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. Julienne Sacramento CA joined 11/20 & has 5 comments

    These turned out sooooo good! I love the chewy texture. Our Asian market has a few different shapes of rice cake, but the long tube ones are still my favorite. Love this! So spicy and yummy!

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  2. MaangchiLove Montreal, Toronto joined 8/19 & has 53 comments
  3. Rehemachan Idaho joined 8/20 & has 2 comments

    This looks so good, i cant wait to try it. going to my local korean market after work.

  4. Christina_A Philippines joined 6/20 & has 1 comment

    you’re recipes are always my go to whenever I cook korean food. Tonight I tried this and it tastes good as always. Thank you! Sending love from the Philippines

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  5. Zeluha Lowell, MA joined 6/20 & has 1 comment

    I found this in my local Korean market – I’m a huge fan of these since I just let them boil and remove the entire packet. Includes the anchovies AND kelp!

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  6. laura21 Philippines joined 5/20 & has 2 comments

    We are going to try this during quarantine Maangchi! Thank you soo much! Keep Safe

  7. Bi Bi Kuala Lumpur joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

    I used your recipe and made rabokki for my family yesterday! It turned out so good!

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  8. Valkyrie143 Orlando, FL joined 4/20 & has 1 comment

    Just made this but without using the kelp and anchovies! I used chicken stock and added the Hondashi bonito soup stock packet. It came out delicious!

  9. samithebest atlanta joined 4/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I made this recipe and at the end it tasted odd. Like too much gochujang flavor? What should I do to prevent that flavor?

  10. befuzzled US joined 4/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi~ I was just wondering how many people this recipe serves. I was hoping on cooking this for my family and I’d like to buy the right amount of ingredients to serve all five of us.

    • Food fan Washington, DC joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

      1/4 pound of tteokbokki is about 300 calories. So if you’re adding fish cakes, eggs, etc., then this recipe (1 pound) can serve 4.

      I just made 1 pound and only added egg, scallion, and a few shrimp. It made 3 servings for dinner with no leftover.

      If you have a very big appetite, then 1 pound would serve 2.

  11. DevorahTF Michigan, USA joined 3/20 & has 13 comments

    I love to make Tteokbokki, and it is a favorite in my house. I started making my own rice cakes because with the pandemic, I can’t get the frozen ones. Must be some kind of a supply chain issue…

    Anyway, tomorrow night start Passover. My family is Jewish and we are getting ready. Today for dinner I decided to make Tteokbokki as an easy meal that everyone can just eat as they go while we do our cleaning and preparations.

    I had three jars of Gefilte fish, but for our meals I will only need two. I was simmering the Tteokbokki when it occurred to me: I could use this for the fish cakes! Ha! We are vegetarians, so I never get fish cakes. But for Passover we always eat this special fish.

    I tried it and it was fantastic! It is pretty much the same thing if you just slice it like I did in this picture. So if you see Gefilte Fish in your grocery store on sale after Passover, you could try this! Maangchi, I hope you would approve!

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  12. Jennym Washington dc joined 3/20 & has 1 comment


    Could I use a store bought stock bag? The tea bags with the anchovy and kelp? Thank you!!

  13. LilBunnyBlue Md joined 3/20 & has 2 comments

    I was looking at your recipe for tteokbokki and reading comments section.. Its my first time wanting to try to make it so driving home i stopped at the local asian market near me (it a little larger than a convenience store) and i was unable to find frozen rice flour but i did find rice flour and glutinous rice flour on the regular shelves. Can i use either of these instead.? I would hate to waste ingredients or discourage myself by making wrong dishes. Pleas help?

  14. AudreyA New York, New York joined 10/18 & has 3 comments

    I love this recipe and I’ve made it a few times but now I’m on a diet and I can’t eat rice cakes, so today I made it with grilled tofu! Maybe not as good as it is with rice cakes, but it was delicious and makes dieting easy :)

  15. Lili1919 Ga joined 2/20 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,
    Just wanted to thank you again for all your delicious recipes. Today I made your Tteokbokki recipe and it’s awesome.

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