DDUKBOKKI (SPICY RICE CAKE)
750 g rice cake tubes
1,5 litres water
8 large dried anchovies with heads and intestines removed
20 cm dried kelp
80 ml hot pepper paste (gochujang)
15 ml hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
15 ml sugar
3 Spring onions
Ddukbokki, also spelled tteokbokki, is a common spicy Korean street food made of cylindrical rice cakes, vegetables and sweet red chilli sauce. It can be found at tiny stalls all over Seoul, and has travelled wherever Korean expatriate communities flourish. You can get a special machine for extruding rice cake tubes, but it seems wasted effort when you can just pick some up at a Korean grocery store.
Add the water, dried anchovies, and dried kelp to a shallow pot or pan and boil for 15 minutes over medium high heat without the lid. It will make about 750 ml of stock.
Cut the Spring onion into 6 cm pieces. Combine the hot pepper paste, flakes, and sugar in a small bowl. Remove the anchovies and kelp from the pot and add the rice cake, the spicy mixture in the bowl and the Spring onion.
Stir gently with a wooden spoon when it starts to boil. Keep stirring until the rice cake turns soft and the sauce thickens and looks shiny. This should take about 10 -15 minutes. If the sauce thickens too much and the rice cake is not soft enough, add a little water and cook a bit longer.
Remove from the heat and serve hot.