This recipe for Tteokkochi features skewered Korean rice cakes grilled until crisp and slightly puffy, glazed with a spicy sweet and tangy gochujang sauce.
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What is tteokkochi?
Tteokkochi (also tteok kochi or tteok kkochi) is a Korean street food consisting of grilled, spicy rice cake skewers, glazed with spicy gochujang sauce.
Tteok refers to "rice cakes" and kkochi refers to "skewers" in Korean, so it literally means rice cake skewers.
There are many types of kkochi, which include dak-kkochi (chicken skewers, similar to Japanese-style yakitori), and eoumuk-kkochi (fish cake skewers, similar to the ones used in Japanese oden).
This one is very similar to sotteok/so-tteok, which are rice cakes and mini Korean sausages skewered and glazed with gochujang sauce, and is a popular street food in South Korea and at snack bars known as bunsikjip.
These Korean rice cake skewers are a chewy and delicious snack or appetizer that you can easily make at home.
What are Korean rice cakes?
Korean rice cakes, commonly referred to as tteok, are made with steamed rice flour and glutinous rice flour, resulting in a versatile dough that can be molded into various forms.
One such variation is the cylindrical-shaped rice cake, known as garae-tteok/garaetteok, frequently used in popular dishes like tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes simmered in gochujang sauce with Korean fish cakes) or its Western fusion variation, carbonara tteokbokki.
Flat and oval-shaped rice cakes are also used in Korean cuisine, particularly in the preparation of tteokguk, a traditional soup enjoyed during New Year celebrations.
In Chinese cuisine, these flat and oval rice cakes are commonly used in stir-fried nian gao, showcasing their versatility across different cultures.
You can find Korean rice cakes in Korean grocery stores or large Asian supermarkets in the refrigerator or freezer section.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Korean tteokkochi is:
Easy to make: it's only a matter a few steps of boiling the rice cakes, making the sauce, and skewering before you get to enjoy delicious Korean street food at home.
A great way to use leftovers: a great way to use leftover tteok (rice cakes) from making tteokbokki.
Minimal in ingredients: with rice cakes as the main ingredient, and the rest are pantry/fridge staples.
Kid-friendly: a fun treat for kids to enjoy; just reduce the amount of spice if they can't tolerate spicy.
Gluten-free and vegan: great for those who are looking for a delicious gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan appetizer.
Delicious: the rice cakes are slightly crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. The addition of the sweet, sticky tangy and spicy glaze will keep you coming back for more.
Ingredients you'll need
- Korean rice cakes: for this recipe, you'll need the cylindrical rice cakes, which are also known as garae-tteok, and used in tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes in gochujang sauce)
- spicy gochujang sauce: this glazing sauce is adapted from my Korean Fried Chicken, which has a sweet and spicy, savory flavor; if you don't like spicy or a milder sauce, you can substitute with a little ketchup
- gochujang: is a slightly spicy Korean red chili paste, which is the base of the sauce
- gochugaru: Korean chili flakes; omit if you don't like it too spicy
- rice vinegar: is a clear/white-colored vinegar with a tangy, acidic flavor, also used in sushi rice
- rice syrup: or honey, as a sweetener, also adds shine to the glaze
- soy sauce: adds savory, salty flavor to the sauce
- sesame oil: toasted, adds aroma
- minced garlic: adds slight garlicky flavor; you can also use garlic powder too
You can find these ingredients at Korean grocery stores or Asian supermarkets.
How to make tteokkochi
Make the spicy gochujang sauce
In a small saucepan, combine gochujang, gochugaru, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice syrup, sesame oil, brown sugar, and garlic.
Give it a stir, and bring to a boil.
Once thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
If using frozen/refrigerated rice cakes
Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
Add in the rice cakes and blanch for about 30 seconds, until slightly softened.
Drain the rice cakes and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
If using fresh rice cakes, skip the above.
Skewer a few rice cakes onto a wooden or bamboo skewer.
Repeat with the remaining skewers.
Note: depending on how long your skewers are, you can adjust the amount of rice cakes.
Preheat a grill or pan-fry over medium-high heat.
Lightly oil the grill or pan.
Place the skewers onto the grill/pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side (flipping halfway through), or until slightly charred and the rice cakes puff up and get slightly crisp.
Remove from the grill/pan and brush the gochujang sauce on both sides of the rice cake skewers.
Garnish with parsley, scallions, sesame seeds, or crushed peanuts.
How to serve
Serve tteokkochi immediately, or while warm. They are best served warm so that you can enjoy the chewy texture of the rice cakes.
Note: as the rice cake cools down, it will stiffen.
How to store
If you have any leftover tteokkochi, you can place them into an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to reheat
To reheat, microwave for 10-20 seconds, until warmed through.
Alternatively, you can place them back onto the grill to heat through.
You can also brush on honey mustard for more of a sweet and tangy flavor.
Add mozzarella cheese for a cheesy variation.
Sprinkle on crushed peanuts, scallions/green onions and/or sesame seeds.
Expert tips & troubleshooting
Frozen or refrigerated rice cakes are stiff and hard. If your tteok (rice cakes) are frozen, you can soak them in warm water for a few minutes to soften them up, but be sure not to oversoak.
Rinse the rice cakes under cold water to halt the cooking/warming process.
When skewering the rice cakes, if you find the rice cakes a little crumbly/dry when pushing it through, moisten the skewer under water and slide on the rice cakes.
To prevent the skewers from getting being dry/burnt, soak them in water prior to grilling over a BBQ. (If you're pan-frying, you don't have to do this step).
You can also air-fry or bake the tteokkochi -- just spray the surface of the rice cakes before adding them to the air fryer/oven.
Other Korean recipes you may like
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Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Tteokkochi (Skewered Korean Rice Cakes With Spicy Gochujang Glaze)
- 4 bamboo skewers
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
- ½ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 20 Korean cylindrical rice cakes (tteok)
- green onions
- sesame seeds
- crushed peanuts
Make the spicy gochujang sauce:
- In a small saucepan, combine gochujang, gochugaru, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice syrup, sesame oil, brown sugar, and garlic.
- Give it a stir, and bring to a boil.
- Once thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
If using frozen/refrigerated rice cakes:
- Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
- Add in the rice cakes and blanch for about 30 seconds, until slightly softened.
- Drain the rice cakes and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
If using fresh rice cakes, skip the above:
- Skewer a few rice cakes onto a wooden or bamboo skewer.
- Repeat with the remaining skewers.
- Note: depending on how long your skewers are, you can adjust the amount of rice cakes.
- Preheat a grill or pan-fry over medium-high heat.
- Lightly oil the grill or pan.
- Place the skewers onto the grill/pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side (flipping halfway through), or until slightly charred and the rice cakes puff up and get slightly crisp.
- Remove from the grill/pan and brush the gochujang sauce on both sides of the rice cake skewers.
- Garnish with parsley, scallions, sesame seeds, or crushed peanuts.
- Enjoy immediately.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.