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.




  1. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted September 3rd, 2008 at 6:14 am | # |

    I’m very glad to hear that! Your husband is lucky to have a wife like you. You want to learn Korean cooking for him. : ) Nice! Thank you for your nice comment!

  2. HyeChong
    Posted September 7th, 2008 at 11:10 pm | # |


    I made dduk bok kie today using your recipe! It was sooo good! I forgot to take a picture before I ate it all! You have best Korean food website and podcast! Thank you for doing the videos. I ask my mom how to make something and she always “oh this much” it’s so hard to measure “oh this much” and you make it easier with measurements! Thanks!

  3. ailyne
    Posted September 3rd, 2008 at 2:27 am | # |

    im ailyne from the philippines,i have a husband korean,i cook for him korean food also,but before i used to buy korean cooking book just to follow the steps,it was liitle bit uneasy for me to follow coz im not pure korean,anyway while surfing the net i saw your videos of making korean food,and finally im so thankful to you coz now i know how to make more delecious korean food for my husband, he very like it..thank yuo so much and godbless u…

  4. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted August 29th, 2008 at 7:31 am | # |

    Thank you very much!

  5. jean
    Posted August 29th, 2008 at 5:37 am | # |

    oh my gosh.
    i love korean food. and i love you. this has got to be the best korean food recipe website ever.
    thank you so much for your dedication. i have a lot to learn from you.

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted August 25th, 2008 at 3:48 pm | # |

    yes, dried anchovies are very important for this simple dish. Thank you for your update.

  7. chelia
    Posted August 25th, 2008 at 10:28 am | # |

    i love love your ddukbokkieee recipe, i made it the other day with an additional fish cake. tasteee so yummm. i used to eat these when i was in college, my korean friend like to cooked it in the dormitory pantry and share it with me. heuhuheue but your recipe taste nicer, i guess maybe because of the anchovies :) thx maaangchii..

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted July 29th, 2008 at 10:10 am | # |

    You should cook beef first and then add other ingredients. Check out the written recipe. Thanks,!

  9. Cocooned
    Posted July 29th, 2008 at 2:21 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I love your site! I am from San Francisco and found your site from the iTunes podcasts. I also love Korean food. I’ve been just looking and bookmarked a couple pages to make for my boyfriend! He loves spicy food too! I have a question about the ddukbokkie. If I want to make the spicy version when do I add meat? Also how did you clean the anchovies? Did you just rip off the heads?
    Thank you very much! Keep up the great work!

  10. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted June 19th, 2008 at 6:28 am | # |

    Sure, why not? As long as you like the taste, it will be good!
    Personally I like my simple dduk bok kie recipe though.

  11. Sophia
    Posted June 19th, 2008 at 4:46 am | # |

    hi maangchi

    i love this dish! i made it before and ate the whole thing myself. no one in my family understands why i am so obsessed with korean food (and dramas ^.^). i was wondering – if i wanted to add seafood or beef, when would i add it? thank you!

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted June 18th, 2008 at 8:36 pm | # |

    yes, uh muk is fish cake. Thank you for your interest in my recipes.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted June 18th, 2008 at 6:09 pm | # |

    떡볶이 is so yummy.I was wondering is 어묵 fish cake? I usually make 떡볶이 without it, but I had it with at a friend’s house and it tasted good.

    너의 요리법을 많이 좋아해요~ ^^ 화이팅!

  14. Pinky
    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 11:13 am | # |

    Hi maangchi!!!
    Thank u so much for ur recipe. I really love korean food.
    ddukbokkie is my fav korean food. ^^i will make ddukbokkie with ur recipe on frd gathering party which is on next sunday!!! :))
    Again, thx a lot.

  15. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted June 4th, 2008 at 8:42 pm | # |

    Dear, Kim,

    If you don’t like to add any sugar, skip it. It would not matter what it is supposed to taste.

  16. Kim
    Posted June 4th, 2008 at 8:26 pm | # |

    Hi, I’ve just made ddukbokkie today using your recipe. I’ve never had it before so I’m not sure how it’s supposed to taste like. It is hot, and spicy, but it is also sweet? I’m not too fond of the sweetness, so I’m asking if it’s supposed to be sweet ( I think I even put less than 1 tablespoon of sugar) Thanks!!!

  17. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted April 13th, 2008 at 8:18 am | # |

    I would thaw and soak it in water until you can split each piece easily. Thanks,

  18. ::stephie::
    Posted April 13th, 2008 at 12:43 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    Thanks for the recipes~~~
    i was just wondering the rice cakes i buy here are frozen so do i boil them first or soak them or just thaw them (will they stick) because it is really difficult to separate them.
    THANKS!! :)

  19. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted April 7th, 2008 at 5:58 am | # |

    Mandu! ok!

  20. Anonymous
    Posted April 6th, 2008 at 9:45 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Have tried many of your recipes and they are really delicious.
    By the way, my husband is crazy for Mandu. Can you teach us how to make Kimchi Mandu??
    Thanks in advance.

  21. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted April 6th, 2008 at 7:54 pm | # |

    Pei Qin,
    Andong jjimdak (Andong style chicken dish), your request will be included in the list of my upcoming cooking videos. thank you for your interest in my recipe.

  22. Pei Qin
    Posted April 5th, 2008 at 5:47 am | # |

    Hi! I’m not sure where to post my question but I’ll like to learn how to cook andong jimddak! I ate once near a eatery near Dong-A University and i really miss it!

  23. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted March 23rd, 2008 at 10:27 pm | # |

    Ok,Heavenlypurple1, I will remember it. : )
    I think it’s Yak gwa, made with sweet rice powder, honey, etc.
    It’s deep fried food over low heat.
    One of my Canadian friends who used to teach English in Korea loves it, too.

  24. Jennifer
    Posted March 23rd, 2008 at 8:29 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    It’s me Jennifer again lol

    I was wondering what is good recipe for something. I don’t know the korean name for it. It’s almost like a donut. I use to get it all the time at the korean store. I think it’s made from rice flour dough ? PS my name on youtube is Heavenlypurple1 so if you see any messages you know that it is me.

  25. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted March 23rd, 2008 at 5:03 pm | # |

    가루찹쌀 means sweet rice flour, so you can make “gyung dan” with it.
    For Ddukbokkie, you have to find right rice cake. Please check out my “ingredients” and see what it looks like. Thank you for your interest in my recipes.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted March 23rd, 2008 at 12:47 pm | # |

    hi maangchi,

    thanks for all the recipe and especially the video how to helped me a lot bec i’m not a good cook and it is very difficult without someone showing it.
    AND is it possible to make the rice cake(for ddukbokkie) by myself bec it is hard to find that.i have bought this flour called 가루찹쌀 but i can’t read it how to make.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted March 15th, 2008 at 10:04 am | # |

    Hi maangchi,i just finish made the kimchi,i m not sure how the taste yet. btw how should i keep the kimchi paste if i have made to much of the paste for the kimchi,the size of the cup i use is abt (height) 10 cm, so as a result extra paste for two cabbage.can i just keep it in fridge and continue tomorrow?besides,based on your video,1/2 cup of sweet rice flour require 1 cup of fish taste, i just follow the quantity but using my cup to measure it, is it ok with this ?

  28. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted March 14th, 2008 at 8:35 pm | # |

    Welcome, G!
    It’s wonderful! You can cook your own Korean food now. Let me know how it goes.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted March 14th, 2008 at 1:43 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your site and videos! I’ve been wanting to learn how to make some Korean staples (such as soon dubu chigae and ddukbookie, for starters) for a very long time! And, since I can’t ask my mother to make everything I want to learn how to make, this is the best solution!

    I just wish I could get Korean ingredients easily…I live in a part of France that’s not very racially diverse…but I still love it :)

    Thanks again!

  30. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted February 27th, 2008 at 8:22 pm | # |

    Jo Rose,
    Please send me the picture of the dish that your friend took. I would like to see it. : )

  31. jo*rose
    Posted February 27th, 2008 at 12:49 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I didn’t know it’s rice cake until now. :) I ate them once in a little eatery on the way back to Seoul from a pottery shopping with my Aunt. I can still remember it was raining a bit then so it was nice to hear you say that it’s good to eat it when it’s raining. :)

    Oh, you know what, I tried cooking the bibimbap but I didn’t have the kosari available. It still tasted good though. We also had to cook a bit of the garlic since we know it will taste a bit spicy if we don’t. My housemate took pictures of it.

    I’m going to try cooking another dish soon since my mouth gets watery every time I watch the podcasts.

    Thanks for your show!

    Best Regards,
    Jo Rose

  32. Lillian
    Posted February 25th, 2008 at 3:35 pm | # |

    I made these and they were great! So simple and easy for a light snack or lunch. Are these ever served with fish or meat to make them more of a meal?

    Thanks for the handy new recipe!

  33. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted February 19th, 2008 at 5:07 pm | # |

    Thank you very much for your update!

  34. Anonymous
    Posted February 19th, 2008 at 9:48 am | # |

    hi maangchi! i tried your recipe, it was good! thanks a lot! :)

  35. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted November 26th, 2007 at 9:08 pm | # |

    It’s a good question! Yes, you can cook Ddeuk and fish cake together when you make dduk bokkie. I would suggest adding fish cake with dduk at the same time.
    Wow, songpyun! I envy you now because you seem to taste the best songpyun in your friend’s house.
    The sweet stuff in the songpyun could be made with sesame seeds powder and sugar, or beans with sugar. We usually use brown sugar for it.
    Thank you!

  36. Goblinlord
    Posted November 26th, 2007 at 2:29 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi ^-^,
    My best friend in Korea who was a KATUSA in the Korean military made me ddukbokkie once. I seem to remember him making it with fish cakes in it. Do you know if you would put them in early with the ddok or latter after it is almost finished?

    Also, I was wondering what exactly is the sweet stuff in Seongpyun? I went to spend Chu’sok with my friends family (the same one mentioned above) and they had Seongpyun there. It had to be the best rice cake treat I had ever had.

  37. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted November 10th, 2007 at 7:20 am | # |

    1 TBS of dried anchovy powder will be enough.

  38. PilSeung
    Posted November 9th, 2007 at 11:34 pm | # |

    Hello maangchi,
    is it okay to make it with powdered myeol chi? if so how much should i put?

  39. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted September 13th, 2007 at 10:37 pm | # |

    good to hear from you again.
    If you take ddukbokkie to your party, it will be very popular to koreans.

  40. Lillian
    Posted September 13th, 2007 at 9:09 pm | # |

    Oooh, I think I had these at a potluck! There were a number of Koreans there, and so much food I couldn’t keep track of who brought what. The dukbokkie were very popular–I think made with mussels in a slightly spicy sauce. I’ll have to try this one when I’m back near a Korean grocery store (I’ll be moving in December). Thanks again Maangchi, and thanks for the blog comments!

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