Rose tteokbokki is a creamy, milder alternative to the classic tteokbokki. It's cheesy, and loaded with soft, chewy rice cakes, bacon, sausages, and fishcakes. This creamy tteokbokki is super easy to make and takes only 20 minutes, which makes it great for a weekday meal or a quick, indulging snack!
Despite its name, rose tteokbokki doesn't contain any flowers or wine. It is also sometimes called carbonara tteokbokki, rosé tteokbokki, cream tteokbokki for its pinkish orange color, use of bacon, and its creamy sauce, which makes it extra delicious and addictive!
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
For the dish:
- Korean rice cake - Make sure to use garae-tteok, aka cylindrical rice cakes, and often known as tteokbokki tteok. This style of rice cake is best for making tteokbokki because it holds up really well and doesn't lose it's chew. Do note that this recipe's cook time is based on vacuum packed rice cake. If using fresh rice cake, the cook time may need to be reduced.
- Bacon, fish cake, mini sausages - These three are the most common add-ons when making rose tteokbooki, and we highly recommend not skipping them. They add lots of flavor. If you had to choose, we recommend keeping the bacon and fish cake sheets.
- Green onion - For color and some additional flavor.
- Mozzarella - To make the dish richer and cheesy! We recommend using finely shredded mozzarella so that it melts better.
- Dry parsley (optional for garnish)
For the rose tteokbokki sauce:
- Garlic - The main aromatic for the rose tteokbokki sauce. It adds so much flavor. A must have!
- Milk and heavy cream - A combination of milk and cream ensures that the sauce is rich and creamy but not overly heavy and prevents the sauce from becoming too thick.
- Gochujang - Also known as Korean red pepper paste. This is the base flavor of the sauce and cannot be skipped! Gochujang adds spice, sweetness, spiciness, and an iconic pepper flavor that cannot be replace.
- Soy sauce - Just a small amount of soy sauce adds the saltiness needed in this dish. It also gives rose tteokbokki a deeper color. We used low sodium soy sauce. If using regular soy sauce, you may need to hold the salt.
- Gochugaru - Also known as Korean red pepper flakes. This is techically optional. It adds more spice, color, and pepper flavor to the dish.
- Salt - A little salt may be needed to balance and finish the sauce, depending on the ingredients you used. You could also use only salt and skip the soy sauce if you wish.
How to make rose tteokbokki
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
1. Soak the rice cakes. Place the rice cakes into a bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for at least 5 minutes, up to 30, while you prep the ingredients for rose tteokbokki. Break up any rice cakes that are stuck together and drain well. If using fresh rice cake, skip the soaking.
2. Render bacon. Into a nonstick pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until the bacon is mostly rendered with a some color on both sides. The bacon doesn't have to be crispy.
3. Sauté the aromatics. Add the garlic and green onion bottoms (the white parts) to the rendered bacon and sauté until fragrant.
4. Make the sauce. Add the milk and cream. Then followed by the gochujang, soy sauce, gochugaru, and salt. Mix until the gochujang has dissolved.
5. Simmer the rice cake, sausages, and fish cakes. Add the rice cake, mini sausages, and fishcakes and let everything simmer until the rice cakes are soft and chewy and the sauce creamy and slightly thickened. Taste the sauce and re-season with salt if needed. Stir in the green parts of the green onion.
🌟 Pro tip: Make sure to stir often once the sauce starts to simmer. This is especially important when the sauce starts to thicken because the rice cake tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.
6. Add cheese and garnish. Transfer the rose tteokbokki to a serving dish and immediately top with mozzarella. Garnish with dry parsley if desired. Enjoy while hot!
- Don't skip the bacon, fish cake, and sausage. These three are technically all optional, however we highly recommend adding all of them, or at least the bacon and fish cakes, to help season and make the rose tteokbokki sauce taste even more flavorful.
- Stir often once the sauce and rice cake starts simmering. The starch from the rice cake will slowly thicken the sauce. So make sure to stir frequently to prevent the rice cake from sticking to the bottom and to prevent the sauce from burning.
- Add the mozzarella as soon as possible or straight to the pot before serving. Cheese melts the best when the food is hot, so add the cheese as soon as possible to ensure that it melts well.
- Season to taste if needed. Depending on the brands, all the ingredients added can contribute the saltiness of the dish. So make sure to taste and see if any more salt is needed before serving.
Leftover rose tteokbokki should be cooled completely before storing in the fridge. Keep refrigerated and it will be good for up to 3 to 4 days.
To reheat, place the leftover rose tteokbokki into a pan with a small amount of milk or water, about ¼ cup to start. Heat on medium or medium low and stir frequently until the rice cake is heated through and soft again.
Rose tteokbokk, unlike regular tteokbokki, is simmered in a mildly spicy, creamy sauce made with milk or cream or a mixture of both, along with garlic, gochujang, and gochugaru. It's also loaded with bacon, sausages, fish cakes, and topped with mozzarella.
The biggest difference between rose tteokbokki and regular tteokbokki is the sauce. Rose tteokbokki sauce is creamy, mildly spicy, and a rosey, orange color, enriched with bacon, sausages, fish cakes, and topped with mozzarella. Regular, classic tteokbokki is savory, a little sweet, and typically a bit spicier, made with dashima (anchovy and kelp stock) and gochujang.
Depending on the brand of rice cake, the cook time will differ. The general cook time for vacuum packed, refrigerated rice cakes is 4 to 8 minutes. Fresh rice cakes usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
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For the dish:
- 1.1 pounds Korean rice cake (tteokbokki tteok)
- 3 ounces bacon cut into bite size pieces (about 2 slices of thick-cut bacon or 3 to 4 slices of regular bacon)
- 1 sheet Korean fish cake cut into bite size pieces (about 1.5oz/43g per sheet)
- 3 ounces mini smoked sausages
- 1 stalk green onion cut into 1 inch pieces (keep the green and whites separate)
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese or to your preference
- Dry parsley flakes (optional for garnish)
For the rose tteokbokki sauce:
- Place the tteok (rice cake) in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let the rice cake soak for at least 5 minutes while you're preparing the other ingredients. Break apart any rice cakes that are stuck together. Drain well and set aside.*This step is for frozen and vacuum pack rice cakes. If using fresh tteok, skip the soaking. Also refer to the notes for more details.*
- In a nonstick pan with tall sides over medium heat, add the bacon and pan fry until most of the bacon fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly colored, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Once the bacon is mostly rendered, add the garlic and white parts of the green onion. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the milk and cream. Following, add the gochujang (red pepper paste), soy sauce, gochugaru (red pepper flakes), and salt. Stir until the gochujang is dissolved.
- When the gochujang has dissolved, add the rice cakes, mini sausages, and fish cakes to the sauce. Bring everything to a low simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the rice cakes are soft and chewy and the sauce is slightly thickened and creamy. At this point, taste the sauce to see if more salt is needed. Stir in the green part of the green onion.
- Transfer the rose tteokbokki to a serving plate or coupe and top with shredded mozzarella and some dry parsley if you wish. Enjoy while hot.
- Korean rice cake - Make sure to use garae-tteok, or cylindrical rice cakes, also simply known as tteok for tteokbokki. They are most often found frozen or vacuum packed. These are best soaked in warm water for at least 5 to 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes to help cut down cooking time and make them softer. If you are using fresh tteok, skip the soaking and the cooking time may also need to be reduced.
- Bacon, mini sausages, and fish cake - These three are all optional but definitely adds to the overall flavors of rose tteokbokki. We recommend at least using bacon and fish cakes if you have to choose. If you are omitting one, use more of the others.