After doing some research, I was quite surprised to read about how ancient Ttoekbokki really was! it was originally developed during the 1800’s, specifically to be enjoyed by the Korean Royal Courts. Another surprising fact is that the original Tteokbokki was not intended to be spicy, but quite the opposite. It’s purpose was to be served as a nutritious dish with rice cake, seasonal vegetables, and soy sauce based seasoning. I am not 100% on what vegetables were served for the King’s Gungjung Tteokbokki, but I am thinking more healthy ingredients like onion, shiitake mushroom, and Korean roots. Isn’t it cool that you can still enjoy the same Tteokbokki today, which was intended for kings and queens from the 1800’s? Perhaps this might give you more of a reason to try this dish? LOL.
why choose gungjung over spicy tteokbokki?
The popularity of spicy tteokbokki continues to buzz all over the social media these days, but I wanted to highlight the non-spicy version today. I personally think Gunjung Tteokbokki can be more healthy and quite tasty in it’s own ways. The vegetables and beef flavors do not get lost in this dish and compliments nicely with the soft and chewy rice cakes. You may find different versions of Gungjung Tteokbokki out there, with variations in vegetables used. For this recipe, I decided to use simple ingredients that are appealing and healthy. Perhaps it may look more like a fusion dish? LOL. Feel free to change around the vegetables to your liking!If you can’t eat spicy food, this is a great option for you!
Last but not least, kids really really love this dish! They can devour these in minutes!! Since soy sauce is the main component of flavoring, by making it sweeter, kids cannot resist. LOL. Just make sure you cut the rice cakes smaller for the little ones!
What are the main ingredients I need?
- Korean Rice Cake
- Dry Kelp
- Soy Sauce
Korean Rice Cake: For this recipe, I used fresh rice cake that had been in stored in the freezer and thawed out. I had to soak them in cold water about 10-15min to keep them hydrated and make them softer. If you have fresh rice cake that are very soft to touch, you do not need to soak them in water. If you have the vaccum sealed, prepackaged rice cake from the market, you can also soak them in cold water for about 10-15min.
Dry Kelp: These come in dehydrated state, so it needs to be soaked in cold water for about 15-20min. The kelp will develop some sticky texture on the surface, and that’s totally normal. You will only need to use it’s soaked water. Raw kelp does not taste good, if you don’t want to discard the kelp, boil them in a soup base and consume sliced.
Beef: I used Beef Loin Flap Meat Cut from Costco or Sirloin Tip. Another good type of meat would be the Boneless Chuck Short Ribs.
Soy Sauce: I used the Korean Sempio soy sauce. You can also use light soy sauce.
What are the items that needs prepping?
- Soak kelp in cold water for 15-20 min. Keep water for later. Discard kelp.
- Soak rice cake in cold water for 10-15 min. Discard water.
- Gather vegetables, chop and julienne. Mince garlic.
- Dice beef, bite size.
- Make sauce and set aside.
what are the steps in cooking ttoekbokki?
- Into the pan, add water, broccoli and salt. Close lid and simmer until broccoli is little undercooked. Set the broccoli aside for later and discard water.
- Heat the same pan to medium high, add sesame oil, garlic and spring onion. Stir fry until fragrant.
- Change to high heat. Add meat into the pan stir fry. When half way done, add sake.
- When meat is almost done, add rice cakes, kelp water and sauce. Lower heat to medium and keep stirring for 1-2min.
- Add vegetables. Stir fry until rice cake is soft. Add more water if there’s not enough moisture, to avoid burning and sticking to the pan.
- Turn off heat. Sprinkle sesame oil (optional) and garnish with sesame seeds.
do they sell gungjung tteokbokki in restaurant?
Unfortunately the answer is no. Gungjung Tteokbokki is not sold in stores or restaurant. I find that very interesting? I guess the spicy tteokbokki has taken over the industry! Ha! But seriously, if you try this recipe, you will see that Gungjung Tteokbokki is just as tasty and satisfying! Let me know how yours turned out! Love to hear your comments!
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like these other dishes:
Korean Royal Court Stir-Fried Rice Cake, Gungjung Tteokbokki
- 1 dry kelp 2"x3"
- 1 cup cold water to soak kelp and use for cooking later
- 16 pc korean rice cake soak in cold water
- 1 cup broccoli chopped small
- ⅙ tsp sea salt for steaming broccoli
- ½ cup water for steaming broccoli
- 1½ tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 tbsp scallion chopped
- 4 oz beef loin flap meat cut, finely chopped or Sirloin Tip
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 pc red mini sweet pepper julienned
- ½ small carrot julienned
- ¼ cup edamamme cooked & peeled
- 1 pinch sesame seeds
- 1 drizzle sesame oil optional
soy sauce marinade
- 2 tbsp Korean soy sauce
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 pinch pepper
- Soak dry kelp in 1 cup of cold water for 15 min. Save water to use for cooking. Discard kelp.
- Soak rice cake in cold water for 10-15min. Discard water.
- Into a pan, add water, broccoli and salt. Close lid and simmer until broccoli is slightly undercooked. Set broccoli aside for later. Discard water.
- Bring the same pan back and set to medium high heat. Add sesame oil, garlic and spring onion. Stir fry until fragrant.
- Set temp to high heat and add meat to the pan. Stir fry meat, when half way done, add sake. When meat is almost done, add rice cakes, kelp water (½ to ⅔ cup) and soy sauce marinade. Set heat to medium. Stir fry for 1-2min.
- Add vegetables and stir fry until rice cake is soft. Add more kelp water if needed to avoid sticking to the pan.
- Turn off heat. Drizzle with sesame oil (optional) and sprinkle sesame seeds.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a comment below or tag @seasonedbyjin