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Author Notes: This is one of my favorite Korean dishes. It's rice cakes (think mochi, not the crunchy Quaker kind) smothered in a spicy sauce and one-upped with ramen noodles and cheese. I personally love a truffle cheddar, but mozzarella is what you'll usually find when you order this in Ktown. Obviously, the cheese and ramen noodles can be omitted, yielding regular ddukbokki, which is just as yummy, just less complicated.
For the protein, I rotate between fish cakes (which is traditional) and beef, depending on my mood. But I've used shredded chicken, ground pork, and firm tofu in the past with excellent results. You can also mix this up by adding more vegetables, if you care about your five-a-day. —Rach Kim
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces protein of choice (beef, fish cake, chicken, tofu, etc.)
- 1 1/2 cups stock or water
- 1/4 cup Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pound rice cakes (tube kind are preferable, fresh if you can find it, frozen works too but they need to be thawed completely)
- 4 ounces ramen noodles (Korean brand is preferable)
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (I like truffle cheddar)
- 2 eggs, hard boiled
- 1 scallion, chopped
- Heat a wide, shallow pan over medium heat and add in the sesame oil and canola oil. When the pan is hot, add in the onions and garlic and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in the protein and saute until cooked through. (Cooking time will vary depending on the protein.)
- Add stock (or water) to the pan and then stir in the hot pepper paste, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, and sugar. Keep stirring until completely combined and then bring to a boil.
- Cut the rice cakes into 2" pieces. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the rice cakes. If the rice cakes are fresh, they'll only need to be cooked for 5 to 7 minutes. If frozen rice cakes are used, they'll need to cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender.
- When the rice cakes are tender, make a spot in the middle and add in the ramen. Cook just until the noodles are soft.
- Sprinkle cheese all over the top and let the heat of the rabokki melt the cheese. Garnish with the hard boiled eggs (cut in half) and sprinkle with scallions and serve immediately. [For the sake of food photography and ease of serving, I dished out my rabokki into little crocks before sprinkling on the cheese.]
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best One-Pan Dinner