Dukbokki: Korean Spicy Rice Cakes
Please note the rice cake soaking time. If looking for a vegetarian option, omit the fish cake. TASTE YOUR SAUCE: Add more sugar and/or gochujang as needed. For the vegetables, feel free to add what you have at home: onions, mushrooms and carrots, whatever!
Servings: 4 to 6
- 1 package tube shaped Korean Rice cakes
- Water enough to soak and cover the rice cakes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 to 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 large zucchini unpeeled and chopped, optional
- 1 large red bell pepper sliced into thin pieces lengthwise
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 to 5 cups of water + more if needed
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) depends on your desired level of heat
- 8 oz. mushrooms any kind, sliced
- 1 to 2 cups Korean fish cake cut into triangles (optional)
- 2 packages ramen noodles discard the powder packets, you will only use the noodles
- 1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch if needed to thicken the sauce; optional
- 4 to 5 stalks of green onions cut into ½ to 1 inch pieces + more for garnish
- sesame seeds for garnish for garnish
Soak the rice cakes in a large 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 place in the fridge).
Using a large wok or saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, zucchini and red bell peppers and saute for just a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another minute or so. Add the water, brown sugar, gochujang and rice cakes. You want enough water to barely cover all of the rice cakes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. (Check your rice cakes after 10 minutes. If they are tender, go ahead and add the ramen noodles. You don't want to overcook the rice cakes.) During the last 5 minutes, add in the mushrooms, fish cake (if using), and ramen noodles.
At this point, if you want to or need to add in cornstarch, remove a few tablespoons of liquid directly from your wok and into a small bowl. Mix with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch until completely dissolved and then pour into the wok. Mix and allow to thicken a bit. You may not need the cornstarch to thicken so you can definitely skip this if desired. Add in the green onions and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Taste your sauce! Add more sugar and/or gochujang if needed.
To serve: garnish with more green onions, sprinkle sesame seeds and serve immediately. Enjoy!