eggs and fish cakes)
- 4 cups of water
- 7 large size dried anchovies, with heads and intestines removed
- 6 x 8 inch dried kelp
- 1/3 cup hot pepper paste
- 1 tbs hot pepper flakes
- 1 tbs sugar
- 3 green onions, cut into 3 inch long pieces
- 2 hard boiled eggs, shelled (optional)
- ½ pound fish cakes (optional)
- Add the water, dried anchovies, and dried kelp to a shallow pot or pan.
- Bring to a boil for 15 minutes over medium high heat without the lid.
- 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.
- 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 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and serve hot.