Korean Food: Dukboki – Korean Rice Cake in Red Pepper Sauce
Continuing with my Korean Comfort food series. . I bring you Dukboki! For those who are not familiar with this dish, it’s Korean rice cake tubes mixed with seasoned beef (or no beef) and vegetables in a spicy and sweet red pepper sauce. Now, doesn’t that sound fantastic? Dukboki is popular street food in Korea and can be eaten at home as a snack or a hearty meal. And what I really love about Dukboki is that you can put just anything you want in here. A lot of people add fish cake but seriously, you could just add the green onions and be set. Again, it’s totally up to you.
I discussed this recipe with my sister, Grace, because she actually won a Dukboki cooking contest in school. Awesome, huh? Well, I spoke to her this morning and she thought my sauce looked too watery. I guess my Dukboki didn’t photograph well because, for me, it was awesome. The sauce thickened up and it was perfect. Also, I should add that I made mine sweet and semi-spicy, which is how I prefer my Dukboki. If you want some more heat, just add more gochujang (hot red pepper paste). I also used pork (some people use hot dogs) and added carrots for the girls. Remember, you can add whatever YOU want. So, here’s my pimped up version of Dukboki. . .
I hope you enjoy!
- 1 package of tube shaped Korean Rice cakes (most packages come with the rice cake already cut for you to make dukboki. If not, cut them into 1 ½ -2 inch pieces. You can also use the petal shaped rice cake if preferred.)
- Water (to soak the rice cake)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 pound pork shoulder, cubed
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- ⅓ cup gochujang (red pepper paste)
- About 4-5 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-2 cups carrots, sliced (optional)
- About 5 stalks of green onions, cut into ½ to 1 inch pieces + diced (for garnish)
- about a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch (if needed to thicken the sauce)
- 4-5 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and cut in half
- Sesame seeds (to garnish)
- Soak the rice cakes in a big bowl of cold water. Use enough water to cover them. Soak for at least 30 minutes to one hour if possible. One hour is best. You are doing this to help the rice cake soften up. (Even if you buy fresh rice cake, my mom says to soak them for a while so they don’t stick together when you cook them. If soaking overnight, use cold water and put in the fridge).
- In a large wok, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. Add the pork, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the water, brown sugar, gochujang, carrots (if using) and duk (rice cake). You want enough water/liquid to barely cover all the rice cake. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for about 25-30 minutes.
- After the sauce has thickened slightly, add the green onions and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Taste your sauce! Add more sugar and/or gochujang if needed. If the sauce is too thin, mix the flour or cornstarch with a little water in a small bowl and then add the mixture to the sauce and stir in well. At the same time, boil water for your eggs and boil the eggs for about 6 minutes.
- To serve: garnish with more green onion, sprinkle sesame seeds and add your hard-boiled egg (peeled and cut in half) on the side. Serve immediately.
If you’d like to try adding fish cake, try this recipe. Love her idea of adding the hard-boiled eggs!
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