What is tteokbokki?
Tteokbokki is a spicy stir-fried dish that typically consists of rice cakes in the form of a cylinder, sweet red chili sauce, and fish cakes. It's considered one of Korea's top street food products, and can typically be purchased from street vendors known as pojangmacha.
During the Joseon Dynasty era, when it was used as a remedy, the dish originated and it was also one of the dishes of the royal court. Tteokbokki was originally referred to as tteok jjim, a braised platter of sliced rice cakes, meat , eggs, and seasonings.
While being brown in colour, it is red today because the colors changed when gochuang (a spicy chili paste) was introduced in the mid-1900s. What was once a dish for the royals is now one of Korea's cheapest street food dishes, and recent attempts have also been made to convert it into a food franchise owing to continued demand for tteokbokki among Koreans.