Bryan and I have spent countless nights reminiscing about his army days in South Korea. My eyes, ears, and stomach would naturally light up at every mention of tangy kimchi Jjigae, the-anything-goes Spam Army Stew, spaghetti Jajangmyeon and umami soy eggs. Recreating those memorable dishes has been a deliciously joyful experience. But it wasn’t until he introduced me to Ra-bokki – the mind-blowing combination of my two favorite midnight munchie foods – that I truly understood the real meaning of no-rules Korean Street food.
The Mashup of Our Dreams
Ra-bokki consists of spicy stir-fried rice cakes swimming in gochujang with boiled eggs and scallions, smashed together with a package of sautéed hot-dog-cheesy-ramyeon. It’s a treat that, once you’ve had it, you’ll become seriously obsessive over. And believe me, I have! It’s the perfect marriage of starch on starch. I have moments of pure, mouthwatering bliss just thinking about this dish because I love it so much. Ra-bokki is a serious textural and flavorful culinary roller coaster, and we’re here with your ticket to ride!
You can find these tubular rice cakes at any Korean or modern Asian grocery store. They’re usually packed in a foam tray if made fresh, or you can find them refrigerated in a vac-sealed bag. Gochujang and gochujaru are two key ingredients to both the color and flavor of tteok-bokki. They’re becoming so increasingly popular that I’ve been able to source them from my local neighborhood market.
Anchovy broth is traditional, but we’ve decided to omit it and go with beefy onion soup mix for its rich and approachable taste. We think it adds extra savory notes to the dish without weighing it down. However, we do recommend you try using the anchovy broth if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, it’s absolutely delicious! For the ramyeon, we’re huge fans of Nongshim Shin Ramyun and Samyang Buldak hot chicken ramen (the one with the fire breathing chicken cartoon on the package). Any Korean ramyeon will do the trick just fine, though.
Bonus tip: we highly recommend that you try adding the flat version of the rice cakes to our favorite chicken stew dish for a fun twist on the recipe, which we think adds a bit of extra textural interest to the meal.
|Prep Time||10 mins|
|Cook Time||20 mins|
- 1 pkg Instant Ramyun Noodle Pack With seasoning
- 2 pcs Hot Dogs Cut to desired shape
- 1 slice American Cheese Sub Mozzarella
- 1 tbls Butter
- 1-2 whole Eggs
- 2 1/4 c Water, divided 2 c for boiling eggs and ramyun, 1/4 for sauce
- 1 pkg Korean Rice Cakes Around 10-20 pcs in a pack, separated and soaked in cool water for 10 mins
- 1 sheet Korean Fish Cake Cut into diamonds or triangles, sub imitation crab or balls
- 1 1/2 c Water
- 1 c Cabbage, large chop
- 1/2 lrg Onion, sliced
- 1/2 can Spam, diced
- 4 stalks Green Onion, sliced, divided Save some for garnish
- 1 whole Fresh Korean Long Red Chili, sliced Sub Red Jalapeño or Fresnos
- 1 tbls Beefy Onion Soup Mix Lipton packet works great, sub beef bouillon
- 2 tbls Gochujang Paste I use spicy gochujang
- 2 tbls Gochujaru Pepper Flakes
- 1 tbls Sugar
- 1/2 tbls Garlic, Minced
- 1 tbls Soy Sauce
- 1/4 tsp White Pepper
- 1 tbls Tapioca Starch Syrup (optional)
For the Noodles
For the Tteokbokki
- In a medium sauce pot, add 1 1/2 c water and whole eggs with a pinch of salt just enough to cover the top of the eggs. Set stove to medium/high heat and allow water to come to boil. Set a timer for 6-8 mins depending on how well you want your eggs to turn out. I went for a 4 min egg since I like mine a bit runny.
- Once the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the water and transfer them to a bowl. Turn the heat down to low and reserve water until you are ready to use to cook the ramyun. Once eggs are cooled, peel off the shells and set aside.
- In a separate, deep sauté, fry or wok pan, add spam and fish cakes. Turn heat to high and fry until edges are browned for 4 mins. Transfer to a bowl.
- Return pan to stove and add water, gochujang, gochujaru, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, pepper, soup mix. Bring to a boil. Add in onions, cabbage, sliced chilis and rice cakes. Boil for about 8 mins or until the rice cakes are soft and the sauce has thickened nicely. Turn the heat down to medium if it begins to splash.
- Add in green onions, spam, boiled eggs and fish cakes. Boil for another 2 mins. Finish with starch syrup if you want them to extra glossy and slightly sweet. Set aside.
- Turn the heat for the water pot to high. Remove ramyun from packet. Add to the boiling water. Cook to desired tenderness, I like mine at around 2 mins, al dente. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- Return pot to the stove and add butter. When butter is melted and glistening, add in sliced hot dogs. Sauté lightly, add 1/4 water, seasoning packet if desired, and bring to a boil. Add ramyun noodles and american cheese. Turn heat off and gently fold noodles into the sauce.
- Prepare two bowls with 50/50 tteokbokki and hot dog cheesy ramyun. Top with more green onions and a sprinkle of your favorite toppings like sesame, more cheese, or seaweed flakes.