떡볶이 (Ddeokbokki/Tteokbokki/Topokki, often translated as Spicy Rice Cakes) comes in many forms in Korea. But when you have some time, home-made version is the best! Here would be my simplified version:
300g 떡볶이 떡 (Korean rice cake)
2 sheets 어묵 (fish cake), sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 stalk 대파 (leek), thinly sliced
3 1/2 cups water
10-12 국물용 멸치 (dried anchovies for soup stock)
1 2x2" piece of 다시마 (dried sea kelp)
Tip: If it's too much of a hassle to use raw anchovies or you may not have dried sea kelp at your local store, may use processed anchovy cube or chicken stock instead for the stock & skip the kelp.
3 tablespoons 고추장 (chili pepper paste/ Gochujang)
1 tablespoon 간장 (soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated garlic
Tip: Gochujang level of spiciness varies accordingly. Depending on your Gochujang "spicy-level", adjust the amount to your sauce accordingly.
Noodle Topping Suggestions (pick one)
1 package instant 라면 (ramen)
1 package 우동 noodles (udon)
150g 쫄면 noodles (chewy noodles), cooked and drained
More authentic method: Boil a handful of anchovies together with the dried kelp for 5-10 min to get the stock for later use. Just remember to remove the anchovies & kelp once the stock is ready before putting in all the ingredients.
Alternatively you may follow the short-cut method below:
Bring the water to a boil & add in anchovy/chicken cube stock.
Add in all the sauce mixture ingredients as indicated above.
Once ready, then add in the rest of the ingredients (rice cake, fish cake, hard-boil egg, leek, sliced onion).
Lastly add in your desired noodles. (This is optional though)
At this point, it may look a little diluted. Don't worry about that, as the sauce will thicken by time by the starch from the rice cake. Leave it to cook for 5-10 minutes. During this time, you may taste it the sauce to make sure whether it suits your taste buds. If found to be too spicy for you to handle, try adding a 1-2 spoonful of ketchup or even by adding honey or sugar can reduce the spiciness. If not spicy enough, may add a few spoonful more of the Gochujang.
Ready to be served!