Vegetarian Tteokbokki: Korean Spicy Rice Cakes
Ever wanted to make Tteokbokki at home? Well, now you can make this delicious street food from the comfort of your home!
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Our Vegetarian Tteokbokki is super simple to make and the perfect savory dish to curb your cravings for spicy-sweet chewy rice cakes.
In our home, we are obsessed with Korean cuisine, from the delicious cold noodles to the amazing street foods. And we love recreating our favorites dishes at home.
Whether you know this dish as tteokbokki, topokki, dukbokki, ddeokbokki, or simply those spicy rice cakes all those mukbangers rave amount, they all come down to the same amazing meal.
Is Korean tteokbokki vegetarian? Traditionally no, the broth is made from boiling dry kelp and dry anchovies. Some even use dry shiitake mushrooms. The final dish often includes fish cakes or fish balls.
But dukbokki is such a flexible dish and the simple substitutions don’t really impact the final dish, in fact, I prefer vegetarian tteokbokki.
And if you’d love to make this recipe vegan, no worries, just omit the hard-boiled eggs and you’ve got yourself some vegan tteokbokki.
Vegetarian Tteobokki Ingredients
One of the great things about Korean cooking, once you have a small collection of staple ingredients, you can make such a large variety of recipes.
- Tteokbokki (cylinder-shaped or sliced rice cakes) – made from short-grain rice flour
- Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) – I’m using the medium spice level
- Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) – I’m using the coarse kind
- Sugar (white or brown sugar is fine)
- Vegetable stock or water (I recommend vegetable broth)
- Soy sauce (can substitute with coconut aminos)
- Spring onion/scallions
- Sesame seeds
- Eggs (optional)
Notes: Gochujang comes in Mild, Medium, and Hot levels. Unless you can’t really handle much spice or adore crazy spicy food, I recommend the Medium level, that way you can adjust as you like.
Gochugaru comes in fine powder and a coarser flakes. If you are just going to purchase one kind, I recommend the coarser kind. Gochugaru cannot be substituted with regular chili flakes nor paprika.
How to make Vegetarian Tteobokki
- Make a paste mixing together your hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, pressed garlic, sugar, and soy sauce.
- Rinse and chop up your spring onions into roughly 2-inch pieces. If the white portion is thick, you can cut it in half.
- Bring your broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add your paste to the broth and stir with a wooden spoon until it dissolves. Afterward, reduce to medium heat.
- Add your rice cakes, boiled eggs, spring onion pieces and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until your rice cakes are soft and tender and the sauce has thickened (wait a few minutes if using thin-sliced rice cakes as they take very little time to cook).
- Taste test and adjust as you like. If you prefer a sweeter flavor add more sugar. If your a spice lover, sprinkle in some extra Gochugaru.
- Serve and topped with sesame seeds and extra pieces of spring onion.
Note: If you are using frozen rice cakes, remember to let them thaw in some cold water for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking. Fresh rice cakes or sliced rice cakes take less time to cook.
If you are using the extra-large rice cakes (roughly 1 inch thick) they will take longer to cook and may require additional broth while they simmer.
READ: Delicious Hoisin Tofu (Crispy)
ADDITIONAL VEGETARIAN TTEOKBOKKI INGREDIENTS
Now when you are making a homemade Korean rice cake recipe, feel free to play around with the spice or sweetness level. You can also get really creative and make this dish your own. Some popular additional ingredients are;
- Sesame oil
- Ramen noodles (toss in some ramen and you’ve got yourself some Rabokki)
- Cheese (Mozarella is great)
- Hot dog pieces
SIDE DISHES FOR KOREAN SPICY RICE CAKES
Enjoy your meal with some delicious crunchy sides.
MAKING RICE CAKES FROM SCRATCH
Interested in making your own rice cakes at home? Here is an instructional video from Maangchi. She is a great resource for learning the foundation of amazing Korean cuisine.
Tteokbokki is a meal best served immediately. The rice cakes will harden when refrigerated. If you have leftovers, you can add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water while reheating to help soften the rice cakes.
Interested in learning recipes from other cultures, try out these other recipes (vegan);
CHICKPEA AND TOMATO CURRY (INSTANT POT)
THAI CURRY ZUCCHINI AND PEA SOUP (INSTANT POT)
Dutch is the author of Vanilla Nomad, Monday’s Not Coming, and Let Me Hear a Rhyme. A professional chef by day, and novelist by night. She received her bachelor of arts in film from Kingsborough Community College and her master of cooking from the New School. A Brooklyn native; she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches. Currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking. You can visit her online at https://vanillanomad.com