Tteokbokki is a rather iconic dish ofSouth Korea. Sold all over as a street food, its most common form isserved in an easily recognized layer of spicy red sauce. However, thepopular rice cake dish has roots that extend further back than thefood stalls of Seoul.
Gungjung tteokbokki dates back to theJoseon Dynasty of Korea. It was a part of the royal cuisine and-unlike modern counterparts- was considered a high class dish. Whileboth original and evolved forms of the dish involve the use ofcylindrical white rice cakes, this is where the majority of thesimilarities end.
Gungjung tteokbokki is much more mildthan the spicy red versions most foreigners are familiar with. It isflavored with little more than soy sauce and sesame oil, andtypically includes lean beef, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, garlic,and onion. It is rarely served as a main meal, and is insteadconsumed as a snack or appetizer.
For those with a more delicate tongue,this version of the rice cake snack is a good way to try a verytraditional and popular component of Korean cuisine.