Recipe for Rabokki (라볶이) - Spicy Rice Cakes with Noodles

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  • About 2 Liters of Rice Cakes
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:


  • 590-830ml (2½-3½ cups) Dashi or Meat Broth
  • 340g (12oz) Beef
  • 15-20 dried Shiitake, less than 1in in diameter
  • 454g (1lb) Rice Cakes (tteok)
  • 2 Chikuwa, or 60-70g (½-cup) Surimi
  • 100g (1 medium) Onion
  • 100g (2 small) Carrot
  • 130g (4T, heaping) Hot Pepper Paste (gochujang)
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 14g (1T) Sesame Oil
  • 1 pack Instant Noodles (ramyeon)
  • 20g (1T) Maltose
  • 2½-5g (1-2t) Toasted Black and Golden Sesame Seeds
  • 32g (2T) Soy Sauce, optional
  • 2-3 hard-boiled Eggs, optional


  • In a large pot, bring 2 cups of broth to a simmer. Separately, boil the meat in water. Cook fully and drain. Cut up the cooked meat into bite-size pieces, and add it to the large pot. Add the mushrooms. Let it simmer until the mushrooms have re-hydrated, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the rice cakes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Let it re-hydrate, about 5 minutes.
  • Cut the fishcake into bite-size pieces, and slice the onion and carrot. Place all of it into the pot.
  • Add the pepper paste, garlic, and sesame oil. Stir until combined. Add the rest of the broth. Bring the pot back to a simmer.
  • Open up the pack of ramyeon and submerge the noodles into the pot. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously. Add about half of the seasoning packet.
  • Turn off the heat and add the maltose and sesame seeds. Stir to combine. Taste-test to see if it needs some soy sauce. Add desired amount to season.
  • Plate the rabokki onto a large open dish, slice the eggs in half, and place the eggs all around the edge. Enjoy with your friends, family, and a nice cold glass of beer or some soju!

*Bunny Wisdom*

  • Although I’ve quickly explained on how to make your own dashi, you can also boil the piece(s) of beef in some water until the meat is fully cooked, drain (to remove the foam and blood), refill with about 3-4 cups of water and simmer the beef for 30 minutes with the dried mushrooms; this will give you a simple broth. Equally, if you want to make this vegetarian, use the mushrooms and/or kombu to make your broth. Using broth instead of plain water gives the rabokki good flavor.
  • The shiitake I use are tiny, so they plump up fast and I don’t have to slice them. If you are using larger mushrooms (2in in diameter or larger), hydrate them over a few hours or make dashi with them before slicing and using. And, obviously, use fewer mushrooms (about 6-8, for 2in ones).
  • If you defrost your rice cakes in your refrigerator (if they are bought frozen) before you make this recipe, they will re-hydrate quickly. Make sure you watch the pot and stir, to prevent sticking.
  • There are lots of fishcakes to choose from! We use the flat eomuk and chikuwa the most. You can find fishcake in your local Asian grocery.
  • The onions and carrot are sliced into wedges and coins, respectively. I usually cut them fairly thin (¼-½in) to lessen the cooking time.
  • The reserved broth is important for two reasons: first, it hydrates the noodles, and second, it loosens the sauce. Use water if you don’t have enough broth. The end result of the sauce should be similar to gravy.
  • Most instant noodle packs come with a seasoning powder. I only add half of the packet to supplement the spicy and savory flavors of the rabokki. Otherwise, it can be too spicy or too salty. Additionally, I only add soy sauce to the dish if it needs more salt.
  • I plate the eggs last because I don’t want the yolks to crumble into the mix. You are welcome to add them into the pot right before plating, if you prefer having the eggs coated in some sauce.

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