This one is for all the ramen lovers… Rabokki is where the classic comfort of ramen meets the bold flavors of Korean street food.
In this dish, the familiar, beloved instant noodles gets a Korean twist with the spicy, savory Tteokbokki sauce. Chewy rice cakes (Tteokbokki) and slurpy instant ramen noodles come together with the spicy kick from gochujang and gochugaru, balanced with the sweetness of sugar and the depth of soy sauce.
Throw in some veggies like cabbage, onions, and carrots for crunch, and top it off with soft-boiled eggs and crispy fried dumplings. And if you’re feeling extra, add some cheese slices for that gooey, melty goodness.
Rabokki, where Tteokbokki gets an upgrade!! Easy to make, packed with flavor, and perfect for anyone looking to jazz up their ramen game.
We tried our hands with Tteokbokki some time back and became big fans of this new Korean sensation. Those chewy rice cakes were so much fun with a good amount of heat that we sure wanted to try the same thing with our favorite ramen company. We highly recommend adding fried dumplings and soft boiled eggs to the mix, as everything combined is one culinary experience.
We Love This Upgrade For So Many Reasons
Combination of Flavors: Rabokki is a delightful mix of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. The gochujang (Korean chili paste) and gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) provide heat, while the sugar and soy sauce balance it with sweetness and depth.
Textural Contrast: The chewy rice cakes and the soft, slurpy ramen noodles offer a unique and enjoyable contrast in textures.
Comfort Food: Like ramen, Rabokki is comfort food. It’s warm, hearty, and perfect for satisfying cravings, especially on chilly days or when you need a pick-me-up.
Versatility: It’s a versatile dish. You can add various toppings like boiled eggs, vegetables, fish cakes, or even cheese, allowing for customization to suit individual tastes.
Cultural Appeal: For fans of Korean cuisine, Rabokki is a fun and popular street food option, offering a taste of Korean flavors in the comfort of your own kitchen.
What is Rabokki?
Rabokki is a fusion dish from Korean cuisine, combining the spicy and sweet flavors of Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) with the comforting texture of ramen. This dish is a modern twist on traditional Korean flavors, creating a hearty, satisfying meal.
The origins of Rabokki trace back to the post-Korean War era, a time of significant culinary innovation due to the influence of foreign cultures and ingredients. Tteokbokki itself has a history that goes back centuries, originally a stir-fried dish with soy sauce-based seasoning.
It evolved into a spicier version with the introduction of gochujang in the mid-20th century. Ramyeon (the Korean word for ramen), on the other hand, entered Korean cuisine in the post-war period and quickly became a staple due to its convenience and flavor.
Rabokki emerged as street vendors began experimenting by adding ramen noodles to the popular spicy Tteokbokki, creating a dish that combined the best of both. This innovation not only added a new texture to the traditional rice cake dish but also extended the portion size, making it a more filling meal.
Over time, Rabokki has become a beloved street food in Korea. Its popularity has spread globally, with many enjoying the unique combination of flavors and textures that Rabokki offers.
- Instant Ramen Noodles: These are a key element in Rabokki. Any brand of instant ramen will work.
- Tteokbokki (Korean Rice Cakes): These chewy rice cakes are central to the dish. If they’re not fresh or soft, soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes.
- Korean Fish Cakes (Optional): These add a savory, seafood flavor to the dish. They can be omitted if you prefer.
- Veggies: Onion, carrots and cabbage.
- Chicken or Anchovy Stock: This forms the base of the sauce. Chicken stock makes it richer, while anchovy stock adds a traditional Korean flavor.
- Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste): This is a key ingredient for heat and depth of flavor.
- Gochugaru (Korean Red Chili Flakes): Adds additional heat and a touch of smokiness.
- Soy Sauce: For a savory, umami flavor.
- Sugar: Balances the heat with a hint of sweetness.
- Garlic: Freshly minced.
- Soft Boiled Eggs: These add richness and a creamy texture to the dish.
- Dumplings (Frozen): Fried for added crunch and a hearty element.
- Scallions: Cut into wedges, they add a fresh, sharp flavor.
- Sesame Seeds: Used for garnish, they add a nutty flavor and a decorative touch.
- Cheese Slices (Optional): Melted over the top, cheese adds a creamy, indulgent element to the dish.
- Soak the Tteokbokki: If the rice cakes aren’t fresh and soft, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes.
- Prepare Fish Cake: Cut the fish cake into strips and then into small triangles (if using).
- Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together gochujang, gochugaru, soy sauce, sugar, and minced garlic.
- Vegetables: In a wide pan, add cabbage, onion, white parts of the scallions, and carrot.
- Add Stock and Sauce: Pour chicken or anchovy stock into a wide pot or pan. Stir in the sauce mixture until well combined.
- Cook Rice Cakes and Fish Cakes: Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the soaked rice cakes and fish cakes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This can take longer, depending on your rice cakes and how thick you want the sauce.
- Add Ramen and Dumplings: In the last 5 minutes, add ramen noodles and fried dumplings. Cook until the ramen is done.
- Final Touches: Add soft-boiled eggs. Stir in scallion wedges, saving some for garnish. If using cheese slices, place them over the ramen noodles and let them melt.
3. Garnish and Serve:
- Sprinkle sesame seeds and remaining scallions on top. Serve the Rabokki hot and enjoy!
Rice Cake Texture: Ensure the Tteokbokki are the right texture. If they’re hard, soaking them in warm water before cooking helps soften them.
Balance the Spices: Adjust the amount of gochujang and gochugaru according to your spice tolerance. Start with less and add more as needed.
Sauce Consistency: The sauce should be thick enough to coat the ingredients nicely. If it’s too thin, simmer it longer; if it’s too thick, add a little more stock.
Cooking Ramen Noodles: Be careful not to overcook the ramen noodles, as they can get too soft and mushy. Add them towards the end of cooking.
Serving Immediately: Rabokki tastes best when served immediately, as the texture of the noodles and rice cakes can change if left to sit.
Taste As You Go: Always taste your dish as you cook to adjust the seasoning. Everyone’s flavor preferences are different, so this ensures the dish suits your palate.
Leftovers and Storing
Storing leftover Rabokki is a breeze! Once it cools down to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. While freezing is an option, be warned that the texture of the rice cakes may change upon reheating.
When you’re ready to enjoy it again, a quick zap in the microwave or a brief simmer on the stovetop will do the trick. If the sauce has thickened, simply add a splash of water or stock to get it back to its original, luscious consistency.
There you go, one more trending recipe here on GypsyPlate. The next time you’re craving something uniquely delicious, give Rabokki a try.
Whether you’re enjoying it as a cozy meal on a rainy day, sharing it with friends, or simply indulging in your love for all things spicy and savory, Rabokki never fails to delight.
Rabokki, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
- 1 packet instant ramen noodles (flavor packet discarded)
- 7oz Tteokbokki (see note 1)
- 1 sheet Korean fish cakes (optional, omit it if you don't like)
- ½ onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- 3 cups chicken stock or anchovy stock
- 3 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 Tbsp gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 soft boiled eggs (see note 2)
- 5-6 frozen dumplings, fried
- 3-4 scallions, cut into wedges
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- 3-4 cheese slices (optional)
- Unless rice cakes are fresh and soft already, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes while you prep the other ingredients for the recipe.
- Cut the fish cake into strips and then into small triangles.
- In a small bowl, mix together the gochujang, gochugaru, soy sauce, sugar, and minced garlic.
- In a wide pan or skillet, add the cabbage, onion, white parts of the green onion, and carrot.
- Add the chicken or anchovy stock to a wide pot or pan and stir in the sauce. Mix it well so the Tteokbokki sauce gets dissolved. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once the seasoned stock is boiling, add the rice cakes and fish cakes.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer it for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This can take longer, depending on your rice cakes and how thick you want the sauce. In the last 5 minutes add in ramen noodles and fried dumplings and cook till ramen is cooked.
- Add in soft boiled eggs. Stir in the scallion wedges (leaving a few for garnish), and cook for a minute. If using cheese, you can place slices over the ramen noodles and cook until melted.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and remaining scallions. Serve immediately.
- Korean rice cakes can be found freshly made, packaged in the refrigerated section, or frozen at a Korean grocery store. You can also buy Shelf-Stable Tteokbokki. These are either in cup form or sealed packs, found in the snack or international food aisle. Freshly made Tteokbokki are the best ones to use if available, and don’t require soaking.
- To make perfect soft-boiled eggs, cook for 7 minutes in boiling water, then immediately place them in an ice water bath to stop them from cooking further. You will be cooking these soft boiled eggs for a few minutes in Tteokbokki sauce, so they will be cooked almost to hard boiled, yet still a little jammy.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave, or on stovetop with a splash of extra water or stock.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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