Home » Food Information » What Does Tteokbokki Taste Like? A Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Tteokbokki

What Does Tteokbokki Taste Like? A Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Tteokbokki

Maria Foster
Last Updated on
by Maria Foster

Tteokbokki, also known as spicy rice cake, is a well-known Korean food that is now popular all over the world. 

What Does Tteokbokki Taste Like? A Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Tteokbokki

Made from chewy rice cakes cooked in a spicy sauce, tteokbokki is a delicious and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or a main course. 

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about tteokbokki, including its history, ingredients, and how to make your own. 

So get ready to learn everything that you need to know about tteokbokki!

What Is Tteokbokki?

Tteokbokki is Korean street food made with rice cakes, also known as tteok, that are cooked in a spicy sauce. 

The dish is typically served with fish cakes, boiled eggs, and scallions, and is known for its bold and fiery flavors. Tteokbokki is often enjoyed as a snack or a main course and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. 

While the classic version of tteokbokki features a spicy and savory sauce, there are many variations of the dish that incorporate different ingredients and flavors. 

Tteokbokki can be found at street food vendors throughout Korea and has gained popularity around the world as a delicious and satisfying dish.

What Does Tteokbokki Taste Like?

Tteokbokki has a unique flavor profile that combines sweetness, spiciness, and chewiness. The rice cakes (tteok) are soft and chewy, and the sauce is sweet, savory, and spicy. 

The level of spiciness can vary depending on the amount of gochujang (Korean chili paste) used in the recipe. 

The dish can also have a slightly nutty flavor from the toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds that are often added as a garnish. 

Overall, tteokbokki has a bold and satisfying flavor that is beloved by many Koreans and fans of Korean cuisine around the world.

The Ingredients Of Tteokbokki

The main ingredients of tteokbokki include the following:

  • Rice cakes (Tteok): The main ingredient of tteokbokki, which are cylindrical-shaped rice cakes made with glutinous rice flour.
  • Gochujang: A fermented Korean chili paste that is the key ingredient in the spicy sauce that gives tteokbokki its distinctive flavor.
  • Soy sauce: Adds a savory and salty flavor to the sauce.
  • Sugar: Balances out the heat of the gochujang and adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Garlic: Adds depth and flavor to the sauce.
  • Water: Used to cook the rice cakes and to help make the sauce.

Additional Tteokbokki Ingredients

In addition to the main ingredients, many other ingredients can be added to tteokbokki to enhance its flavor and texture. 

Here are some common additional ingredients that are often used in tteokbokki:

  • Fish cakes: A popular addition to tteokbokki, fish cakes are made from ground fish and can be found in various shapes and sizes.
  • Vegetables: Common vegetables used in tteokbokki include sliced onions, scallions, and carrots. Other vegetables that can be added include sliced cabbage, mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini.
  • Meat: Some people like to add sliced beef, pork, or chicken to their tteokbokki for additional protein and flavor.
  • Seafood: Seafood such as shrimp, squid, and mussels can be added to tteokbokki to give it a seafood flavor.
  • Cheese: Adding cheese to tteokbokki has become popular in recent years, and can give the dish a creamy and savory flavor.
  • Instant Noodles: Instant noodles such as ramen or udon can be added for texture and to make it more filling.
  • Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds can be sprinkled on top of tteokbokki for added crunch and nuttiness.
  • Sesame Oil: A drizzle of sesame oil can be added to give the dish a rich and nutty flavor.
  • Honey: Some people like to add a touch of honey to their tteokbokki to balance out the heat and sweetness.

The History Of Tteokbokki

What Does Tteokbokki Taste Like? A Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Tteokbokki

The history of tteokbokki can be traced back to the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled Korea from the late 14th century to the late 19th century.

During this time, tteok, or rice cakes, were a popular staple food among Koreans and were often eaten during special occasions and festivals.

The earliest version of tteokbokki was called garae-tteok, which was a plain rice cake made with glutinous rice flour. It was typically eaten with a sauce made from soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings.

However, in the 1950s, the dish evolved to include a spicy red sauce made with gochujang, a fermented chili paste that is a staple in Korean cuisine.

The spicy version of tteokbokki became increasingly popular in the 1960s and 1970s when street food vendors began selling it in outdoor markets and on street corners throughout Korea. 

Today, tteokbokki remains a popular street food and comfort food in Korea and has become popular around the world as a delicious and unique dish.

How To Make Your Own Tteokbokki 

Here is a simple recipe to make your own tteokbokki at home, including what you will need to make it:


  • 1 pound of rice cakes (tteok)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4-5 fish cakes, sliced
  • 2 boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Sesame oil (optional)


Soak the rice cakes in cold water for 30 minutes to soften them.

In a large pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the gochujang, soy sauce, and sugar to the pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is well combined.

Add the water to the pan and bring to a boil.

Drain the rice cakes and add them to the pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the rice cakes are soft and the sauce has thickened.

Add the sliced fish cakes and boiled eggs to the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until heated through.

Garnish with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil (if desired).

Your homemade tteokbokki is ready to be served! Don’t forget that this recipe can be adjusted to your liking by adding other ingredients such as vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, or instant noodles. 

Final Thoughts 

Tteokbokki is a unique and flavorful Korean dish that combines chewy rice cakes with a sweet, savory, and spicy sauce. 

The dish has a bold and satisfying taste that is beloved by many Koreans and fans of Korean cuisine around the world. 

The chewy texture of the rice cakes, combined with the complex and bold flavors of the sauce, makes tteokbokki a truly unforgettable dish. 

Whether you try it at a Korean restaurant or make it at home, tteokbokki is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more!

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
Leave a Reply

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