Beloved Ddok Boki, you make my face perspire

In my opinion, the sign of a good ddoki boki is that it makes your face sweat. Perhaps my favourite Korean street vendor food, I quickly began experimenting on creating authentic-tasting ddok boki at home. Years later, I still make this Korean “fast food”, and as far as I can remember, it tastes just as good as any I ever bought on the street, regardless of whether I’ve got all the steps or ingredients exactly right.

I start with some ddok (I use the cylinder-shaped rice cakes) and boil it up on the stove in a bit of water. As it reaches the boil, I add some minced garlic, a bit of chopped onion, a sliced carrot, a touch of sesame oil and soy sauce, a bit of sugar, and a heaping tablespoon of gochujang (hot pepper paste). Next, I add a bit of odeng, which is a pressed fish cake (I know it sounds bad, but really, is it any different than a hot dog?) and maybe a half package of ramyeon noodles. When it’s all cooked, I add a hard-boiled egg. Et voilà: ddok boki. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy the heat!

Delicious ddok boki. Makes me think I should open a ddok boki stand and share the love; I really think it could really catch on.


1 Comment

  1. Incredibly late for this post — I actually sought out your blog because I was mentioning some books you sent me ages ago in a book review — but I figured I’d weigh in that for me, ddeok boki is better when it’s less spicy. I think it’s partly a reaction to living in Seoul, where everything is overspiced (because the quality of the food is inevitably lower than down in Jeolla-do).

    Anyway, spicy or not, one very interesting way to serve ddeok boki is to prepare it, but don’t cook it completely (and make sure the sauce is just a little too thin). Then carve out the guts from a small sweet pumpkin, put the ddeok boki inside it, replace the “lid” of the pumpkin, and bake the whole thing for a while. (When I had this, cheese was included and suited the whole mess.)

    When eating it, you use a spoon and scoop out some of the meat of the pumpkin to enjoy along with the ddeok boki. I’ve made it at home a couple of times, and it’s always been a not-bad variation. Not stellar, but interesting, and some people really like it.

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