Take this Korean street food dish, Rabokki (Korean Ramen & Rice Cakes) to your home! Add some onion, cabbage, fish cake, and beef to make a spicy and comforting one pot meal!
Did you watch the Winter Olympics? Bryan and I tried to watch a little bit every night. I was interested in curling, but unfortunately, NBC never showed it at night. I never got a glimpse of it. Oh well… Next time! While watching Olympics, I was reminded of Korean food. With winter finally came to Los Angeles last week, I decided to make something hearty and warm. Rabokki is perfect!
Rabokki is a Korean street food. It’s a combination of ramen (instant noodles) and tteokbokki (rice cake) in a spicy broth. Also, there are vegetables and fish cakes. It’s really the excellent one pot meal. From what I see, the dish is quite flexible with lots of varieties. You can change it up depends on what you have in your fridge and freezer.
My rabokki is not very traditional. I did a couple adjustment. Let’s start with the broth! There are a few ways to do it. I see some people using the ramen soup flavoring to season the broth. I also see people make the broth from scratch using dried fish and dried kelp. For me, I took the middle route. I used Japanese dashi packets. Dashi packets are usually made with bonito, kelp and shiitake mushroom. They are like tea pouches that infuse water with flavors. It’s super quick and easy way to make a broth.
For the fish cake, I ran out of the Korean one (sheet fish cake), but I had many fish tofu leftover from Chinese hot pot dinner. The fish tofu was a great choice. Feel free to use any kind of Asian fish balls or Japanese fish cakes that you like. They can be easily found in Asian supermarkets.
Another addition was the meat. Little meat always makes everything better, especially in a broth. I tossed in 1/2 pound of thinly sliced beef at the last minute. They just needed to cook for a few minutes, and they gave the broth so much more flavors. But if you don’t add any, no big deal.
If you have eaten Korean food, you know they are always spicy. This dish is no exception. Because we can’t eat too spicy, I have reduced the amount of gochujang (chili paste) and gochugaru (chili pepper). I think my version is a perfect medium spiciness. If you are not a huge fan of chili, start off with a small amount and add as needed.
This dish reminds me so much of college. You know you ate tons of instant noodles back in the days! When you threw in everything you had in the fridge and cooked that with a pack of instant noodles, it was filling and quick. But this dish is an elevation of that college version. With a better broth and better seasoning, there are so much more flavors in this dish. It is the easy comfort meal that you can’t get in college and you need it now!
Rabokki (Korean Ramen & Rice Cakes)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ yellow onion (sliced)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 8 ounces Korean rice cakes
- ¼ cabbage (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 3 green onions (cut into 1½-inch)
- 1 sheet Korean fish cake (cut into ½-inch strips or 8 fish balls)
- 1 pack Korean ramen (break into ½)
- ½ pound thinly sliced beef or pork (optional)
- Vegetable oil
- 5 cups water
- 2 dashi packets
- 1½ tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean chili pepper)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Ground black pepper
- For the broth, in a small pot, add 5 cups water and 2 dashi packets. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cook for 10 more minutes. Remove the dashi packets. Turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, in another small pot, add the egg and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch above the egg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let it continue to cook for 9 - 10 minutes. Drain, and cool in ice water. Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce.
- In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add ½ tablespoon vegetable oil. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the dashi broth and sauce. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. When it’s boiling, add rice cake and cook for 3 minutes. Add cabbage, green onions and fish cake (or fish balls). Cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust with more soy sauce and gochujang if needed. Add ramen and separate the noodles. After the noodles are loosened, add the meat if using. When the meat is no longer pink, it is ready. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Top with boiled egg. Serve hot.
- Gochujang (chili paste) can be bought from Korean supermarket or from Amazon.
- Gochugaru (chili pepper) can be bought from Korean supermarket or from Amazon. There are different spicy levels. For hot and spicy, look for "maewoon gochugaru". For milder one, look for "deolmaewoon gochugaru". For more tips about picking gochugaru, read here.
- Gochugaru can be stored in the freezer to keep fresh for a long time.
- Dashi packets can be bought from Japanese supermarket or from Amazon.
- Tteokbokki (rice cake) can be found in Korean supermarket. Some are frozen and some are in the fridge. Both work the same.
- If you can, use Korean ramen. Their ramen is a bit thicker and more chewy. I like this brand.
- This dish is medium spicy level. If you can’t eat too spicy, reduce the amount of chili paste and pepper. Add more when you want.