Hot and spicy rice cake

Tteokbokki 떡볶이

Tteokbokki is chewy rice cakes cooked in a red, spicy broth. It’s a popular Korean street food. When I was a student coming home from school it was hard to resist the spicy rice cakes sold by vendors on the street! They would have big vats of tteokbokkie and just keep stirring and stirring. We would stop by and they would give us a small paper cup of spicy rice cakes and the spicy sauce for a very reasonable price that any student could afford.

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

She was cooking right in front of us to I saw she made an anchovy stock from dried anchovies. That ingredient made a huge difference in the flavor, so I started using it when I made my tteokbokki at home. I once ran out of dried anchovies and made tteokbokki without it, and 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! It totally makes this dish!

There are many variations of tteokbokki: some people add dumplings (mandu), some add cabbage, cheese, or ramen noodles, but this version below of the spicy Korean rice cakes is a classic and my favorite. Everyone loves it!



  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 gochujang (hot pepper paste), gochugaru (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 2½ cups. ddeokbokkiddeokbokkiddeokbokkie
  4. Stir gently with a wooden spoon when it starts to boil. Let it simmer and keep stirring until the rice cake turns soft and the tteokbokki sauce thickens and looks shiny, which should take about 10 to 15 minutes. If the rice cake is not soft enough, add more water and continue stirring until it softens. 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. If you have any leftovers, just keep them in the fridge and reheat them when you want to eat. You should finished it in a few days.


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  1. Eva-Alice Tucson, AZ joined 1/20 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I want to make this, but I don’t like fish or fish flavor, so I plan to make it with a vegetable broth instead. I want to add a protein to this, but I don’t think I’ll like fish cake, and I bet I can’t find gluten free fish cake anyway (I can’t eat gluten). Do you think very thinly sliced chicken would work with this?

  2. Wonder Toronto joined 1/20 & has 2 comments

    I just made this one and it’s so delicious. Thank you, you’re my inspiration.

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  3. Pacheco2882 Las Vegas!! joined 10/19 & has 1 comment

    I’ve made this recipe so many times and got a craving again lastnight. It came out so good I had to share on on Maangchi’s YouTube page. Since I can’t upload pictures there….I’m dong it here!! Check it out I cooked the eggs only 6-7 minutes and they were perrrrfect. Thanks Maangchi for letting me be a part of your world and culture. I love your personality and the way you teach us how to make delicious food.

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  4. simone Bochum, Germany joined 9/11 & has 5 comments

    made this again today, it‘s one of my favourite dishes, since I love soicy food and the fishcake :)
    i‘m seriously addicted to it ♥️

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  5. bibimbebe Poland joined 5/19 & has 4 comments

    Greetings from Poland! Me and my boyfriend are vegans who live togehter and since we moved in we eat a lot of korean food inspired by your recipes! Thank you for helping us to learn about korean cuisine! Love all recipes, they are very easy to make vegan (we use lots of kombu stock and seitan-based meat substitutes, but besides that we have a very well equipped korean grocery store in our town)

    Karolina and Hubert

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    • feartech UK joined 10/19 & has 2 comments

      You guys are awesome! I’m a quarter Polish (my last name ends in -ski) and it kinda kills me that so much traditional Polish food is difficult to make vegan-friendly :( Awesome to see you guys trying to be vegan nonetheless! I’m about to try this recipe of Maangchi’s making a broth with vegan fishy sauce, kombu, soy sauce, and dulse flakes. Hopefully it turns out!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      “We use lots of kombu stock and seitan-based meat substitutes”
      Thank you for sharing the tip for veganizing my recipes. I’m sure it will help my vegan readers. By the way I will post a video recipe for vegetable stock soon. Your spicy rice cake, soybean sprouts, and kimchi look great!

  6. Applesugarcookin New zealand joined 10/19 & has 2 comments

    Hi, I tried this recipe for the first time today and some how managed to screw it up very badly with the taste, I added a bit of salt and lemon pepper and that fixed it super quickly,
    This dish is so foolproof, and if you do manage to mess up like me it’s super easy to fix!
    Thank you so much for your great recipes Maangchi!

  7. freaktiful Spain joined 9/19 & has 1 comment

    I just got all the ingredients for this dish and I’m super excited to make it and taste it! :D

  8. Dafiloola Oklahoma joined 7/19 & has 1 comment

    We just made this today and it was awesome! Didn’t have anchovies so I used Hondashi powder. I used half the amount of pepper flakes and paste since I’m not used to spice anymore and it was perfect! The rice cakes have such a nice chew and the sauce was sooooo yummy! You could cook anything in this sauce and it would be amazing.

  9. LaDameBlanche43 Central Florida joined 7/19 & has 1 comment

    I found you and this recipe about three years ago and I can’t even explain how much we LOVE Ttbeokbokki and your recipe! My daughter and I make this at least twice a month! We are very fortunate that there is a Lotte Market in Orlando to do all of our Korean shopping at!
    Thank you Maangchi!

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  10. kmey0719 joined 11/15 & has 2 comments

    Do you add frozen rice cakes straight into the pot or do you have to thaw it out first?

  11. evarevareve Australia joined 5/19 & has 2 comments

    It came out with such a perfect flavour! It’s almost too easy for how delicious it is, haha. Thank you maangchi!

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  12. abcameo Roseville, CA joined 2/19 & has 2 comments

    I’m going to try this today. I own your three recipes books (in one volume for my Kindle), but I couldn’t find this recipe in there. Did I miss it? I am subscribed and watch your YouTube videos all the time and totally enjoy watching you–so fun! My favorite is Korean pancakes; I’m an expert in them now. :-) Many thanks.

  13. Mksnodgrass Mechanicsville, VA, USA joined 3/19 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, I am so happy about this recipe. I made my way across town to get the ingredients and did half the recipe. This is a thousand times better than the one I get at Bonchon. (Sorry Bonchon!) I put some cheese on top and I think I will have to half the half recipe I made because it was ALOT! But so delicious, thank you!

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  14. Lightact28 Indonesia joined 3/19 & has 1 comment

    Is there substitute for gochujang? There’s no korean grocery store in my town and would need to wait for another months if I want to make it

  15. Rima R France joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Merci Maangchi, j’adooooore. I don’t eat Gluten and this recipe is so delicious and perfect!
    Many kisses from France

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