Everything’s Better With Cheese, Including These Spicy Fried Rice Cakes

November 27, 2015

There’s no room for debate here: Korean is one of the most diverse and most rewarding cuisines in the Asian repertoire. There’s a focus on both fresh and fermented, intense and subtle, spicy and sweet. It’s no surprise then that in the past decade it has become the new it food, catapulting itself from mom-and-pop gogigui to trendy Korean-influenced places with gochujang chicken in buns.


Tteokbokki is probably less known in the Korean canon, but the dish embodies what has made their flavors so popular. Sticky like mochi then thrown into a deep, rich, spicy stew, it’s one of Seoul’s most arresting street snacks. Imagine it deep-fried with a coating of panko revealing the sticky cake, while dredged in gluey melted cheese. It’s a whole new take on the trend.

Deep-fried Cheese Tteokbokki

Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings


  • 30 long rice cakes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup gochujang
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • oil, for frying
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced and reserved in cold water
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. In a large pan, add the rice cakes and water.
  2. Cook the rice cakes until plump and softened.
  3. Add in the gochujang, cayenne, and brown sugar, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil until the sauce is thickened, and the rice cakes are coated.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. In a pot, heat oil to 375F.
  7. Skewer 5 rice cakes onto barbecue sticks and continue until there are 6 sticks.
  8. Take the sauce remaining in the pot and set aside.
  9. Take each stick of rice cakes and dip into the panko, until all the rice cakes are completely coated.
  10. Fry in the oil until golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes.
  11. Remove the tteokbokki and drain on paper towels, continuing until all sticks are fried.
  12. Place the fried tteokbokki on a baking tray and top evenly with grated cheese.
  13. Place the tteokbokki in the broiler for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.
  14. Remove from the oven and garnish the fried tteokbokki with scallions and sesame seeds.
  15. Serve with the remaining sauce.
Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

1 comments in this post SHOW

One response to “Everything’s Better With Cheese, Including These Spicy Fried Rice Cakes”

  1. Cel says:

    Now I’m craving the typical tteokbokki (or however it’s actually spelled lol), do any of you have recommendations where to get it in the QC area?

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