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Korea’s favorite snack

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Street foods are a favorite among locals, expats and tourists in South Korea.  The most popular and often beloved of these foods is Ddeokbokki.

Ddeokbokki (do-bo-ki) is everything one looks for in the perfect street food, or any food for that matter: It’s commonly found, inexpensive, fulfilling and most importantly – delicious!

Stock Image/Colourbox.com

What is it?

A simple combination of sliced rice cakes marinated in a spicy/sweet red chili paste. Spiciness varies significantly from not hot at all to make-your-eyes-water-someone-quickly-get-me-a-glass-of milk!

History

Ddeokbokki was originally a dish for the upper class, commonly served in the royal court, which is where it originated sometime during the Chosun Dynasty (1382-1910).

It wasn’t until after the Korean War that this food broke into mainstream society, quickly becoming a favorite snack and meal by all ages.

Today’s most common version is slightly different from its ordinal royal predecessor, as most vendors now add Gochujang, a Korean condiment made from red chili, rather than Ganjang (soy sauce).

Variations

There are many variations to the main recipe of Ddeokbokki.  Some include but are not limited to:

Seafood Ddeokbokki 

Cheese Ddeokbokki

Noodle Ddeokbokki

Price

A cup full of this snack will usually cost between 500 Won – 1,000 Won (less than $1 U.S.).  A specialty variation dish will of course be more expensive.  Depending on where you are (restaurant or vendor) and the intricacy of the dish, it can cost between 2,000 Won – 10,000 Won (about $1 U.S. – $9 U.S.).

Sources:

http://english.seoul.go.kr/cav/do/restaurant_view.php?idx=8588

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tteokbokki

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/07/16/2010071601029.html

http://www.worknplay.co.kr/_include/contents_view.php?bbs=articles&idx=4431

 

 


Tey-Marie Astudillo
Journalist & Videographer
teymarieastudillo.com

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