[Recipe] Ddukbokki Rabokki (Korean spicy rice cakes)

The finished product. Rabokki (ramyun + ddukbokki).
If you love Korean ddukbokk (spicy rice cakes) like I do, are currently not living in Korea, and refuse to pay the absurd prices charged by Korean restaurants for street food, try making it yourself.

It is super easy to make! If you make it at home, it will cost about $4 USD or enough to serve at least 2 people.

You just need a few ingredients and about 30 minutes.
You will be able to find these ingredients at any Korean market and at most Chinese or Japanese supermarkets.

How do you like your rice cakes?
Rabokki - with ramen noodles mixed in
Cheese ddukbokki - with American cheese slices on top
Bulgogi - with thinly sliced beef inside

4~5 cups of water
5~6 anchovies (to taste)
Cylindrical Korean rice cakes (make sure to by the cylinder ones, not the disk ones...those are for soup) - 1 pound (I usually buy a large bag and freeze the rest for another day)
Korean red pepper paste (to taste - I usually add about 1/3 cup...I eyeball it and taste the sauce)
Korean red pepper flakes (to taste)
Sugar or Korean cooking syrup (corn syrup) (to taste) (I usually use the corn syrup...I add about two squirts, but then taste it...if it's too spicy for me or my friends, I add a little bit more)

Green onions
Korean fish paste sheets (sliced, I usually slice into rectangular strips)
Carrots (my Chinese American friend adds this, but I don't like it...it adds a strange flavor)
Thinly sliced beef
Seafood (ie. mussels, little octopi, shrimp)
Ramyun/Ramen noodles

One other variety of ddukbokki, midway through cooking. This one had fish paste sheets, green onions, and carrots.

1. Soak the rice cakes in water. I usually soak them for about 4 hours and soak them longer if they were frozen.
2. Make the anchovy broth. I like mine to be pretty strong, so I add abut 6 or 7 anchovies in about 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes.
You can make a thinner sauce by adding more water either now or later. I like my sauce to be flavorful, but thin, so I can add it to other foods.
3. Remove the anchovies from the water and dispose of them.
4. Add the rice cakes to the boiling water.
5. Add other optional ingredients at this time.
6. After 5 minutes. Add the red pepper paste, flakes, and cooking syrup to the pot.
7. Let some of the water evaporate off.
8. Serve immediately.

You can serve with rice. Some of my friends like eating it with rice to cut the heat.
Other delicious serving ideas include serving with homemade or store-bought kimbap (Korean sushi) or soondae (Korean sausage). If you pour some of the sauce over either the kimbap or the sundae, it'll make it taste even better.

The secret to delicious ddukbokki at home is the anchovies. Seriously!! Without it, the flavor is very flat, but with the anchovies, it tastes like what you buy in the store!

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