The 10th day of tteok: Hawaiian tteokbokki
As we head back west across the Pacific on our 12-day tteokbokki (떡볶이) sauce recipe countdown to the Korean New Year, the next stop is Hawaii.
America’s 50th state is also the first place many Asian immigrants settled in the 19th century.
Hawaiian cuisine is synonymous with Asian fusion cooking as immigrants from Japan, Samoa, Portugal, the Philippines, China and Korea settled there, mixing the culinary traditions of their respective homelands with indigenous ingredients to create a unique and iconic cuisine.
Today’s tteokbokki recipe features a simple Hawaiian sauce:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
14 ounces coconut milk or milk
2 ounces soju
1 teaspoon garlic sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger or ginger juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Soak one pound of garae tteok (가래떡), which are the fat cylindrical rice noodles traditionally used in tteokbokki and common at Korean grocery stores, in a hot water — not boiling water — for 10 minutes. (Check the instructions on the package of tteok for recommendations on this step).
- While the noodles are soaking, you can start on the sauce.
- Put the coconut oil into your skillet. Saute the onions until they are translucent.
- Add the garlic and saute for a minute more.
- Add the rest of the the ingredients into the skillet.
- After the sauce starts to bubble, add the garae tteok and cook for about five to 10 more minutes until the noodles are cooked to your satisfaction.
- If you really need some protein, add a can or two of chopped Spam or other meat to the recipe during the last five minutes of cooking. That will heat up the meat and maintain the Hawaiian spirit of the dish.