Gungjung Tteokbokki Recipe

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Whenever I’m craving something spicy, I’m always reminded that I live with two other roommates who have horrible spice tolerance. But recently, one of my friends shared a recipe with me that really grasped my attention. Tteokbokki, or stir-fried spicy rice cakes, is a popular Korean street food dish that is known for its chew texture and it’s sweet and spicy flavor. Gungjung tteokbokki, royal court rice cake, is a dish that’s very similar to the typical tteokbokki that we’re all familiar with. But rather than using gochujang (Korean pepper paste) that gives tteokbokki it’s red color and spicy flavor, gungjung tteokbokki uses a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil that gives it an incredibly aromatic flavor.

Gungjung tteokbokki is actually the original way of making tteokbokki and it was served to the Korean King during the Joseon Dynasty. It wasn’t until much later, after gochujang was invented, when tteokbokki turned red and spicy. Unlike the red and spicy tteokbokki that we’re familiar with that uses only a handful or ingredients such as rice cake and fish cakes, gungjung tteokbokki features a variety of color vegetables and thin beef slices, which might be the reason why it was only served to Korean Kings due to how expensive vegetables and beef were back in the day.

Ingredients:

Korean rice cakes Tteok – 30 pieces

Thinly sliced beef shabu shabu cuts  – 300 g

Onion – 1 whole

Carrot – ½ a whole

Bell pepper – 1 whole

Enoki Mushrooms – 3

Spring Onion – small piece length of your forearm

Beef Marinade:

Soy Sauce – 2 Tablespoons

Sugar – 1 Tablespoon

Mirim – 1 Tablespoon

Minced Garlic – ½ Tablespoon

Sesame Oil – 1 Tablespoon

Black Pepper – few shakes

Sesame seeds – few shakes

Rice Cake Marinade:

Soy Sauce – 1 Tablespoon

Sesame Oil – 1 Tablespoon

Marinade for Stir-fry

Water – ⅓ cup

Oyster Sauce – 1 Tablespoon

Soy Sauce – 1 Tablespoon

Sugar – 1 Tablespoon

Honey – 1 Tablespoon

Sesame Oil – 1 Tablespoon

Instructions:

Star by preparing the marinated beef. Place beef slices in a large mixing bowl and marinate it with soy sauce, sugar, mirim, minced garlic, sesame oil, black pepper, and sesame seeds. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and set the beef aside for 10 minutes.

Prep the vegetables by chopping the mushrooms, onion, carrot, bell pepper, and spring onions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and squeeze a bit of oil into the water (this will prevent the rice cakes from sticking). Add the rice cakes and blanche them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Then remove the rice cakes from the water and strain the excess water.

Add the blanched rice cakes into a mixing bowl and coat the rice cakes evenly with soy sauce and sesame oil.

To a frying pan on medium-high heat, place in the oil. Once hot, add the onions and stir-fry until they are translucent.

Add the beef slices one by one into the frying pan and make sure to separate the pieces so they don’t clump together.

Once the beef loses most of its red color, add the sliced carrots and mushrooms. Stir fry for a minute.

Add ⅓ cups of water to the stir fry and stir around.

Then, add in the rice cakes.

Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and honey to the pan and stir thoroughly.

Add the bell peppers and spring onion into the pan and stir.

Once the bell peppers are soft, turn off the heat.

Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and give one last stir. Garnish with a few shakes of sesame seeds and it’s ready to serve.

My roommates and I had this dish with rice and they loved it. I really recommend making this dish especially if you can’t handle the regular spicy version of tteokbokki. This dish is easy and relatively quick to make. I would say the longest process was to chop all the vegetables but other than that, the actual cooking portion of this recipe only took less than 15 minutes. I will definitely be making this dish again with my roommates and I hope you all try it out as well!

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