The first day of tteok: Szechuan tteokbokki
As we count down 12 days of tteokbokki recipes until the Korean New Year, let’s start with Korea’s neighbor, China, for some inspiration.
Szechuan is a province in southwestern China, known for fiery sauces. Here’s a Szechuan sauce recipe I found at CDKitchen. With a few modifications, this sauce will be the basis for my Szechuan tteokbokki (떡볶이) recipe.
As with all tteokbokki recipes, you start by soaking your garae tteok (가래떡), which are the fat cylindrical rice noodles traditionally used in tteokbokki, in a hot water bath (not boiling water) for 10 minutes (check the instructions on the package of tteok noodles you bought at the Korean grocery store or Asian supermarket for recommendations on this step).
1.5 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
1.5 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/4 teaspoon gochugaru powder (Korean red pepper powder)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 pound garae tteok noodles, soaked
Add the garlic and saute for a minute until the noodles are warm but not browned. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and add the mixture to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes. Add the tteok and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the tteok are completely cooked. Serve hot.