4 tbsp of Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 to 2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) or red chili flakes
Approximately 2 cups of tteokbokki (this can be purchased or made using glutinous rice flour)
1 cube of vegetable (for vegetarians) or beef stock
3 spring onions
1 ½ bell peppers thinly sliced
¼ cabbage head
Mozzarella (according to taste)
350 ml water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Sticky white rice
Ramyeon or instant noodles of choice
1. Soak the glutinous rice in water for 8-10 hours or overnight and set it to steam before beginning to cook (optional).
2. Cut up the bell peppers into thin rectangular slices.
3. Slice the cabbage into small pieces.
4. Thinly slice the spring onions into about 1 cm pieces.
5. Add around 1 and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil to a frying pan, and add the sliced spring onions.
6. After the white of the spring onions appear softened after a minute or so of frying, add the cabbage to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper added to taste.
7. When the cabbage is almost cooked through, add the bell peppers and cook for a minute.
8. Keep aside, and bring around 350ml water in a pan to a boil.
9. Add a cube of vegetable or beef stock and wait until fully dissolved (dried anchovies are usually added to bring a traditional fishy flavor, which you can use if preferred).
10. Mix the gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic and gochugaru well in a bowl and add it to the pan.
11. Stir until the sauce is smoothly mixed into the water in the pan on medium heat, then add the tteokbokki to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
12. Take care to lower the heat if the tteokbokki splits through. At this stage, if the sauce thickens as the water boils off, feel free to add water according to your preference but don’t let it become too watery. I aim for a thick, creamy consistency.
13. You can also be adventurous and add a packet of ramyeon to boil. Alternatively, it can be boiled separately and then added to the broth.
14. Mix in the fried vegetables, place cut mozzarella on top and cook for around 30 seconds to let the cheese melt.
15. You can garnish with thinly sliced spring onions.
16. While eating, mixing in freshly steamed white rice into the sauce can transform this dish into hearty meal of healthy vegetables, spicy-sweet rice and rice cake.
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