INSTANT NOODLES WITH SPICY RICE CAKES AND FISH CAKES (Ra-bokki)

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Ra-bokki is a combination of ramyun (Korean for ramen noodles) and dduk bokki, spicy-sweet and saucy stir-fried rice cakes, two of the most famous and popular Korean street foods. Together, they’re like a little bit of dirty naughty eating for me, which I love. You can use any brand of ramyun/ ramen noodles, but I’m partial to Shin Ramyun.

Ingredients

Serves 4–6

  • 2–3 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved or quartered lengthways
  • Handful of spring onions, thinly sliced on an angle, to serve
  • 15 large dried anchovies (myulchi), head and gutted
  • 1 (10 cm/4 in long) piece dried kelp (dashima)
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 35 g (11⁄4 oz) gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 300 g (101⁄2 oz) chopped Chinese or Korean cabbage
  • 1 pack instant ramyun/ramen noodles, seasoning pack discarded
  • 450 g (1 lb) 5 cm (2 in) long cylindrical rice cakes (dduk), soaked in cold water for 15–30 minutes and then drained
  • 200 g (7 oz) fish cake sheets (eomuk), cut into triangular pieces about 7.5 cm (3 in) long
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the anchovies, kelp and 1.2 litres (5 pints) water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Pass the anchovy stock through a fine mesh sieve into a large, wide, deep frying pan and discard the solids.
  2. Return the stock to a simmer. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, chilli paste, sugar, chilli flakes and soy sauce, stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage and noodles and simmer for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the noodles are slightly softened.
  4. Add the rice cakes and fish cakes and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  5. Drizzle with the sesame oil, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and nestle the eggs in the sauce. Serve immediately, topped with the spring onions.

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