I finally got to eat some tteokbokki (rice cakes) without all the spice and heat in it. This one is called gungjung tteokbokki, a dish literally meaning “royal court rice cakes” that was served when Korea had kingdoms and dynasties (specifically the Joseon Dynasty) a long, long time ago. This dish (at least the tteok) is ubiquitous in Korea, where you can find it on every street corner (but less now with government regulation) where food carts and stalls (with the hard-working ajummas toil away) sell the spicy version along with other “fast food” Korean snacks. I’ve had this dish aplenty when time was limited so I know firsthand how much Koreans love this dish. But these days I think it’s more of a nostalgic type of food for Koreans (the influence of modern, Western food), evoking memories of their childhood past and so on. This recipe can vary (with the usual ingredients being tteok, beef strips, and soy sauce) so be sure to add or omit ingredients according to your preference.
Here are the ingredients for our gungjung tteokbokki
Stir fry the chicken pieces in some olive oil until browned.
Cook the vegetables in another frying pan. This will help ensure that all ingredients cook evenly when coming together later.
Add the soy sauce and remaining ingredients to the chicken pieces. It should take another 10 minutes to fully cook.
The setup should look something like this.
There was not much sauce remaining (which was intended) but adding more water or soy sauce is optional for those wanting more sauce.
Servings: 4 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 lb garae tteok (Korean rice cake, cylindrical pieces)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 or 5 shiitake mushrooms (dried or fresh)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (beef is recommended though)
- 1 broccoli crown
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 onion (optional)
- 1/2 tbsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes; optional)
1. Cut chicken and vegetables into bite size pieces and set aside. If using frozen tteok (rice cake), set out and let thaw for at least 10 minutes or soak in water for 10 minutes.
2. In a non-stick pan, bring 1 tbsp olive oil to medium-high heat. Cook the chicken (or beef) pieces until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. In another frying pan, add remaining olive oil and do the same with the bell peppers and broccoli.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan with chicken pieces. Cook on medium for about 7, 8 minutes or until rice cakes become soft or “bendable.” The vegetables only need to be cooked until slight discoloration occurs.
4. Combine all ingredients and sample taste. If more sauce is desire, add additional soy sauce or some water as necessary. Serve hot with rice and other side dishes.