This dish is considered staple street food in Korea, and especially popular among children and students. Dduk bokki literally translates to stir-fried rice cakes. The rice cakes are cooked in a spicy, tangy, and sweet sauce, along with fish cakes and hard-boiled eggs. Even though it's one of the most popular dishes in Korea, I actually didn't care for it too much when I was younger. However, as I grew older and Korean food became more of a hard-to-access luxury in downtown Baltimore, unknowingly I started to crave this dish more often. Ddukbokki lends itself to many variations, and I've had versions with seafood, pork belly, or sausage-- the first time I had cheese ddukbokki, it was life-changing. The restaurant served it with browned, melted cheese, hot from the broiler-- it was a revelatory moment. Feel free to add or omit the cheese, or add some bacon or sausage for extra flavor. Traditionally, ketchup isn't used as one of the ingredients for the sauce, but I find that it imparts a nice tangy flavor and also enhances the color beautifully. Enjoy!
Note: For a more traditional method and richer flavor, use anchovy broth instead of just water. However, if you do not have access to dried anchovies, then you can use water instead.
- 1 package Korean rice cakes (~600g/1.32 lb)
- 5-6 cups water
- 3 sheets fish cakes
- 1 bunch green onion (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 4-6 hard boiled eggs
- 1/2 onion
- sausage links, sliced (optional)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1/2 Tablespoon gochugaru (crushed hot red pepper powder)
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- toasted sesame seeds
- mozzarella or other cheese (optional)
prep time: 10 min (+15 min to make the anchovy broth)
cook time: 15-20 min
1. If your rice cakes are frozen, soften them a bit by soaking them for 10 minutes in a bowl of cold water.
2. Add 5-6 cups of water and dried anchovies to a pot, and bring to boil. Boil for 15 minutes without the lid to make the anchovy broth.
3. Meanwhile, chop the onions, green onions (into 2-inch length pieces), and fish cakes. Chop each fish cake sheet into four triangles. Cut each sheet in half, and then cut each half into two triangles.
4. Mix all of the ingredients from the gochujang to black pepper in a small bowl.
5. In a skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, and add the rice cakes and the fish cakes (If using sausages, add them here as well). Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock (or 5 cups of water) to the skillet, and then all of the sauce ingredients. Stir well so that the sauce is evenly spread.
6. On medium-high heat, cook until the sauce is thickened and the rice cakes are soft, for about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally, so that the rice cakes do not stick to the bottom. If the rices cakes are not softened yet, you can add more water and continue cooking for a longer time.
7. Add more salt to taste, and add the ketchup if you wish. Add the green onions. Cook for 2 more minutes, and remove from heat.
8. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle the cheese on top, and cook in the microwave for 1 minute to melt the cheese. Serve hot, along with eggs!