Cheesy Cabbage Tteokbokki
A dish of royalty, tteokbokki consists of chewy Korean rice cakes (tteok) that are stir-fried (bokki) and slicked in a savory-sweet sauce. Sometimes the sauce is soy-sauce-based, as the kings of the Joseon dynasty enjoyed in the royal court dish gungjung tteokbokki. But more commonly today, as it is here, the sauce is gloriously red, spicy and gochujang-based. Traditional versions might include fish cakes and whole hard-boiled eggs, but this one leans into a base of butter-fried shallots and a layer of melted cheese covered in a crunchy blanket of raw cabbage. A parade of halved, molten-centered soft-boiled eggs bedecks the top.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3large eggs
- 1tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3tablespoons gochujang
- 1tablespoon soy sauce
- 1large garlic clove, finely grated
- 3tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2large shallots, thinly sliced crosswise into rings
- 1pound fresh or frozen tteok (rice cakes)
- ½cup shredded cheese, such as sharp Cheddar or low-moisture mozzarella
- 5ounces green cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
Step 1Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the eggs carefully and reduce the heat to gently simmer the eggs until soft-boiled, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain the eggs, leaving them in their pot, then shake the pot to crack their shells. Cover the cracked eggs with cold water to shock them, then let cool enough to touch. Once they are sufficiently cooled, peel the eggs directly in the water (they should peel easily); set aside.
Step 2In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, gochujang, soy sauce and garlic. Set aside.
Step 3In a large pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, season generously with salt and cook, stirring constantly, until the edges of the shallots are really brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the gochujang mixture and cook, stirring for a few seconds, just until the sauce loses its raw edge.
Step 4Stir in 1 cup cold tap water and add the tteok, making sure to separate them if stuck together. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook until the sauce thickens and the tteok are heated through but still chewy, 4 to 6 minutes. (Add a minute or two if using frozen rice cakes.)
Step 5To serve, scatter over the cheese, followed by the cabbage — a nice, crunchy blanket of it. Cover to let the cheese melt; the cabbage will steam slightly and lose some of its raw edge. Halve the soft-boiled eggs and arrange them over the crunchy, cheesy cabbage.