Recipe courtesy of Joy Cho

Mom’s Tteokbokki Udon

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings
In this variation of tteokbokki (Korean spicy rice cakes), thick udon noodles take the place of rice cakes, resulting in a dish similar to packaged udon-bul-bokki, but worlds better. Udon successfully mimics the doughy, chewy quality of rice cakes and my mom’s finger-licking, spicy-sweet sauce uses just five ingredients, resulting in an easy meal that offers all the satisfaction of tteokbokki when you don't have rice cakes on hand. Green cabbage, onion and sliced fish cakes round out the dish, but as in classic tteokbokki, feel free to add hard-boiled eggs for greater heft. Trust me, you won’t even miss the rice cakes.



  1. Mix the gochujang, sugar, soy sauce, gochugaru and garlic in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the gochujang mixture until combined and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, onion and fish cake strips to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the scallions.  
  3. Meanwhile, cook the udon in boiling water until the noodles soften and untangle, about 1 minute. Drain the udon (do not rinse) and add to the sauce. Toss the noodles with tongs to evenly coat, then serve immediately.