On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

Korean Rice Cakes: Beef, Vegan & Cheese Tteokbokki Options

If unfamiliar with Korean food and cuisine, you likely have never enjoyed (or heard of) tteokbokki. But this is where we step in, offering you a spicy tteokbokki recipe with unique modifications!

Korean Rice Cakes: Beef, Vegan & Cheese Tteokbokki Options

If unfamiliar with Korean food and cuisine, you likely have never prepared tteokbokki.

Or never heard of tteokbokki, for that matter (nor know how to say it)...

But this is where we step in: Enlightening you of not only what it is, but how to prepare this popular Korean dish at home!

Tteok is a Korean rice cake made with steamed flour, which is slightly sweet and chewy in texture once cooked. And tteokbokki is like a Korean rice cake soup.

The sauce for this recipe is what makes these rice cakes satisfying, as it features the combining flavors of anchovy stock, dried kelp, and hot peppers.

The dish adds a touch (or a lot) of heat depending on preference thanks to gochujang, a Korean hot pepper paste.

Find out how to make one delicious spicy tteokbokki recipe with unique modifications.

Tteokbokki Recipe (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition per serving: 170 calories, 2 g fat, 7 g protein, 32 g total carb, 2 g fiber

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes


• 1 lb tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes)
• 3 1/2 cups anchovy stock
• 6 X 6-inch piece dried kelp
• 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
• 1 Tbsp gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes)
• 1 Tbsp sugar
• 3 green onions, chopped into 2-inch pieces (finely chop extra for garnish)
• Fish cakes (optional)


1. For hard rice cakes, soak in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Skip this step if the rice cakes are already soft.

2. In a medium-size pot over high heat, add anchovy stock and dried kelp. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.

3. In a small bowl, combine gochujang, gochugaru, and sugar.

4. Remove kelp from stock then add rice cakes, gochujang mixture, and green onions. Bring back to a boil, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until cakes are al dente. The broth will also be thickened.

5. Turn off the heat, transfer to a large serving bowl, and garnish with the chopped green onion.

Additions & Substitutions for Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki recipes are versatile and can take on the flavor of so many tasty ingredients.

Some of our favorites include a seafood cheese tteokbokki, steak spicy rice cakes, amongst the few we share!

Seafood Cheese Tteokbokki

A seafood cheese tteokbokki is like seafood mac and cheese, but maybe even better (if that is possible)!

Follow the Korean rice cake soup recipe above, adding in favorite seafood such as crab, shrimp, and lobster.

While you can melt cheese in the pan itself, consider broiling for a gooey, golden top layer with these simple steps:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Transfer the tteokbokki into a large casserole dish.

3. Top with shredded cheese such as mozzarella and provolone.

4. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and golden in color.

5. Top with chopped green onion and red pepper flakes as desired.

Spicy Steak Rice Cake Soup

Fish cakes are traditionally used in tteokbokki, though steak makes a great addition as well.

Follow the recipe detailed above, making the following tweaks for a satisfying beef Korean soup:

1. Cut steak sirloin into thin strips. Feel free to use other beef brisket and other cuts of beef, just make sure they are thinly sliced.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together 4 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp honey, and 1 tsp minced garlic. Add the beef, toss until coated, and marinate for at least 20 minutes.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add steak and cook until evenly browned.

4. Add 3 1/2 cups of beef broth to browned stick, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Plate and garnish with cracked black pepper.

Vegan Tteokbokki

To make the tteokbokki vegan-friendly, simply swap out the anchovy stock with a vegetable broth.

Offer plant-based protein with edamame, tofu, tempeh, and other preferred sources.

Bulk with veggies, too, including bell pepper, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, mushroom, and onion.

Bonus Tteokbokki Ideas & Tips

The above tteokbokki recipes and tips are nothing short of delicious. But the ideas do not stop there!

Other ways to flavor and tweak your next bowl of tteokbokki include:

• Topping with egg, cooking the egg yolk to desired doneness.
• Adding crab sticks or other desired lean protein sources.
• Drizzling with various oils, including sesame oil and olive oil.
• Garnishing with sesame seeds or chopped peanuts.
• Flavoring with low-sodium soy sauce or fish sauce.
• Sweetening with honey or brown sugar.
• Seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

All-in-all, make this tteokbokki your own!

Enjoy the rich flavor the original recipe offers? Stick to the basics!

Wish for a spicy and meaty recipe? Go for the steak spicy rice cake recipe with extra gochujang.

Regardless, you will want to keep this unique recipe in your arsenal!