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Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

June 6, 2013

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)Pin it!

I was in a bad blogging mood last week– not that I let it show on the blog itself… Paula just had to put up with some grumpiness (the usual) and my reluctance to be in the kitchen (unusual).

The bad mood was due to all sorts of things, including this article from Buzzfeed that I shared on my blog’s Facebook page, which perfectly sums up all of the things I don’t like about food blogging (emphasis on photos-over-recipes, aggregator sites, networking, social media, etc.).

It didn’t help that I was tackling a very frustrating strawberry cream cheese cookie recipe, for which apparently the third time is not yet the charm. (<== More evidence that cooking is better than baking I am still not a baker: I’m not even advanced enough to make up my own cookie recipe.)

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki) with a hard-boiled egg

Rabokki rescued me. A scrumptious Korean masterpiece of chewy tteok (rice cakes) and ramyeon (ramen noodles) in an addictively rich chili sauce, ra-bokki is the perfect blend of ra-myeon + spicy tteok-bokki.

I’d be lying if I said that this week I didn’t eat this for dinner Sunday, lunch Monday, dinner Tuesday, and lunch Wednesday. Yes, I made it twice in a week! (This probably ties for amount of rabokki eaten with any week I’ve ever spent in Seoul.)

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Though rabokki is often grouped together with Korean street food, I think of tteokbokki (spicy stir-fried rice cakes in chili sauce) as the real street food, while rabokki is more like hole-in-the-wall restaurant food.

In many casual lunch spots in Seoul, you can get a huge plate of this stuff for the equivalent of about 3 U.S. dollars, which goes a long way toward making up for the ambiance of white laminate tables, self-serve water glasses stacked in UV sterilizers, plastic fans whirling, and televisions—fastened precariously to the walls—showing non-stop soap-opera-like Korean dramas.

Making Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

Realizing I could make rabokki at home was something of a revelation.

Ingredients for Rabokki: tteok rice cakes and oemuk fish cakes

For one thing, this means I could be making tteokbokki at home, too! But really, what isn’t improved by ramen noodles!? (Don’t answer that.)

Making Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

It was also nostalgically delicious, deliciously nostalgic, and extremely easy to make.

Ingredients for Rabokki: tteok rice cakes

My bad blogging mood made me stop and think about my priorities and how much pressure I was putting on myself just for a somewhat-serious hobby. I know next to nothing about photography, so taking food photos can be stressful for me, but cooking is the enjoyable and relaxing part. So when I got back in the kitchen, I was determined to make it about recipe first, photos second.

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

I took that self-directive literally and took no photos the first time I made rabokki; only the second. I always try to test out recipes at least twice for the blog, but I often take photos the first time I make something, then make it again to perfect the recipe later. Never again! It was so much nicer this way, jotting down recipe notes without worrying about snapping photos, then– the second time– vice versa.

(If only I had come to this realization before trying to make up that strawberry cream cheese cookie recipe, I would have been far less frustrated with the amount of wasted time…)

Ingredients for Rabokki: kochujang chili paste, oemuk fish cakes, dashi-no-moto, tteok rice cakes

I also found a way to make the rabokki sauce extra tasty and umami-ful despite discarding the chemically ramen seasoning packet: make it with dashi! (Japanese kelp and/or fish stock.)

The first time I tried this it was both a little too salty and too fishy tasting, so the second time I brewed up a weaker dashi* and skipped the soy sauce: success!

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki) with a hard-boiled eggPin it!

Chewy, comforting, warm, spicy, rice cake success. I will be adding this to my regular weeknight rotation (along with Korean bulgogi chicken, among other things).

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

My homemade rabokki version might not be as crazy cheap as in the lunch shops in Korea, but it’s homemade, so it’s even more satisfying.

* I used a dashi-no-moto packet, which is kind of like a tea bag for making instant dashi. You can find these in most Asian markets, but you might want to be picky about the ingredients, since many brands have MSG (not a problem for me), which helps give it that nice umami flavor. You may also be able to find vegetarian dashi packets, made with kombu (kelp) or mushrooms. (Or make your own kombu-mushroom vegetarian dashi!)

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)Pin it!

Print this recipe. (PDF)


(Adapted from Aeri’s Kitchen.)

(Serves 2-3)

~ 12-14 oz. tteok (Korean cylindrical rice cakes; about 20)
~ 3 cups weak dashi (made from dashi-no-moto packets– like a dashi tea bag; see below)
~ 2-3 eggs (1 per person)
~ ½ cup water
~ 3½ Tbsp. kochujang (Korean chili paste)
~ 1-2 tsp. kochukaru (Korean chili powder; optional, for extra spice)
~ 2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 2 tsp. sugar
~ ½ onion, sliced
~ 2-3 sheets oemuk/omuk (Korean fish cakes), sliced
~ 1 brick ramen noodles, flavor packet discarded
~ 3-4 scallions, chopped

Ingredients for Rabokki: kochujang chili paste, eggs, scallions, onions

How to make it:

1. Soak the tteok rice cakes in a bowl of cold water for 10-30 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. Hard-boil the eggs by bringing them to a boil in a small pot of cold water: allow to boil for 1 minute, then cover, remove from heat, and allow to sit for 8-9 minutes. Rinse eggs in cold water to stop them from cooking, then peel the eggs.

Ingredients for Rabokki: kochujang chili paste, oemuk fish cakes, tteok rice cakesIngredients for Rabokki: garlic, oemuk fish cakes, onions

2. Prepare a weak dashi with a dashi-no-moto packet by bringing 3 cups of water to a boil, adding the packet, then reducing the heat, covering, and simmering for only 5 minutes (instead of 10 minutes, as the packets instruct). Discard the flavor packet and set aside.

3. In a large, deep pan, combine the weak dashi with the ½ cup water, kochujang, kochukaru (optional), garlic, and sugar. Heat over medium-high, stirring until the kochujang dissolves.

Making Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)Making Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

4. Add the onions, fish cakes, and rice cakes (just shake the water off of them first), and bring to a simmer (uncovered) for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are nearly cooked.

Making Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

5. Add the brick of ramen noodles and flip it several times until the noodles start to soften. Use chopsticks to gently loosen the noodles. Once loosened, add the hard-boiled eggs and scallions. Simmer until the noodles are cooked, adding up to ½ cup of additional water if necessary. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional scallions if desired.

(Re-heat any leftovers slowly on the stove– not in the microwave– with a little extra water.)

Print this recipe! (PDF)

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)

Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)Pin it!

Related recipe posts:

Kimchi Kimbap Broiled Bulgogi Chicken Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap) Tteokbokki: rice cakes in chili sauce with oemuk (Namdaemun market)
Kimchi Kimbap and Pickled Cucumbers Easy Korean Broiled Bulgogi Chicken Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap) Markets and Street Food in Seoul (Travel Photos)
60 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2013 9:50 am

    I have a question regarding recipes. I´ve noticed that bloggers often write “adapted from” when sharing a recipe. Does this mean that the recipe has actually been changed significantly? Is it ok to post other peoples recipes from cookbooks etc.?

    • June 6, 2013 10:07 am

      That’s a great question. I think the general consensus on the blog (or magazine, newspaper, etc.) etiquette for recipe adaptations is that it’s fine to post recipes that have been altered in some way as long as you credit (and link to) the original source, re-write the recipe entirely in your own words, and use only your own photographs, if applicable. It’s hard to say, as a rule, how many ingredients/steps would need to be changed for a recipe to have been changed “significantly,” but if the ingredients/steps are essentially going to be word-for-word, then it’s better to simply link to the original rather than only changing a word here or there. Cookbooks are trickier, since you can’t link to the recipes (unless the author has already made them publicly available online), but in that case it’s good practice to (credit the source, of course, and) link to the cookbook on Amazon.

      There are some blogging groups out there whose project it is to cook their way through an entire specific cookbook, and in that case I think their organizers are usually careful to tell members not to reproduce every recipe in full, so that the whole cookbook doesn’t end up online (though I’d hope that the recipes that do get written up are with bloggers’ own tweaks, in their own words, and with their own photos, anyway!).

      David Lebovitz has an informative post on this topic on the Food Blog Alliance site if you are interested:

  2. June 6, 2013 10:01 am

    Amazing pictures. Great post. Quick question – how long does Gochujang last in the fridge after it has been opened?

    • June 6, 2013 10:10 am

      Thanks! Kochujang is fermented chili paste, so it lasts forever! (Or more realistically, based on the expiration dates, maybe 9-12 months.)

      • June 6, 2013 10:12 am

        Oh awesome. Thanks for the fast response. Gochujang and Kochujang are the same thing right? thanks for your help.

      • June 6, 2013 10:17 am

        Right! It’s the same letter in Korean ㄱ that’s pronounced like a K at the beginning of a word and like a G in between vowels.

        (Technically it’s probably better to spell it with a G, like you have, since there’s a different letter ㅋ that’s always pronounced like a K.) Sorry for so much info… I’m a language nerd!

  3. June 6, 2013 10:18 am

    Sounds tasty! I love kochujang. Is the tteok usually in the dried or refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket?

    • June 6, 2013 10:27 am

      Good question! Sorry I wasn’t more specific in the post.

      The tteok come in the refrigerated section of the store, and need to be kept refrigerated until you soak them & cook with them. It is possible to freeze tteok, but then I think they start to dry out and crack more. The only ones I can find in Santa Barbara always seem slightly dry/cracked, like they have been frozen & unfrozen once, but soaking them in water first helps them still taste great.

      (The oemuk– fish cakes– can stay frozen right up until when you slice and cook with them.)

  4. June 6, 2013 10:49 am

    This sounds amazing! I have NEVER cooked anything like this Allison. And I’m not afraid to try! We have an Asian Supermarket down the street. You think I should attempt? I went over and read the food blogger article on Buzzfeed. Hmmm. Perhaps there is a large percentage of folks blogging because of their personal passion for cooking, not necessarily trying to get a book deal out of it. Personally, I get home at 5.45 in the evening, put together a nice dinner for my family, point & click my little cheap digital camera or iPhone and we sit down and enjoy! Sometimes I wish I had a better camera because the dinner tastes WAY better than my pictures turn out! :) I do enjoy looking at the wonderful “food photography blogs” too. Great post and I hope your bad mood has worn off! :)

    • June 7, 2013 8:18 am

      Thank you for your comment! I think you’re right that many people blog because of their own passion for food and cooking. That’s why I started this blog, too! One reason I have put more pressure on myself in terms of the photography is because I have thought a lot about what things I love about the blogs I admire the most, and it’s often the photography. I’m also constantly trying to improve my blog, and photography is one of the aspects with the biggest room for improvement, haha. Anyway, I think my bad mood has worn off for now! This post wasn’t easy to write, but this recipe was easy to create and photograph, so that helped! :)

      Also, yes yes yes, you should try it! If your Asian supermarket is thorough enough, they should 100% have kochujang, and then, based on experience, there’s probably about an 80% chance they’ll have tteok, but only a 40% chance they’ll have Korean flat-sheet-style oemuk, but you should definitely go investigate!

      • June 7, 2013 11:40 am

        Ok. I’m convinced. I think I’ll make a trip to Uwajimaya this weekend. Thank you!

  5. June 6, 2013 11:38 am

    1– I also really appreciated that buzzfeed post.
    2– This looks awesome. I will be making and eating immediately! My favorite packaged ramen noodles are Myojo Chukazanmai brand– they have the best texture of all the ones I’ve tried!

    • June 7, 2013 8:20 am

      1- I’m glad to hear it.
      2- I don’t think I’ve ever tried that brand of ramen noodles, but I am totally in favor of buying ramen based on the texture of the noodles (versus what’s in the flavor packets), so I’ll look for those next time; thanks!

  6. Butter&Yolk permalink
    June 6, 2013 11:52 am

    Yo, I am all over this recipe!!

  7. June 6, 2013 12:43 pm

    I’m like you–taking a pic is just a big pain for me! But this looks so good I want to eat your photos right up. :)

    • June 7, 2013 8:22 am

      Thanks for the encouragement! Yeah, the more proud I’ve been of some of the photos in a few of my past posts, the more pressure I put on myself to keep making them better, but it’s definitely stressful and a pain. I just have to remember that cooking/eating is first and photos are second!

  8. June 6, 2013 1:56 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about over-zealous photography. I absolutely appreciate sharp, attractive photos like you have here, and step by step ones are always handy, but sometimes they actually take over the post and writing which is what blogging is all about. Maybe they should go on Pinterest?

    • June 6, 2013 1:56 pm

      P.S. The recipe looks delicious.

    • June 7, 2013 8:26 am

      Thanks, Sean! You’re right; it’s never good for photos to take over a post. Especially step-by-step ones which are nice but definitely not necessary 100% of the time. I also don’t want my wordiness to ever completely take over a post, though, which is why I try to break up the text with plenty of photos! (Although, believe me, I’d love to be able to write things more short & sweet– less text and fewer photos– but sometimes it takes more work to be concise than verbose.)

  9. June 6, 2013 3:50 pm

    I loved the pictures. The dish looks amazing. I am a big fan of spicy and any thing to do with noodles.i am guessing that I can totally do it vegetarian. Have never tried Korean food. It is on my list to try though!

  10. June 6, 2013 5:48 pm

    Looks yummy. I also like rabboki very much. ^_^

  11. June 6, 2013 6:49 pm

    Yummy!! I grew up in a Korean neighborhood but I have never tried making any Korean food at home. I think this post is going to change that! Thank you!

    • June 7, 2013 8:36 am

      Yay, I love getting comments like this one! You should totally try making your own Korean food– and this is one of the easier dishes to make.

  12. June 7, 2013 7:47 am

    i am a fan of ramen noodles, it is a comfort to me to eat and though we don’t do packaged stuff much anymore, that is one vice that i give myself permission to partake in once in awhile.
    i love that idea of using the noodles but making your own broth!

    in regards to pretty pictures. i admit to being a stickler for pretty pictures, i spent most of my sunday taking pictures of 3 dishes, and only 1 will make it on the blog. personally i enjoy the challenges taking pictures provides me (though in the moment F bombs are usually going off). it’s the networking (i feel it’s an insincere thing sometimes) that annoys me to death and it’s something that i do sparingly, and only when i feel there’s a genuine connection. i grapple with this often. i’m an introvert in real life and i think it’s merged over to my online life!

    • June 7, 2013 8:50 am

      Yes, I know what you mean. The insincerity of some of the networking– not just among bloggers but also with brands/sponsors– drives me a little bit crazy… As for the photos, I have so much admiration for blogs with pretty pictures, and I somewhat aspire to be one of them (despite having very little patience for anything that could be called “food styling”). But those are the kinds of blogs I love love love to look at!

      I don’t think I could handle only 1 of 3 dishes I photographed making it on to the blog, though. You must be a more patient person than I am. :) I get discouraged/depressed about the wasted time when even one dish I’ve photographed is not going to be blog-worthy.

      Oh and ramen noodles are the best! I actually wondered if anyone would judge me for using the packaged stuff, even without the seasoning packet, so I stood in front of the refrigerated display case in the Asian market for a good 10 minutes, trying to decide whether or not to buy fresh (!) ramen noodles for this recipe. Ultimately I didn’t buy them, though, for several reasons: I figured that would be an ingredient that most people wouldn’t be able to find; I was worried the cooking time could be really different from the dried noodles; and the real kicker was that I spotted a bit of mold on the fresh noodles (ewww!). I’m glad that sent me back to the packaged stuff. :)

  13. June 11, 2013 1:53 am

    I’ve went over directly and read the post on Buzzfeed. It’s a pity how today pretty photos rank above the quality of the recipe and work behind it. Before I started taking my own photos and was working with a friend photographer we would make “cooking and shooting weekends” where I’d make 20-30 dishes in two days to be photographed… that was exhausting to say the least (and expensive)… However, it’s the whole social media keeping up that bugs me the most, that you have to spend more effort on promoting rather than creating quality content.
    p.s. love the sound of your rabokki, I don’t cook much Korean food and very intrigued to try :)

    • June 13, 2013 10:14 am

      Wow, even with a second person I don’t think I could ever make 20-30 dishes in a weekend (let alone photograph them, let alone eat them! Well, maybe I could eat them…). I do sometimes concentrate my cooking and shooting like that, but I’ll get more like four or five recipes done on a good weekend. Most weekends, I just aim for one or two. (It helps that now I’m only posting recipes once a week, so that’s about right.)

      The social media thing is what bugs me the most, too! There are so many places on the internet to network/promote food blogs that I see how the promotion alone could easily be a full time job (but not a very satisfying one, from my perspective). That kind of makes sense, given that there are also so many amazing food blogs out there (too many to follow and read, even as a full time job…), but sometimes it’s frustrating to feel like my own blog is just getting lost in the shuffle.

      p.s. Hope you do get to try making rabokki! :)

  14. June 12, 2013 12:07 am

    Thanks so much for that Buzzfeed article–I found myself nodding along to most of it. This year I’ve been trying to be more “serious” about my blog, which includes doing things like joining an ad network, posting on a regular schedule, and doing major social media outreach. It’s paying off, but honestly, it’s exhausting, and sometimes it takes the joy out of it, when “tweet and pin” are on my to-do list every day. I also agree that recipes have become an afterthought, which is a huge shame and defeats the whole purpose of a food blog.

    Well, after that vent, may I say that these noodles sound amazing. I don’t have much experience with Asian cooking and find it a little intimidating (I think I’d be more comfortable with the strawberry cream cheese cookies!) but the description and pictures are making me change my mind. :)

    • June 13, 2013 10:24 am

      Thank you for your comment, Elizabeth! I’m glad to hear from other like-minded bloggers about that article. Your experience confirms my suspicions (about my own blogging) that the more “serious” I get about my blog, the more that has the potential to take the joy out of it… (I’ve already started to notice this about myself on several occasions.) I mean, I’m glad your social media outreach has been paying off so much (your blog is awesome!) but I hope you can find a good balance that’s not too exhausting and where you are staying true to what you think the purpose of your food blog is.

      Also, that’s funny we are comfortable with/intimidated by very different types of kitchen projects! I wish I could have invited you over to help me salvage my strawberry cream cheese cookies (maybe on my fourth try, if I get up the energy to go back to them…). I think the biggest challenge with Asian cooking for people who are not familiar with it can be locating/identifying the right ingredients! But if you’re willing to spend some time wandering around an Asian market, then rabokki is a pretty simple, scrumptious recipe to start with. :)

  15. June 13, 2013 5:52 am

    Allison: You have a great food blog with good information and more importantly solid recipes. There is always something interesting to be found here. You do a fantastic job with your blog, and I thought I should tell you. :)
    Food blogging isn’t easy. Well, nothing is, if you want to do a good job with it. But, to many blogging about food is an easy thing to do not knowing that it takes time to get the recipe right, then enough time to cook and take pictures and then the writing…which takes me forever to produce. It is time consuming and it is fierce. Social networking is another battle. I gave up all that in order to produce something I will love and cherish for years to come. I used to edit photos for hours, and felt pressured to visit blogs and comment on them. I gave all that up, It was stressing me out and I wasn’t enjoying something that started out of love. I take it easy these days. I cook what my heart wants, not what is fad, I take pictures even when it’s cloudy and no good light, I don’t edit, I don’t pressure myself to have a post ready if I can’t. I rather spend my time with my family and friends than try to network with hundreds of other bloggers just so they come see what I am doing. Maybe I’m not on the right path, but does it bring me peace…most definitely it does.
    And about he photo thing, don’t sweat too much. If possible get yourself a camera that can take a 50mm 1.5/f lens and practice. You will learn to love your photographs more. I think you have good concept and good styling you just need that lens.
    One last time: I love your food!

    • June 13, 2013 10:52 am

      Thanks, Debjani! All of this means so much coming from you. I’m flattered and encouraged! :)

      I definitely dove into blogging without realizing how much of a time-consuming “battle” it would be. I’ve already given up a little on the social networking front, and I feel more relaxed about the blog because of it. I still pressure myself to have posts ready every Thursday, but I am no longer trying to comment on countless other blogs regularly– there are too many great ones out there, and there’s too little time!

      Also, I think/hope my “food first, photos second” epiphany with this rabokki will help save me time and frustration in the long run and will help me remember why I’m doing this. I’d rather perfect a recipe first– planning to make it again later to photograph it some other time– and not have a post ready to go up than post something that I just threw together, imperfect recipe and all, just to have some new content up. (Which is why I might never post that strawberry cream cheese cookie recipe!)

      Oh and the writing! That takes me forever, too. (But I usually really enjoy it– once I come up with what type of approach I’m going to take, that is.) By the way, I always really enjoy your writing– especially your recent “Shut the Door!” post.

      I loved what you said about producing something that you’ll love and cherish for years to come. I feel the same way: I am doing this to share recipes with others, but also to have a record for myself of recipes I’ve enjoyed or created– to have them all in one place, and to be able to flip back through them, like a diary of my life through food.

      Your philosophy about the photos is inspiring. (Especially because your photos are so so gorgeous!) I know just as little about photo editing as I do about photography itself, so if anything I just use iPhoto to brighten some of my photos a little if they seemed too dark. I will keep your advice in mind about the 50mm 1.5/f lens. I’m not even sure if I can use other lenses with my current camera or not (Canon G12 powershot), but I’m enjoying using it– despite only understanding about 5% of its functionality– so I’m not in the market for a whole new camera anytime soon.

      Anyway, thank you for taking the time to comment, and for your encouragement; I really appreciate it! :)

      • June 13, 2013 5:37 pm

        You are so very welcome! Thank you for letting all of us vent out a little. We need it, don’t we? ;)

  16. June 21, 2013 3:14 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who eats things over and over again when it is something I like. Looking at these photos and reading, I can see where this dish would do it. And it gives me another use for my Korean chili paste other than Bi Bim Bap!

    Eager to try this. Will let you know how it goes…..

    Finally, noticed and enjoyed your discussion with Keep Calm. I was nudged into blogging, loved it and am enjoying the process of trying to improve from where I started (particularly photos), but I don’t have time for a lot of networking. However, I find it intriguing that many terrific blogs don’t necessarily have the biggest following (probably because they don’t spend their days relentlessly commenting). Perhaps I’m naive, but I think, in the long run, good quality posts will win out over networking (unless you are, in fact, networking a blog with substance). You do have a good quality blog – depth in your recipes, good detail and good stories.

    • June 28, 2013 4:12 pm

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment (and I’m sorry it took me a while to respond). I think you’re right that there’s not always a direct correspondence with the quality of blogs and their readership, especially because networking now plays such a big role in making your voice heard above the crowd (of seemingly similar voices)! I started off trying to do a lot more on the networking side of things, but quickly got exhausted and frustrated with that. Now I’m taking it more slowly and, like you, trying to improve my photos, etc., without making networking a priority. Maybe my blog will suffer from a smaller readership, but at least it’s a readership that’s slowly but steadily growing– that is definitely a rewarding aspect of blogging and something that’s given me a lot of satisfaction in spite of the fact that I didn’t start this blog in order to have a big readership; I started it because I love eating and talking (thinking/dreaming/writing) about food!

      Anyway, yes, now you have yet another use for your kochujang! I still haven’t made bi bim bap even though I already bought a dolsot (rock cooker bowl) to make it with, but that is definitely something that I can eat over and over again, too… yum.

      • June 28, 2013 6:58 pm

        Absolutely right. I’d rather have a smaller readership as well, but knowing that the readers are there because they like my blog – and not simply because I read and commented on their blog.

        There are so many nice blogs out there. I can’t possibly comment on all the ones I like – so I only comment (time permitting) on the ones I really like, like yours :-)

      • June 29, 2013 3:00 pm

        Thanks for the compliment! :) Yes, there are wayyyy too many nice blogs out there to comment on all of them regularly, and no way for me to keep up with them all– unless I did it full time… ugh, haha. Remembering to let myself off the hook about regularly commenting on other blogs means I can write more meaningful comments only on posts that really intrigue or inspire me; it also means I appreciate it even more when readers like you take the time to comment on my blog!

    • June 28, 2013 4:13 pm

      p.s. The kochujang isn’t necessary for this, but you could always add a little to fried rice dishes like kimchi fried rice as well. :)

  17. June 24, 2013 8:50 pm

    I would totally try to find duck eggs for this recipe. We ate duck eggs in noodle dishes when I lived in China, and I am hooked. I keep asking my husband when I can get backyard ducks just for this purpose. :)

    • June 28, 2013 4:18 pm

      Nice! I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried duck eggs, but I love chicken eggs and quail eggs, so I’d probably like those, too! I have to warn you, though, backyard ducks are LOUD.

      My neighbors have a million (okay, maybe eight to ten?) chickens in their backyard, and those are loud too, but one summer they added ONE duck and it out-quacked/squawked all of the chickens easily. (Maybe also because it wasn’t the happiest with whatever setup they had for it…) Anyway, it got so loud that my roommate’s summer subletter was planning to call the police about the noise pollution from the unhappy duck, but then one day it just disappeared… maybe they wised up and sold it or set it free…

  18. July 28, 2013 7:17 am

    I thought this post was wonderful in so many ways — I hope you don’t mind that I’m about to write the longest comment ever! First, I love Korean food and anything with gochujang and fish cakes (AND ramen), so I’m super excited to try this recipe! You have a lot of my favorite Korean and Asian go-to recipes on your blog and I love seeing them pop up :)

    Second, the discussion in your post and the many more discussions in the comments about food-blogging were so meaningful to me, and identified many of the anxieties that I have with it too. Like a lot of people have said above and in the comments on that article, the essence and happiness of blogging about food is so diminished when the pressure to capture a good picture overwhelms the enjoyment of the food itself. (I think recently I asked my boyfriend, “Is it sad that I didn’t REALLY want to eat a brownie, I just wanted to take a better picture of it this time around?” His answer: “Yes. Yes it is.” That’s when you know something’s off!) And, at least for me, even after the picture there comes a little bit of self-consciousness in putting them up on the Internet for everyone to see. I feel like there’s a little voice inside me asking if I’m taking myself too seriously, or being self-important, or trying to glorify my cooking beyond what it is, when the motivation was originally just to share one of my favorite things to do — cook good food and feed it to people I love.

    I guess the bottom line for me is something I read recently on someone’s blog — that “blogging should come from a place of joy.” And I try to carry that with me when I write. I remember that blogging was originally just supposed to be preserving something I love in a written and picture form, and if others find it and can benefit from it, then that is the best part of it all — but it’s not my goal to try to force it on others or glamorize it. So I try to write from the heart and not to be too commercial or audience-focused, which I think helps me, at any rate. (Not enough to keep me from re-baking those brownies, evidently!)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you so much for the insightful post and the article you linked to. It’s good to know others feel similarly out there. (And, PS, is there anything sadder than taking a ton of pictures of food prep and then having your recipe be a total flop — probably precisely because you cared so much about pictures?! I don’t know how many times that’s happened. What a good call to consciously disregard pictures for your first run of the rabokki. I’m so going to do that myself — and I definitely eat the same things over and over too so that won’t be a problem :D)

    • July 28, 2013 12:56 pm

      Thank you for your “longest comment ever.” :) (It’s really right at home in length with the rest of the comments on this post, so don’t worry about it; I’m glad to get thoughtful comments like yours!)

      I’m also glad you could identify so much with the other discussions on this post. The more I hear from other bloggers who also stress about photography—and who sometimes find the photography takes a little bit of joy out of the cooking—the more encouraged I am to know that at least I am in the same boat as lots of other talented cooks/writers/food-lovers, and I just have to keep stepping back and remembering my priorities and reasons for blogging in the first place. Like you, I originally just wanted this blog to be a way of preserving (/sharing) recipes I love in written/picture form. (And a way of having them all in one place! A goal summed up by the title and “about” section of another blog I love, Just One Cookbook.)

      It can definitely be really helpful to have a significant other there to put things in perspective, too; I’m sure I’ve had nearly that same type of brownie conversation (!) with my fiancée, Paula. (It’s good your boyfriend was honest and just told you that yes, something was off about your priorities in that moment!) Anyway, I could so identify with that; I sometimes get so frustrated with the photography, the setting sun, a recipe that didn’t turn out perfectly, etc., that I need Paula to tell me, “we’re just going to have to make this again another time; today is not the day.”

      And to answer your question: no, nothing is sadder than all that wasted time and effort of photographing something where the recipe itself didn’t work out! And that is why I’ve been loving my new system of perfecting my recipes first—without photography—then taking pictures when I make something a subsequent time. I think I’ve stuck with that system pretty strictly—despite being tempted to stray from it—ever since this rabokki post (so for the past two months) and it’s working out really well! Of course that means there are times when we eat the same meal two or three times a week, but only because I get into a stubborn one-track zone about particular recipes; theoretically we could be mixing things up more and just keeping good notes to remember what works.

      Anyway, thanks again for chiming in on this topic and reminding me again (just as I’m about to step away from my laptop and take photos of another future post) that there are more important things than (pseudo-)professional-looking food photography. :) Also, I’m glad to hear you’re looking forward to trying this recipe; I hope you enjoy it!

  19. August 24, 2013 8:53 pm

    Ah yes, this post (and the buzzfeed article) totally fit in with my current life sentiment when it comes to my blog. I definitely remake things often JUST to get the perfect picture, which is sorta ridiculous. I mean I guess that means the recipe gets tested multiple times (which is a good thing) but it’s sort of silly that I measure success based on appearance rather than taste a lot of times.

    Let’s not even get into how much food gets wasted because it’s made for the purpose of being photographed and not eaten! That drives me nuts. I always try to give away extra food I have, but I know I’ve definitely thrown things away, which breaks my heart.

    • August 29, 2013 8:28 am

      Karla, yes, we are agreed—it is kind of ridiculous (yet I do it, too) to remake things just to be photographed. But I think as long as you are measuring success based on the tastiness of the recipe, and not the appearance—meaning don’t waste one second worrying about whether you have the perfect “food styling” “props” (<== two terms I kind of hate) etc., then I think you're doing just fine!

      I would also hate wasting food that was made to be photographed but not eaten. Luckily, I don't think I've ever done that (/had to do that) so far… Paula and I can usually eat/freeze most of the food we make, or give some away. But there have definitely been times when I *have* had to throw away food from a made-up recipe that turned out to be a disaster (like the failed strawberry cream cheese cookies I mentioned above), and THAT absolutely breaks my heart.

  20. September 7, 2013 7:34 pm

    Ahh delicious rabokki @_@ one of the best comfort foods ever! I usually add some 쫄면 in order to mix up the noodle textures a bit, it’s really good! Have you ever had the experience where your 떡 starts to have a kind of gritty, stick-to-your-mouth texture after keeping it for too long?

    • November 30, 2013 11:20 pm

      I’m not sure how I missed your comment before, but I apologize for the long delay in responding to it! Adding 쫄면 instead of/along with ramen noodles sounds delicious. And no, I’m not sure I’ve ever had that experience of 떡 sticking to my mouth too much because it’s older, though definitely if tteok have been frozen for too long and have freezer burn, then they can get dry and cracked and a little gritty.

      Anyway, thanks again for commenting, and I’m glad we’re in agreement that rabokki is one of the best comfort foods ever! ^^

  21. November 30, 2013 9:57 pm

    Hey there,

    The recipe looks really yummy and i definitely gonna try it soon. Just in regards to the recipe, when i try looking for dashi no moto they actually come in different size of the tea bag. Would u care to comment more on which one u used and how many of them?


    • November 30, 2013 11:17 pm

      Thanks for commenting! The box of dashi-no-moto that I used had dashi tea bags that each weighed 0.75 oz. / 21 grams, and I used just one of those packets in 3 cups of water (as the recipe on the box called for), but I kept it in for less time than was called for on the box (i.e., by simmering it for 5 minutes instead of 10 minutes).

      I hope you enjoy the recipe! Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions. :)

  22. Stephanie permalink
    May 27, 2014 8:03 pm

    Mmmmmm delish!! :)


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