Tteokbokki From 'The World's Best Spicy Food'


Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Tteokbokki is a Korean street food snack made primarily of chewy rice cakes and fiery, funky gochujang chili paste. In Lonely Planet's The World's Best Spicy Food, the cakes are tossed with slices of fried eomuk fish cake, cabbage, scallions, and garlic. Salty anchovy stock bolsters the gochujang and gochugaru chili flakes add even more heat. The final assemblage is unabashedly spicy, but impossible to put down. Eat it between sips of cold, cheap beer for the perfect Friday night meal.

Why I picked this recipe: I always find myself ordering a version of this dish every time I visit my favorite Korean fried chicken restaurant (in addition to the fried chicken, of course). It was about time I made it at home.

What worked: This recipe really is as simple as throwing a few ingredients in a pot and letting it simmer. Whatever effort required to find the ingredients is definitely worth it.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: It'd be hard to make this dish without the listed ingredients. If you don't have access to a Korean grocery store, you should be able to order the ingredients online. Gochujang will keep for a long time in the fridge, and the remaining hard-to-find ingredients can be frozen. So order in bulk, and you can make tteokbokki whenever you've got the craving!

Reprinted with permission from The World's Best Spicy Food: Where to Find It and How to Make It by Lonely Planet. Copyright 2014. RRP: 19.19 Published by Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Recipe Details

Tteokbokki From 'The World's Best Spicy Food'

Cook 20 mins
Active 30 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 4 servings



  • 3 cups (750 mL) anchovy stock (from stock powder) or water

  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (red chile paste)

  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (red chile pepper flakes) or regular chile pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus additional to taste

  • 1 tablespoon sugar, plus additional to taste

Rice Cake

  • 500g (1 pound) tteokbokki tteok (rice cakes)

  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) eomuk (fish cake), sliced

  • 150g (5 oz) cabbage, chopped

  • 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)


  1. For the sauce: Pour the anchovy stock or water into a medium-sized pan. Add the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Make sure the paste is dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium.

  2. For the rice cakes: Add the rice cakes and boil them until soft (roughly 7 to 10 minutes). Reduce to a simmer to thicken the sauce. Keep stirring to prevent the rice cakes from burning at the bottom of the pan.

  3. Add the fish cakes, cabbage, spring onions, and garlic. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

  4. Season to taste with additional sugar and soy sauce, bearing in mind that the gochujang itself is spicy. Add the sesame oil, stir through and dish out into bowls. Top with sesame seeds if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
786 Calories
11g Fat
147g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 786
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 2397mg 104%
Total Carbohydrate 147g 54%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 24mg 121%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 877mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)