Rabokki Is My Most Popular Recipe.
Hands down, Rabboki is the most popular recipe I’ve ever shared on my Instagram. I dunno—something about the spicy chewy rice cakes combined with ramen noodles make people go crazy for this dish! Someone once told me that they were at a Korean grocery store when they spotted a woman who looked a little lost. She went up to her and asked if she could help her find something, and the woman held up her phone and said, “Where can I find this?” It was a picture of my tteokbokki dish!!
I know what you’re thinking: “I thought we were making rabokki. What’s tteokbokki?”
Tteokbokki + Ramen = Rabokki.
Tteokbokki is a popular Korean streetfood, made out of chewy rice cakes (naturally gluten free) and a fiery red sauce. The word “tteok” means “rice cakes” and “bokki” refers to “bokkeum,” which means “stir fried.” “Rabokki” is what happens when you mix tteokbokki with ramen noodles. So, if you like tteokbokki (which most people do) and you like ramen noodles (I mean…who doesn’t like ramen noodles?), you will LOVE Rabokki.
This Dish Is SPICY!!
Be prepared, however, for some heat. This dish is not for the faint of heart. There are entire TV shows in Korea devoted to seeing how people react to the spiciest tteokbokki in Korea. How does it get so spicy, you ask? Gochugaru, which is Korean pepper powder or Korean chili flakes. Gochugaru (literally translated “chili powder”) is derived from Korean chilis. How does gochugaru relate to the popular “gochujang”? Gochujang, which translates into “chili sauce” is also derived from the same Korean chili; however, it’s “saucified,” if you will, by adding sweeteners, brown rice flour or wheat, and fermented bean paste (doenjang). Both gochujang and gochugaru will play a role in this recipe.
What do the rice cakes taste like? Some people liken them to gluten free gnocchi, only chewier. There is a definite bite to tteokbokki, not just because of the heat. Adding ramen noodles simply add another component to have fun digging around for in the pan. Before going vegan, one of my favorite Korean bars used to make rabokki with rice cakes, ramen noodles, tempura sweet potatoes, and deep fried dumplings! The idea is, you can pretty much add whatever you like to this dish, as long as you make enough sauce to coat it all in glorious fiery heat.
A Few Tips To Make The BEST Rabokki EVER.
- If you can, look for the fresh made tteok in the Korean grocery store. They are usually delivered fresh that morning, so if you get there before the afternoon, there should be plenty left for you. Just ASK!
- If you can only find frozen ones (that’s all right!), pop.em in the microwave for about a minute, until they are just starting to soften.
- Marinate ricecakes in a little sesame oil to get them nice and soft.
- Use dried shitake mushrooms in lieu of fresh ones—they pack way more favor and you just need to add a cup of filtered water to reconstitute them. Then, you can save the water and use it as a broth!
Other recipes to try
- 8-10 ounces tube shaped rice cakes frozen, but fresh is better
- 2-3 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 red onion sliced
- 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms dried
- 1 carrot thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup broccoli
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 Korean squash, chopped can sub zucchini
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon Korean chili flakes "gochugaru"
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons gochujang
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1-2 cups water or mushroom dashi
- 1 green onion sliced
- Marinate rice cakes in 1 tbsp of sesame oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper.
- Marinate mushrooms with 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of soy sauce, and a pinch of salt.
- Make sauce in advance by mixing together 1 tbsp gochugaru, 2 tbsp gochujang, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tbsp maple syrup.
- Add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat in a non-stickpan.
- Add onions and mushrooms and cook until they start to brown. Add garlic.
- Add all remaining veggies and cook until they just start to get soft. Season with salt.
- Add rice cakes and sauce. Stir together until all veggies and rice cakes are evenly coated with sauce. Add 1 cup of mushroom broth (or water). Cook on low heat until sauce becomes thick and rice cakes are soft.
- While rice cakes are cooking, cook ramen noodles according to packageinstructions—al dente (i.e., don’t cook them all the way). Add almost cooked rice noodles to rice cakes and incorporate into sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions. Enjoy!