One of the most popular street food in South Korea is 떡볶이 (tteokbokki), a spicy snack that consists of soft and chewy 떡 (tteok or rice cake), 오뎅 (odeng or fish cake) and 고추장 (gochujang or sweet red chili paste).
Anywhere in Korea, you will surely find a store or a 포장마차 (pojangmacha or street vendor) that sells this snack, but the best place to enjoy spicy Korean rice cake stew is probably in 신당동 떡볶이 타운 (Sindangdong Tteokbokki Town) where tteokbokki is said to have originated.
Last Monday, my husband and I, together with some friends, visited Sindangdong Tteokbokki Town.
It’s just a few minutes away from Dongdaemun, so if you happen to be in this famous shopping area in Seoul and you want to grab a bite to eat, Tteokbokki Town is the right place for you.
I love cooking. Sometimes I cook too much food that my husband and I can’t finish. Instead of letting the food spoil or keeping it in the fridge for days, I sometimes give the rest of it to my husband’s brothers or friends who live nearby.
Last night two of my younger students took me out for doke-boke-ee—this sort of sweet-and-spicy rice cake concoction which is probably every single young Korean’s favorite snack food (aside from yang-shik, or western cuisine). From a distance it resembles piles of red slop, and it’s so popular that you can’t walk down a crowded street for five minutes without seeing a stall selling a huge platter of this steaming, bloody, intestine-like delicacy, where people are sometimes standing around outside, spearing tubes of mashed-up rice in a very chemical sort of sauce.
Ddeokbokki (a.k.a dukbokki or tteokbokki) is a popular Korean rice cake snack dish that is commonly made with fishcakes, onions and gochujang (spicy chili paste). Being a staple Korean dish, it is usually found served up in little street carts all over Korea and Korean eateries all over the U.S. Ddeokbokki can be prepared a hundred different ways and the ddeok (rice cake) comes in different shapes like the cylinder and flat oval designs. You can find ddeok on skewers dripping with hot sauce or on a large plate in front of a hungry lot of drunken friends after a few rounds at the local suljip (Korean bar).