Royal Tteokbokki (non-spicy Korean rice cakes)

궁중 떡볶이

Royal Tteokbokki

What is Royal Tteokbokki?

Tteokbokki, derived from the Korean words "tteok" (ë–¡) meaning rice cake and "bokki" (볶이) meaning fried, essentially translates to "stir-fried rice cakes" in English. If you're familiar with Korean cuisine, you've likely encountered spicy tteokbokki, primarily characterized by its cylindrical white rice cakes, Korean fish cakes, and bold spicy sauce. 

Although the spicy version of tteokbokki is better known, Gungjung or Royal Tteokbokki is the original rice cake recipe. It takes a more refined approach than its popular, spicy counterpart. Royal Tteokbokki has no chillies at all, and instead boasts a colorful medley of vegetables and marinated beef which is tossed in a salty/sweet soy sauce with black pepper undertones.

It's super quick to make, and it's my go-to stir-fry when cooking for the entire family. 

This traditional version hails from the royal court of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). It was considered a fancy haute cuisine and predates the use of hot peppers in Korean cuisine, which is why it's not spicy.

Over time, people added spice using gochujang. However, it was after the Korean War when a modest shop in Seoul gained fame for offering an affordable snack of spicy tteokbokki. This marked the inception of the spicy tteokbokki which has since gained immense popularity.


serves 4

  • 450g (1lb) beef rib eye, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 5mm/.in thick)
  • 1 small firm but ripe pear, grated
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus a drizzle for the stir-fry
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds, crushed
  • ¼ tsp ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  • 280g (10oz) tteok (thin rice cake batons)
  • 50g (2oz) baby onions, peeled and quartered
  • 120g (3.oz) mixed wild mushrooms (I like to use 2 large oyster mushrooms, sliced, with ½ bunch enoki mushrooms)
  • 1 rainbow carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 100g (3.oz) baby leeks, trimmed and cut lengthways into quarters
  • 80g (3oz) baby corn, cut lengthways into quarters


  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 quail egg, soft boiled
  • a pinch of black sesame seeds


In a shallow dish, combine the beef, pear and brown sugar and massage with your hands to thoroughly combine. Leave to marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, garlic, crushed sesame seeds, ginger and black pepper. Set aside.

When the beef is ready, use your hands to shake off and squeeze out any excess sugary liquid, then add the beef to the soy sauce marinade. Toss to coat, cover and marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.

Meanwhile, cut the spring onion lengthways into thin strips and soak in iced water until curled, then drain. About 30 minutes before cooking, place the tteok in a large bowl with enough water to cover them. Leave them to rehydrate.

Once the tteok are rehydrated, remove from the water, retaining 4 tablespoons of liquid. Heat a drizzle of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the baby onions and cook for 6–8 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms, carrot, baby leeks and baby corn and cook for a further 5 minutes until slightly softened.

Increase the heat to medium–high, add the beef, marinade rehydrated tteok and the retained water. Cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is medium rare, and slightly pink in the centre. Transfer to a serving plate, and arrange the spring onion and quail egg on top. Finish with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

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One of the favourites is kalbi (marinated beef short-rib), which is not just a meal, but a convivial experience, bringing everyone together. It’s served with lettuce or perilla leaves (ssam), allowing everyone to wrap their meat with rice, kimchi, ssamjang hot sauce, or their preferred sides.

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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageHailing from the great state of New Jersey– I grew up eating buffalo wings. 

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And, yes they do come from Buffalo, NY, a city upstate known for their bitterly cold winters and their nuclear hot wings. 

Here, I have twisted up the traditional Buffalo wings with a fusion of East meets West. Believe me, I am a mega fan of the original wing slathered in Frank’s hot sauce. But, these Korean-esque wings are drenched in a delectably spicy gochujang based hot sauce, offering a more earthy and umami flavor. 

With the perfect balance of heat, tang, and a hint of sweetness, each bite is an adventure in itself.

Elevate your Korean Buffalo Wings experience with these tips:

Ensure your wings are well-coated in potato starch for that irresistible crunch.

Fry to golden perfection and toss well in the sauce for a glossy spicy finish.

Serve hot and garnish with sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onions for an added burst of freshness. 

And, a side of your fave blue cheese dressing! 

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