How to make goongjung tteokpokki, Korean palace-style rice cakes with beef
Korean rice cakes are addictive. Once you try them, you will love the chewy texture of the cake and the flavor of the entire dish. The most common and popular kind would be the rice cakes slobbered in spicy chili sauce. They are easily found at many street vendors all over in Korea. However, have you ever tried more upscale rice cake dishes?
Here is a dish called Goongjung tteokppoki (궁중 떡볶이). It literally means palace-style rice cakes. The rice cakes were often served to the kings and queens of ancient Korea as their snack. The ancient palace food in Korea is not spicy at all. The kings were not allowed to eat foods that are too strong and spicy in flavor since they believed it was too stimulating.
Anyway, these palace rice cakes are mild and very delicious. Since it is not spicy at all, many of Korean mothers make these rice cakes for their young children or anyone who wants to stay away from the spicy food. It is easy to make and quite well balanced in nutrition with the beef and various vegetables. Although many Koreans eat this as a snack, I could see this can be a simple meal itself. It is quite satisfying.
First, soak dried mushrooms in water for 30-60 minutes or until soft. You can use fresh mushroom instead, but I like to use the soaking water for more intense flavor.
Soak rice cakes in cold water for 10 minutes. If using fresh cakes, no need to soak.
I had some leftover marinated Korean beef (bulgogi). If you don't, I will give you a simple recipe below to make seasoning for the beef.
After rice cakes are soaked, coat the cakes with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil and set aside.
Slice onion, pepper, and zucchini into long strips.
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, corn syrup, sesame seeds, and 2 tablespoons mushroom soaking water. Set aside.
Heat skillet on med-high and saute onion, pepper, and mushroom slices for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle some salt as you saute. Lastly add the zucchini slices and heat through. Transfer the vegetables to another plate.
Add the beef to a hot skillet and cook until they are browned.
Add the rice cakes and 4 tablespoons of mushroom soaking water and cook until the rice cakes are tender, about 3 minutes.
Add the vegetables and the prepared sauce mixture, toss and cook for another 3 minutes. Adjust the heat level so that rice cakes won't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle some chopped green onion, black pepper, and sesame seeds over and it is ready to serve.
Soft yet chewy rice cakes with tender beef and crisp vegetables — these palace-style rice cakes will treat you like a royalty.
This will make a great meal on its own and can be adapted to a gluten-free meal if you are using the gluten-free soy sauce. If so, please make sure you get 100% rice cakes.
The new year is coming near. Koreans like to eat food made with rice cakes for a new year, such as rice cake soup or these palace rice cakes with beef and vegetables. I hope you can give this recipe a shot and impress your loved ones.
Have a happy new year!
Palace Rice Cakes with Beef and Vegetables
- 13 oz (390g) rice cakes, frozen or fresh
- 1/2 lb thinly sliced beef sirloin or marinaded bulgogi
- 4-5 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 small red pepper, sliced
- 1 zucchini, diagonally sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoon mushroom soaking water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 green onion, chopped
For the beef marinade:
2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon rice wine, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 garlic clove minced
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons mushroom soaking water
- Soak the dried mushrooms in cold water until soft about 30-60 minutes. Squeeze our excess water and slice the mushroom into thin strips. Reserve the soaking water.
- For the beef, combine all the beef marinade and toss with thinly sliced beef and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Thaw the frozen rice cakes, then soak in water for 10 minutes. If using fresh cakes, no need to soak. Drain the rice cakes and toss them with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Set aside.
- For the sauce, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and mushroom soaking water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over med-high heat, add the onion, pepper and mushroom. Sprinkle some salt and saute until crisp soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini slices lastly and heat through. Transfer the vegetables to another plate and set aside.
- Add the beef marinade to a hot skillet and cook until the beef is browned. Add the reserved rice cakes and 4 tablespoon of mushroom soaking water and let them simmer for 2-3 minutes over med heat or until the rice cakes are soft.
- Add the vegetables and the reserved sauce to the skillet. Toss everything until heat through and everything is well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds and chopped green onion. Serve hot.
For more rice cake dishes, click the images below to get the recipes.
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