It is August and we can say that monsoon, has completely set in. This weather calls for lip-smacking snacks. We all are foodies at heart. No matter what your views are about this weather, one thing is sure that no one denies a hot plate of delicious food. We have all relished onion fritters, vegetable fritters, hot soups and number of other delicacies. If you are looking to try something new and international but also not spend loads of money while doing so, here’s a simple international dish perfect to indulge in this weather. It is sweet. It is spicy. It is tangy. It is not pricy. What is better is that you can make it in the same time required to make any other snacks! Believe me, it tastes as mouthwatering as it sounds!
This dish is called ‘Tteokbokki’. It is a popular South Korean street food. The name translates to ‘ spicy rice cakes’. ‘tteok’ means rice cakes. There are various stalls which sell tteokbokki and it is easily available there. Generally, Toothpicks are used to pick up each cake. But if ordered in a restaurant, or made at home, chopsticks are used. You can use a fork too, if those chopsticks are tricky.
It is made with steamed rice cakes stir fried in anchovy sauce and spices. Assorted vegetables are added to make it more wholesome. You can make a variation to this by replacing the anchovy sauce with vegetable stock mixed with cornflour for the sauce. You can alter the sauce quantity as you like.
Here’s a detailed recipe for the vegan version –
12-15 rice cakes (cut into tubular ½inch pieces)
1&½tbsp Gochujang (Korean Red chili paste) You can use regular red chili paste too
2cups vegetable stock
2tsp cornflour paste (to thicken the sauce)
2tsp roasted sesame seeds
2tsp sesame oil or regular oil
Coriander and green onions for garnishing
Salt to taste
Soy sauce (optional)
Method to make the rice cake:
Heat oil in a pan and add water. Bring to boil and add salt. Stirring occasionally, Add one and half cups of rice flour. Make sure there are no lumps. Take it off the flame and cover it with a lid for 5-6 minutes. Apply oil to your hands and knead into a fine dough and make half inch tubular cakes.
Method to make the Tteokbokki:
- In a pan add oil and add red chili paste, sugar and saute till the sugar dissolves. Add the rice cakes and mix well.
- Add vegetable and cornflour paste and mix well till the sauce is consistent.
- Add salt to taste. Simmer for 5 mins and bring to boil. Garnish with sesame seeds and coriander.
- Mix 5-6 drops of soy sauce if you want more flavour.
Side note- you can make the rice cakes before hand store them in your fridge. Just thaw them for 15-20 minutes in warm water before using.
P.S. the tteokbokki sauce can be used to make noodles or rice! You can replace the rice cakes with tofu or paneer. Or you can dilute the sauce with water and simply make soup with veggies and corn!