Korea’s Favorite Snack

Street foods are a favorite among locals, expats and tourists in South Korea. The most popular and beloved of these foods is Ddeokbokki.

As featured on Koreabridge

Ddeokbokki (do-bo-ki) is everything one looks for in the perfect street food, or any food for that matter: It’s commonly found, inexpensive, fulfilling and most importantly – delicious.

Stock Image/Colourbox.com

What Is It?

A simple combination of sliced rice cakes marinated in a spicy/sweet red chili paste. Spiciness varies from not hot at all to make-your-eyes-water-someone-quickly-get-me-a-glass-of milk!

History

Ddeokbokki was originally a dish for the Korean upper class, commonly served in the royal court, which is where it originated sometime during the Chosun Dynasty (1382-1910).

Photo from aeriskitchen.com

It wasn’t until after the Korean War that this food broke into mainstream society, quickly becoming a favorite snack and meal of all ages.

Today’s most common version is slightly different from its original royal predecessor, as most vendors now add Gochujang, a Korean condiment made from red chili, rather than Ganjang (soy sauce) which was what was formerly used.

Photo from Wikipedia

Variations

There are many variations of Ddeokbokki.  Some include…

Seafood Ddeokbokki 

Photo from Wikipedia

Cheese Ddeokbokki

Photo from Wikipedia

Noodle Ddeokbokki

Photo by Wikipedia

Price

A cup full of this snack will usually cost between 500 Won – 1,000 Won (less than $1 U.S.).  A specialty variation dish will be more expensive.  Depending on where you are (restaurant or vendor) and the intricacy of the dish, it can cost between 2,000 Won – 10,000 Won (about $1 U.S. – $9 U.S.).

Sources:
http://english.seoul.go.kr/cav/do/restaurant_view.php?idx=8588
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tteokbokki
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/07/16/2010071601029.html
http://www.worknplay.co.kr/_include/contents_view.php?bbs=articles&idx=4431
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