Vegan Shindangdong Style Ddeokbokki (Korean Spicy Rice Cake) Recipe!
Ddeokbokki (also spelled tteokbokki) is a Korean Spicy Rice Cake dish that is popular among all Koreans. Koreans of all ages LOVE ddeokbokki. And ddeokbokki businesses are the most popular businesses in Korea as well. So really, that’s where the money is.
Like all Koreans, I love all kinds of ddeokbokki. There are all sorts of ddeokbokki (it’s like kimchi) – the spicy kind, the non-spicy kind, regional versions and versions based on the added ingredients (like adding bean sprouts or other vegetables).
One kind of ddeokbokki that is very popular among Seoulites in particular is Shindangdong ddeokbokki. This neighborhood called Shindangdong in Seoul is very famous among for only having ddeokbokki restaurants. They literally have hundreds and hundreds of ddeokbokki shops lined up for miles, and Seoulites go there during the day and also all night to enjoy the Shindangdong style ddeokbokki.
Shindangdong ddeokbokki is unique, due to the black bean paste they include in the pepper paste. I was really craving Shindangdong ddeokbokki the other night, so I made some with the black bean paste, and Bill said this was his favorite ddeokbokki I’ve ever made for him! Next time we visit Seoul, we will be visiting the Shindangdong ddeokbokki street for sure.
Here is the recipe, maybe you’ll enjoy it too!
Vegan Shindangdong Style Ddeokbokki (Korean Spicy Rice Cake) Recipe! (Serves 4)
Sauce Ingredients (use more or less according to your liking):
3-5 Tbs pepper paste
3-5 Tbs sugar
1-2 tsp black bean sauce
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp aged soy sauce
1-2 tsp salt
1/2-1 Tbs gochugaru (red pepper powder)
kombu broth (you want to soak kombu in water for several hours, remove the kombu when using broth)
add some Thai pepper (fresh or powder) if you want it really spicy like us (optional)!
4-5 cups tube shaped rice cake (soak the rice cake in water while you prepare the ingredients)
6 cabbage leaves, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
2 cups of large green onions, sliced on the angle into large chunks
some kombu broth
1 package of Korean ramen noodles
Fried Mandu (Dumplings)
Fried Kim-mari (laver wraps, these are sweet potato noodles wraped in kim/nori seaweed)
1. Prepare your kombu broth several hours earlier (or the night before).
2. Prepare your fried dumplings or kim-mari if you want them with your ddeokbokki. (You dip the dumplings and kim-mari into the yummy ddeokbokki sauce, so it’s okay if they are not hot. Just keep them lukewarm, and it’ll be yummy!)
3. Add all the sauce ingredients together and put it on low heat. Let it simmer for several minutes but don’t let it stick – you need to add water every time it gets too dry. Check and see if the sauce tastes good to you, and add some more ingredients accordingly to your liking!
3. Add all the main ingredients into the pot. Add kombu broth to the pot so it covers the ingredients.
4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low-medium and let it simmer for 5 minutes or so until the rice cake is semi-soft.
5. Add the Korean ramen noodles (add some hot water on top of it if there is not enough water for the noodles to soak up).
6. Wait only until the noodles get semi-soft (you really don’t want the noodles mushy, it doesn’t taste good!), check the rice cake to see if it is done. Rice cake textures differ out of the bag, so you need to make sure that your rice cake has become very tender before you eat it.
7. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and enjoy! Yumm… ddeokbokki takes me back to Shindangdong in Seoul, instantly!
Soaking kombu in water the night before – remove the kombu when using broth!
Before you start preparing anything, you want to start soaking your rice cake in warm water so it will be ready to add later.
These are kim-mari, they are deep fried seaweed rolls ( sweet potato noodles and some veggies are inside the seaweed wraps). Bill and I love them. So yummy!
These are called Ramen-Sari. They are ramen noodles without the seasoning. They are cheaper than normal, and you will be able to find them in a Korean store. Some stores might not have them, in that case, you can use normal ramen noodles – but you’ll have to waste your seasoning pack!
The black bean paste that we used for the dish – vegan and MSG free!
Making the sauce – let it simmer for several minutes but don’t let it stick – you need to add water every time it gets too dry!
Add all the main ingredients into the pot (except the noodles which you’ll want to add a bit later) and add kombu broth to the pot so it covers the ingredients!
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low-medium and let it simmer for 5 minutes or so until the rice cake is semi-soft! Add the Korean ramen noodles and don’t forget to add some hot water on top of it if there is not enough water for the noodles to soak up!
Have your fried dumplings and kim-mari ready to eat with the ddeokbokki! You dip the dumplings into the ddeokbokki sauce when you eat them!
Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top!
And yumm… enjoy ddeokbokki – Shindangdong style!