Steak Tteokbokki 스테이그 떡볶이 (Spicy Rice Cakes w Steak)

I made this quick but delicious version of tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) with one of my favorite ingredients—steak. Instead of the usual fish cakes (odaeng), I substituted it with big chunks of steak and a different shaped tteok called joraengee tteok. They taste the same as the original garae tteok but their appearance is a little “cuter.” For a quick lesson on this popular snack/light meal, tteokbokki is a very popular Korean food because its relatively cheap, tastes delicious, and easy to make . This dish is a favorite snack loved by kids as well as adults, coming in a variety of shapes and sizes. It’s made out of glutinous rice flour (or chapsaal) and can be found on almost every street corner. There are countless street vendors (pojangmacha) that sell this along with odaeng (fish cakes), soondae (“blood” sausages), and twigim (fried vegetables) for such a cheap price that’s simply hard to pass up for the everyday Korean (it’s comparable to the popular fast food culture in America).  As with most Korean dishes, the variations are countless and the dish can be made into a quick, satisfying snack or full meal.


Servings: 2 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb rice cake (joraengee tteok)
  • 1 lb steak of preference, cut into 1, 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup water (add more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (or mulyeot, Korean corn syrup)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 hard boiled eggs (optional)
  • sesame seeds (garnish)
  • green onion strips (garnish)

Directions:

1. For prepping, thaw the frozen rice cakes for at least 15 minutes prior to usage, or soak them in slightly cold water for 5 minutes. If using any vegetables, cut them either into strips or sizes comparable to that of the steak chunks.
2. Cut the steak into 1-inch chunks. Heat a non-stick skillet or frying pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook steak chunks until slightly browned and then add the minced garlic, cook another 2,3 minutes.
3. Add the remaining seasonings with gochujang, water, and soy sauce. Carefully mix together and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until rice cakes are soft.
4. Serve hot with rice or eat stand alone (warning: it can be spicy if eaten this way).

*One common variation (there are many) of tteokbokki is the addition of instant ramen noodles with the rice cakes. It is very popular in Korea and has a name of its own–labokki. Also, be sure to taste the sauce as it thickens and adjust the level of spiciness (gochujang) or sweetness (brown sugar or corn syrup) depending on your taste preference.

 

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