Feb 2010

Dukboki – Korean Rice Cakes in Hot Pepper Sauce


My name is Cathy, and I am a dukboki-aholic.

My obsession was born late last summer at the soft opening of Cham Korean Bistro in Pasadena. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I placed my order for “rice cakes,” but what arrived seduced my carbohydrate-loving heart forever. The doughy cylinders were prepared simply and satisfyingly with thin cuts of beef, a smattering of vegetables, plenty of garlic, and an umami-fied soy sauce. The flavors and textures were so familiar and yet so fresh. From there, I sought out dukboki throughout Koreatown and picked my friendsbrains about where to find the city’s best. Long before I knew its proper Korean name, I was completely hooked.

Whereas my first brush with Korean rice cakes was savory and safe, the versions I encountered thereafter were fiery, saucy, and slightly sugary. In place of Cham’s beef, mushrooms, and broccoli florets were chewy fish cakes, hard boiled eggs, and the occasional pack of ramen noodles. The two styles of dukboki were like night and day, and I loved them both.

To guide me through my first attempt at preparing dukboki at home, I turned to Maanchi, an Internet Korean cooking sensation, and my friend Danny, a Taiwanese boy who grew up on Korean fare. I learned the basics viewing Maanchi’s step-by-step video, and then Danny stepped in to fill in the blanks. This recipe was also influenced by the bevy of dukboki I ate in Koreatown.


Separate the rice cakes into individual pieces.


In a large pot or saute pan, bring water and dried mushrooms to a boil over medium-high heat. [Maanchi’s version calls for dried anchovies rather than mushrooms.] Once the mushrooms have softened, add the rice cakes, fish cakes, gochujang, and sugar to the broth. Simmer for approximately 25 to 35 minutes, stirring constantly.


When the rice cakes are al dente and the sauce has slightly thickened, add the green onions, white onions, and zucchini. Season the broth with additional sugar and/or gochujang to taste. If using ramen noodles, add to the mixture after the vegetables are fully cooked. [Dukboki with ramen added is called rabukkee.] Finally, stir in the hard-boiled eggs.


The dukboki is ready when the sauce is thick enough to coat the rice cakes, and the rice cakes are plump and soft all the way through.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. [For Printable Recipe Click Here]

Previous Post
Next Post

40 thoughts on “Dukboki – Korean Rice Cakes in Hot Pepper Sauce

  1. Oh man. I love this dish. And I was in the local Korean grocery store this evening! Next time, I’m going to buy all the ingredients and make this! Savory mochi…love it! – mary

  2. I’ve been meaning to ask you how this turned out! Yay, thanks for sharing the recipe. I still have the rice cakes so maybe I’ll make a version of this!

  3. I think it’s hilarious when you try to pronounce this word 🙂 it’s not easy though I’ll give you that. looks like you’ve done a very faithful version of ddukbokki. Great job! now we gotta make some fish cake stew and use that to wash it all down, just like how they eat on the streets in Seoul

  4. g-ma – Vern said it was the best version of the dish he ever had! I liked it more than the K-town versions too because I was able to control the amount of spice and sweetness.

  5. That looks delicious! Way better than what we ate at Gyenari! (Though that too was tasty) I want to come over for some of that!

  6. Dukboki is one of my favorites and it’s a classic streetfood dish. I have my own version which I made several months ago. I post that shit for you girl. Maybe. If I have time. hehee. It’s not the spicy kind, it’s the soy sauce kind. This looks delicious. You’re honorary korean now.

  7. it’s my absolute favorite korean street food. whenever i make it, it’s a big fail. same with my mom. one of my aunt’s friend’s is quite good. but you’ve never had it until you snag some from an old lady street vendor in korea and she gives it to you in a plastic bag… then you know it’s the shizz…

  8. My friend ordered this last time and I wondered what it was. Now I wish I had tried it because I love rice cakes. I’m going to look for this dish next time I’m at a Korean place.

  9. ACK! I LURV dukboki!!! although, the last time i had some was a while back. the uber sweet one at gyenari kinda turned me off 🙁 will try your recipe some time soon~

  10. Actually the recipe that people call tteokbokki with the fiery red sauce is a modern adaptation of the original Gungjung tteokbokki, which is a much older recipe, going back to the days when Korea was a monarchy.

    I’m obsessed with tteokbokki, too. So obsessed, I’m doing a 12 recipe series of various fusion versions of tteokbokki for zenkimchi.com (and re-posting them on my own blog), none of them are sugary sweet, I promise.

  11. just warning i used this recipe and it was terrible! please edit this recipe! it can not possibly be 7 cups of water!(unless some where you drain out at least 75% of the water) with the 7 cups of water my ddukboki would not! thicken! it was a watery mess(to save it i added lots of corn starch and chili pepper paste)
    but the rice cake part tasted pretty good and chewy~

  12. 4evrstarz – I’m sorry that you encountered troubles with the recipe. Seven cups of water is the appropriate amount for 300 grams of rice cakes. Perhaps your package of rice cakes was smaller? Pre-cooked? All of the recipes on the site are tested, tried, and true. Good luck with your next attempt.

  13. ooh I really can’t wait to try this recipe tomorrow. I have all the ingredients ready. I also thought 7 cups of water could be too much, no? I’m comparing this with maangchi’s recipe which only calls for 4 cups of water for the same 300gr..so I’m not sure how much water I should really use.
    300gr is not much. My rice cake package says 700gr, and it’s not that much.

  14. bobacha – I hate to second guess myself, but I don’t want anyone to end up with soupy Dukboki. Until I retest this recipe, I would suggest you use 5-6 cups of water — an amount in between 4 and 7. I will retest this recipe and update it if necessary. Best of luck!

  15. I have been looking for this since 1982. I left Korea and no one stateside new what I was talking about.

    Bless you!

  16. Your recipe sounds really yummy. I want to try it.!
    I have eaten a similar recipe in a korean restaurant in London and it was really tasty.
    So can you tell me, how many tablespoons are 1/3 cup of Gochujang.? 🙂

  17. Where ca I buy all the ingredients of this recipe..I’m in Qc..please tell me..I’m craving for dukbokki..

  18. hi this looks amazing!
    But was just wondering what would you recommmend with broth. Cuz you used mushrooms and others used dried anchovies. Is there any acquired taste to each?

  19. 7 cups was WAY TOO MUCH water! I would advise much less about half that amount or else you will end up with dukbokki soup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *