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. Briii1234 USA joined 11/17
    Posted November 16th, 2017 at 1:04 am | # |

    Hey Maangchi, is it okay to use canned anchovies instead of dried? Would the broth be the same?

  2. MochaMocha The Bahamas joined 10/17
    Posted October 14th, 2017 at 4:57 pm | # |

    Maangchi it’s my first time making 떡볶이. Well, it’s my first time making anything Korean. I usually just watch your videos but now I can finally cook something. My Korean friend sent the frozen 떡 to me. I’m so excited to try this recipe!! Wish me luck I hope I do well and make you proud ^^

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 19th, 2017 at 9:57 pm | # |

      How did your tteokbokki turn out?

  3. bertman4 Seattle, WA joined 10/17
    Posted October 13th, 2017 at 1:03 am | # |

    This recipe has become a staple for me and my friends. Always delicious!

    See full size image

  4. Lea New Zealand joined 9/14
    Posted September 24th, 2017 at 2:51 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I’ve done your tteokbokki recipe a lot of times and always love it. But I am pregnant right now and can’t have spicy food.. how much brown sugar should I add if I were to make this? Or should I lessen the chilli paste too? But I’m afraid the taste might differ if I do.. (I don’t normally put in pepper flakes so this is out of the question)

    Hope you read this and reply.. just saw some tteokbokki photos on facebook and craving right now!

    Thank you so much!

  5. ataezing Toronto joined 9/17
    Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 10:14 pm | # |

    I’m interested in trying this recipe and I’m wondering how long the prep time is. Also how many servings is this recipe?? Much Thanks!

  6. Sio lover Ksa joined 12/16
    Posted September 21st, 2017 at 12:23 pm | # |

    Can I use beef broth cubes instead of the anchovies ?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 9:17 am | # |

      Yes, you can use it. Whatever is used, if the broth is tasty, the tteokbokki will taste good.

  7. JessicaG Quezon City, Philippines joined 9/17
    Posted September 17th, 2017 at 8:08 am | # |

    I made and ate my first Tteokbokki today and I liked it! Thanks for the recipe Maangchi! I just made some revisions – didn’t add pepper flakes anymore, added more sugar and added a little white vinegar since the gochujang was hotter than my family can tolerate. I used fresh garatteok from our local Korean store. I will try to make my own garatteok next time.

    See full size image

  8. Akvile Norway joined 9/17
    Posted September 6th, 2017 at 8:50 am | # |

    Hi, Maangchi. its my first time making tteokbokki. Are they suposed to taste spisy and sweet or I can ad salt? :) I didnt use the fish cakes in the recipe as I didnt have them.

    • jseolhee bali joined 9/17
      Posted September 12th, 2017 at 1:36 pm | # |

      It supposed to sweet and spicy.. But gochujang(hot pepper paste) already taste salty..
      I usually add soy sauce if want to be abit salty, and its smell really good..
      Try to change the fish cake with fried thin ham.. its also good.. ;)

  9. Colowly Philippines joined 8/17
    Posted August 20th, 2017 at 7:50 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I need your help! I bought frozen rice cakes few months ago from korean grocery store and I decided to make this today. But when I got it from the freezer, I saw the 2017.7.28 expiration date on the bag. It’s already August 21, 2017 and almost a month sinice it ‘expired’. Can’t I use it anymore? Pls help me! Thankyou!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 23rd, 2017 at 11:29 am | # |

      If it was frozen all this time, and it looks fine, it should be ok to use.

  10. jwilli1994 Louisiana joined 8/17
    Posted August 10th, 2017 at 2:09 pm | # |


    I tried your recipe and it was very good!! The only question I have is how to make the rice cake absorb the sauce better? It did not feel like the rice cake absorbed any of the sauce.

    Thanks you!

    • adamjbc U.S. joined 8/17
      Posted August 16th, 2017 at 5:14 pm | # |

      You won’t have much luck getting the rice cakes to absorb the sauce since they are so solid, but you can maybe try making the sauce thicker so that more of it stays on the rice cake instead. Just a thought.

  11. Bflobear Buffalo, ny joined 8/17
    Posted August 7th, 2017 at 7:58 pm | # |

    I have found some dried rice stick that recommends soaking overnight. I’m curious if this can be skipped by using a pressure cooker? I haven’t been able to find any advice for or against. Any help would be appreciated!

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