Serving Size 4
Although the spicy version of tteokbokki is better known, the original dish, which hails from the royal court of the Chosun dynasty, has no chilis at all. Instead, it boasts a lip-smacking, salty–sweet sauce with black pepper undertones. It is also super quick to make – a crowd-pleasing stir-fry that even the kids will love.
450g (1lb) beef rib eye, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 5mm/¼in thick)
1 small firm but ripe pear, grated
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus a drizzle for the stir-fry
5 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds, crushed
¼ tsp ginger, peeled and grated
½ tsp black pepper
280g (10oz) tteok (thin rice cake batons)
50g (2oz) baby onions, peeled and quartered
120g (3¾oz) mixed wild mushrooms (I like to use 2 large oyster mushrooms, sliced, with ½ bunch enoki mushrooms)
1 rainbow carrot, peeled and julienned
100g (3½oz) baby leeks, trimmed and cut lengthways into quarters
80g (3oz) baby corn, cut lengthways into quarters
1 spring onion
1 quail egg, soft boiled
A pinch of black sesame seeds
In a shallow dish, combine the beef, pear and brown sugar and massage with your hands to thoroughly combine. Leave to marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, garlic, crushed sesame seeds, ginger and black pepper. Set aside.
When the beef is ready, use your hands to shake off and squeeze out any excess sugary liquid, then add the beef to the soy sauce marinade. Toss to coat, cover and marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.
Meanwhile, cut the spring onion lengthways into thin strips and soak in iced water until curled, then drain.
About 30 minutes before cooking, place the tteok in a large bowl with enough water to cover them. Leave them to rehydrate.
Once the tteok are rehydrated, remove from the water, retaining 4 tablespoons of liquid. Heat a drizzle of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the baby onions and cook for 6–8 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms, carrot, baby leeks and baby corn and cook for a further 5 minutes until slightly softened.
Increase the heat to medium–high, add the beef, marinade rehydrated tteok and the retained water. Cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is medium rare, and slightly pink in the center. Transfer to a serving plate, and arrange the spring onion and quail egg on top. Finish with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.
Serving Size: 25 balls
Arancini is a fantastic way to use leftover rice, transforming it into an appetizer that flies off the plate. You can use any kind of old rice, but short grain works best.
500g (1lb 2oz) steamed short grain rice, chilled
150g (5oz) cabbage kimchi, finely chopped
50g (2oz) Parmesan, finely grated
A good pinch of kizami nori (roasted shredded seaweed)
2 tsp roasted sesame oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
75g (3oz) Cheddar cheese, cut into 1cm (½in) dice
55g (2oz) plain flour
100g (3½oz) panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sriracha, to serve
SWEET SOY SAUCE
125ml (4fl oz) soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp mirin
50g dark brown sugar
1 large clove garlic, grated
½ tsp ginger, grated
½ tsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
½ tsp roasted sesame oil
½ tsp corn flour
First, make the sweet soy sauce. Heat the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, mirin, dark brown sugar, garlic, ginger, gochugaru and sesame oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and whisk well until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside 3½ teaspoons and then store the remainder of the sauce in the fridge to enjoy with Korean fried chicken or another recipe.
Mix the corn flour with 2 tablespoons of water and whisk into the sweet soy sauce. Bring the sauce to the boil and remove from the heat. Pass through fine sieve and set aside.
Place the chilled cooked rice into a large bowl, add the kimchi, Parmesan, kizami nori, sesame oil, soy sauce and spring onions, and mix together well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roll the mix into balls about 20g (¾oz) each, and place a dice of cheese into the middle of each ball. Place the balls on a lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator. Chill until hard, about 2–3 hours.
To coat the arancini, set up three dipping stations: spread out the flour on a dinner plate; use a fork to whisk the eggs in a small, wide bowl; and pour the panko on to another dinner plate. Coat one of the balls with the flour, shaking it to remove the excess, then with the egg wash and lastly with the panko, making sure it is well covered. Repeat to coat all the arancini.
In a large, heavy-based pan at least 13cm (5in) deep, pour oil to a depth of 5cm (2in) and heat over a medium–high heat to 170 ̊C (340 ̊F). Working in batches, fry the coated balls for 4–5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a kitchen paper-lined plate to drain. Let the oil return to temperature before cooking the next batch, keeping previous batches warm in a low heated oven. Serve the arancini immediately with Sriracha on the side.