Topokki or stir-fried rice cake is a delicious and spicy snack that is best enjoyed with your loved ones. The spicy taste from the Korean chilli paste; gochujang brings out unique flavours and is the trademark of Korean food.
Koreans typically love spicy food and that is why the gochujang sauce may be too spicy for some Malaysian. Some fusion Korean restaurants have also taken to serve topokki with cream sauce to cater to those that can’t take the heat of gochujang.
What is Topokki
Topokki is basically a boiled rice cake that is served with gochujang. The spicy and dewy rice cake is often enjoyed with additional fish cakes and sesame seed. The mixture of this finest dish created a thrilling and fun experience when enjoying one piece of rice cake.
History of Topokki
Topokki or tteok-bokki is actually rice cake that is made from tteokmyeon or the rice cake noodles. Tteok in the ttok-bokki is the rice cake. Topokki first made its debut in the 19th century, in a cookbook called Siuijeonseo. Topokki was spelt as steokbokgi at that time using the ancient archaic spelling. Wheat tteok in that era was served only for the working-class people to substitute rice.
Topokki was initially made to serve the royal court. The served topokki is a plain white tteok with sirloin, scallions, pine nuts, and sesame seed with the special sauce. The special sauce used in topokki for the royal courts was made in the house of Papyeaong Yun clan where the famous and the best quality of soy sauce was made there. However, after the Korean war, soy sauce was difficult to brew. The spicy topokki with gochujang only appeared in the 1950s.
It was said that Ma Bok Lim, an owner of a Chinese restaurant, accidentally dropped tteok into a pot of hot gochujang sauce. She picked up the tteok to taste it and immediately fell in love with the spicy taste of the tteok. She started to sell the spicy tteok at Sindang, and later on the name gradually changed into topokki. With that, there are two versions of tteok where there is spciy red tteok seasoned with gochujang and the plain version of tteok served to the royals. Both version of the topokki are enjoyed by people from all ages.
By 1980s, many street stalls and vendors started selling topokki on the streets. People started to create various recipes of topokki and fused it with a lot of cuisines. Topokki was not only enjoyed as a snack, it can also be consumed as a meal on its own by adding some greens and seasoning.
The hearty and delicious plate of topokki can be enjoyed over dinner and as a side dish during cold weather. The warm plate of topokki can warm you and your loved ones up with every bite.
Health Benefits of Topokki
Topokki has nutrients that are beneficial to our health. First and foremost, topokki is a good source of carbohydrates which can boost your energy all day long. It also is a good source of protein that can help to build your muscles.
It also contains iron and fibre that can help to protect your digestive system from various infections and most importantly can help to reduce the risk of having anaemia. The protein in the topokki helps with the production of haemoglobin in your body.
Where to Find Topokki in Malaysia
Topokki can be found in various outlets of Myeongdong Topokki. This restaurant serves the best topokki in town. This go-to dish is best enjoyed with your loved ones.
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