Tteok kkochi are Korean rice cake skewers coated with a sweet-spicy gochujang glaze. They are one of my favorite street foods to have as a snack or appetizer. Some vendors do a combination of franks and tteok on a skewer, called “so-tteok,” which is a portmanteau of “soseji” (the Korean word for sausage) and “tteok” for rice cakes. The key to making these cute skewers is using cocktail franks, which are the same shape and length as the cylindrical tteok. You can either grill or pan-fry the skewers. Here, I pan-fry them gently in a nonstick skillet until the sauce becomes sticky and glossy on the delightfully chewy rice cakes.
Soak sixteen 6-inch wooden skewers in a large bowl of water. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Stir together the gochujang, ketchup, corn syrup, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and garlic in another large bowl until combined. Set aside.
Add the tteok and franks to the boiling water and cook, stirring constantly to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot, until the tteok is soft but bouncy, about 2 minutes. Drain. Let cool slightly until ready to handle. If any tteok stick together, separate them with wet hands.
Thread 3 tteok and 3 franks on a skewer, alternating between the two and pushing them close together toward one end of the skewer to leave a handle. Repeat until all the franks are threaded then repeat with just the remaining tteok, threading about 5 tteok per skewer. Transfer the threaded skewers to a baking dish or large plate and arrange them in a single layer.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the neutral oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the skewers in batches to avoid overcrowding and cook, flipping once, until the tteok becomes slightly crusty but without developing color and the franks are slightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Remove to a plate. Once all the skewers are cooked, dip them into the prepared sauce and use a pastry brush to completely coat the tteok and franks evenly.
Working in batches, return the skewers to the same skillet and cook over medium heat, flipping once, until the sauce is slightly brick red, about 1 minute per side. Be careful not to cook them too long, as the sauce can burn and become too dark. Brush on more sauce if desired then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
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