Tteokbokki is a spicy, satisfying Korean street food. If you happen to be out wandering around Seoul at night, definitely try some! It's everywhere. But like anything, the quality can vary, so try a few different vendors. The ingredients seem fairly straightforward, but the quality of the gochujang and rice tube cakes does make a difference.
The first step is to boil the anchovies in the water, to create the stock; then, remove the anchovies and add the gochujang, sugar, and pepper. Stir until combined. Finally, add the rice cakes and green onions, and stir until the sauce becomes thick and no longer looks watery. This should take 10-15 min. The longer it cooks, the stronger the gochujang and red pepper will become--meaning, it will continue to get very spicy!! I would suggest making and serving this dish the same day, as the sauce will dry out the longer it sits. If you do have leftovers, you may want to add some water as you reheat it.
One variation that you can try if you're avoiding carbs, is to substitute lotus root for the rice cakes. This is a fantastic option; the lotus root slices hold up well against the heat and have a nice crunch. They also readily absorb flavor, like the rice cakes.
Both options make a delicious side dish to eat alongside hamul pajeon or bulgogi, or you can munch on it by itself.
Share and enjoy!