Rice Cake Stir Fry with Soy Sauce (궁중떡볶이 Goongjoong Ddukbokki/Tteokbokki)

royal ddukbokki (궁중떡뽁이 Goongjoong Ddukbokki)

royal ddukbokki (궁중떡볶이 Goongjoong Ddukbokki)

Did you know that this non spicy Rice Cake Stir Fry with Soy Sauce (궁중떡볶이 Goongjoong Ddukbokki/tteokbokki) has been around much longer than the more common red spicy version?  The name Goongjoong/gungjung/Kungjung/Koongjoong means royal court and so you can guess where this dish comes from. The Korean Royal Cuisine (궁중요리 Goongjoong Yori) as we know today are recipes passed down through generations of King’s chefs during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and only became available to everyone after the fall of the dynasty. There are separate cooking schools dedicated to teaching this cuisine but as you can imagine, it’s really not your everyday food..

In contrast, the prevalent story for the very popular spicy rice cake (ddukbokki/tteokbokki) is that it only came to existence in the 1950’s in the 신당동 (shindangdong) part of Seoul. Since then it probably has become the most popular snack for kids-although recently pizza and hamburgers have started to take over. But certainly when I was a student, there was always a ddukbokki house near every school and we just could not go home without taking a ddukbokki break!

Eating ddukbokki after school…it was sooo good but also soooo spicy sometimes. As much as I loved eating the spicy ddukbokki, I often had hard time with hot spicy foods when I was little. As a kid, I used to wash Baechoo Kimchi in water before I ate it. You would think that washing it with water makes it taste like nothing but it actually had plenty of flavor – still a little bit spicy, slightly sour, definitely salty and then that deep, can’t-really-describe-with-words unique taste of Kimchi. Mostly, this is how most Korean kids get used to eating spicy foods at an early age – by just tasting the watered down version first and then you want more..

Because this dish is salty, savory and slightly sweet, it is a great dish that can balance the spiciness of many Korean dishes. Great for dinner parties and also a great snack for kids since you can sneak in some extra veggies if you want.



Servings: 2                                  Cooking Time: 25 – 30 min                                Difficulty: Medium


  • 1 lb rice cake for ddukboki
  • marinade sauce for rice cake
    • 1 T soy sauce
    • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1/2 lb beef (chuck, sirloin, bottom round) or stew meat, cut into thin strips
  • marinade for beef
  • 4 oz oyster mushrooms (dried or fresh shitake, enoki, king all work well), torn
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 2 green onions or 1/2 Korean leek (대파 Daepa)
  • swirl of honey (optional)
  • swirl of sesame oil (optional)
  • sesame seeds for garnish


  1. If you have access to fresh rice cake, that’s great. If not, no matter, just defrost frozen rice cakes by soaking in cold water first for 10 min. or more.
  2. Cook rice cakes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they are soft all the way through.
  3. Drain. Do not rinse. While it’s still hot, add 1 T soy sauce and 1 T sesame oil. Toss. Set aside.

    marinade dduk in soy sauce and sesame oil

    marinade dduk in soy sauce and sesame oil

  4. Cut beef into thin strips (approx 1/4 in), against the grain. This is probably the most time consuming part of this recipe. EASY TIP: cut bulgogi meat into smaller pieces instead. In Korea, markets sell pre-cut beef strips like so…nice, huh?
    beef cut in strips for Korean cooking

    beef cut in strips for Korean cooking

    • BTW, the label says the beef cut is 설도(seoldoe) which is bottom round or eye of round. It also says it’s 잡채용 (chopchaeyong – for chop chae).
  5. Marinate the beef strips in my apple lemon soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil, honey, garlic mixture and let it sit while you prepare other ingredients.
    marinated beef strips for Korean Ddukbokki

    marinated beef strips for Korean Ddukbokki

    • I used my apple lemon soy sauce but you can substitute it for regular soy sauce and more rice wine. See my bulgogi post for the exact recipe. Also note that the amount of sauce is good for 1 lb of beef which is too much if it was just the meat but I wanted this sauce to season the entire dish and thus the extra sauce.
  6. Cut carrot lengthwise and then into thin slices diagonally so that the size is similar to your dduk piece.

    cut vegetables for Goongjoong Ddukbokki

    cut carrots for Goongjoong Ddukbokki

  7. Tear 0yster mushrooms by hand into smaller pieces.
    tearing oyster mushrooms for ddukbokki

    tearing oyster mushrooms for ddukbokki

    Dried shitake mushrooms are probably the most authentic ingredient but these oyster mushrooms were so fresh looking at the market! King or enoki mushrooms will be good too~

  8. Cut  1/2 of a Korean leek first into 2 in long pieces and then quarter them.
    • Korean leeks are pretty big and long (usually longer than 2 ft and some are even longer than 3 ft! see photo below left – this is a pretty big cutting board) but not as big and not as thick as the ones you see in the US. I know Korean leeks are probably hard to get in places outside of Korea so substitute green onions if you can’t get Korean leeks.

      Korean Leek (대파 Daepa)

      Korean Leek (대파 Daepa)

  9. Cut onions into thin slices. And now you should have a plate full of cut vegetables!

    cut vegetables for ddukbokki

    cut vegetables for ddukbokki

  10. Heat a nice big frying pan on med-high heat. Transfer just the beef (set aside any leftover marinade sauce) into the pan and saute the beef strips for 2-3 minutes.
    sauteing beef

    sauteing beef

    leftover beef marinade

    leftover beef marinade – save it for later!

  11. Saute carrots, onions and mushrooms (except for green onions) with the beef, 2-3 min.

    beef and vegetables

    beef and vegetables

  12. Add rice cakes and stir fry for 5-6 minutes until everything is evenly cooked.

    Goongjoong ddukbokki in pan

    Ddukbokki is almost done!

  13. Taste. For kids snacks, keep the seasoning light and do not add the leftover marinade sauce. For side dishes, add some of the remaining beef marinade sauce for additional seasoning.
  14. Add green onions. For final seasoning, swirl in some honey and sesame oil before serving.
  15. Sprinkle some sesame seeds as garnish.

This rice cake stir fry is a great for parties, pot luck and as snack for kids. So enjoy!


  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for several days. Dduk becomes hard once it’s stored in the fridge. Reheat it slowly on medium to med-low heat by adding couple T of water and stirring often. Microwaving will reheat faster but dduk will become really hard once it cools so I don’t really recommend it.


  • Add regular or napa cabbages, fish cake, zucchini for variations.

    Goongjoong Ddukbokki:Tteokbokki

    Goongjoong Ddukbokki/Tteokbokki


  1. says

    Yum! My BFF Grace showed me how to lightly fry the flat oval rice cakes in butter til crispy, then salt them. I make them as a snack all the time, but now I’m going to get a package of these to make your dish! Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Frying rice cakes in butter sounds yummy! I’ll have to try it. Hope you like it with soy sauce. Thanks for your comment!
      Koreans also like to grill it plain and then dip it in honey or sugar and eat as a snack.

Would LOVE to hear from you!