Korean food – Spicy Rice Cake

Korean food – Spicy Rice Cake (Ddeokbokki: 맛있는 떡볶기)

Korean food is known for its spiciness. When you see red color in Korean dishes, chances are it is coming from Korean red pepper. Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) and gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) are the two main ingredients used in a wide variety of Korean food, from stews to street foods.


This Korean spicy rice cake is the street food in Korea. It is a spicy, chewy, savory, delight. When you travel in Korea, you will find ddeokbokggi on literally every corner of the street, from the downtown strips to the smallest of neighborhoods. It is the snack to have when you have the sudden urge to eat while you roam around in Seoul.


Eating street vendor food is one of my all time favorite activities. I literally ate ddeokbokki almost everyday when I lived in Korea.  When I came to America, the street food craving was so strong that I almost went back to Korea =)  


Try the most beloved street food of Korea and let the Gopher know how it turns out ~





Total: 20 minutes     Active: 20 minutes  


1.1 lbs (500g) Plain Korean rice cakes for ddeokbokkgi

* to learn more about Korean rice cakes, check out the  introduction of rice cake video


one half medium onion, sliced

3 green onions, roughly chopped

3 oz. (90g) Fish cake, cut into bite sizes (optional)

1 cup vegetable broth (If you don’t have some broth on hand, feel free to substitute water)



2Tbsp. Gochujang (Korean Red Pepper paste)

*Make sure to check the ingredients when you purchase Gochujang.  Many commercially made Gochujang are made with corn syrup.  Check out my Additive-Free Shopping Guide, which contains a few suggestions for good quality gochujang.


1Tbsp. Gochugaru (Korean Chili Pepper Flakes)

3 Tbsp. honey

4 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. minced garlic

3 Tbsp. sake

⅛ tsp. kosher salt


GARNISH & TOPPING (optional)

2 hard boiled eggs

Garlic chives, roughly chopped

Sesame seeds



  1. Using your hands, divide the rice cakes into singular pieces. Add them to a large skillet.

*For the frozen rice cake, thaw these in cold water about an hour until you can easily separate all the pieces. Then, using your hands, divide them into singular pieces and drain them.

  1. Add the rest of the ingredients to the skillet.
  2. To make the magic sauce, add all of the ingredients for ‘Sauce’ in a small mixing bowl. Bring this all together into a lovely sauce.  
  3. Pour the sauce over the ingredients in the skillet.
  4. Cook this over high heat for about five minutes, with the lid on, until it comes to a rolling boil.
  5. Then, take the lid off. Bring the heat down to medium high and cook for another 5-6 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Stir this occasionally to keep the rice cakes from sticking to the bottom.
  6. For an optional topping, add a couple of hard boiled eggs.

*They become so delicious when smothered with this magical sauce.

8. Turn the heat off. Garnish this with some fresh green onions and sesame seeds.

9. Serve and enjoy ~



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