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Vegan Tteokbokki (Korean Spicy Rice Cakes 떡볶이)

Making vegan tteokbokki at home is so easy to do! Enjoy the irresistible taste and comforting texture of this popular Korean dish with a few simple ingredients made completely vegan and gluten-free! 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Side dishes
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: ddukbokki, korean rice cake, spicy rice cake, vegan tteokbokki
Servings: 4 -5 servings
Author: Remy Park


  • 1 lb fresh or frozen rice cake/tteok*
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 4 x4" piece of dried kelp
  • 5 oz yuba sheets
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/4 cup gochujang I use this gluten free variety
  • 2 tbsp gochugaru dried korean chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  • Prep the Ingredients
  • If using frozen rice cakes, soak your rice cakes in a bowl of cold water to help break them apart. If using fresh rice cakes that are a little dry or a few days old, you can also soak them to help soften them up.
  • Slice green onions into three sections lengthwise (separate the green tops and white stems). Then, thinly slice the white stems lengthwise. Reserve half of the green tops and slice them diagonally to use for garnish.
  • Slice your yuba into small squares, then into triangle shapes to resemble fishcakes.
  • Prepare the Tteokbokki Sauce
  • In a small bowl, mix gochujang, gochugaru, coconut sugar, gluten-free soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil to form a paste.
  • Assemble the Vegan Tteokbokki
  • Add water to a saucepan or pot, along with shiitake mushrooms and kelp. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and kelp and set aside (you can use add these, thinly sliced, back into the dish later or just discard).
  • Drain your rice cakes and add them to the pot along with the yuba, green onion stems, and green tops. Bring the mixture to a low boil.
  • Add in your seasoning paste and gently stir in to make sure it fully dissolves. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the sauce should be nice and glossy, and the rice cakes are cooked through.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired, and enjoy immediately.


Secrets to Success

  • Rice cakes come in various shapes. Look for the cylindrical rice cakes, which are made specifically for this spicy rice cake dish.
  • The best place to source ingredients is at your local Korean grocery store or Asian market.

What to Eat with Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki is typically eaten as a standalone dish, but it can also be paired with other Korean dishes or side dishes to make a more substantial meal.
Some popular options include boiled eggs, kimchi, fish cakes, ramen noodles, mandu, fried chicken, and/or vegetables. However, many of these are not vegan. But fear not! There are ways to veganize your favorite foods, and I’m here to help!
Since we made a vegan version of Tteokbokki, I recommend trying these sides instead:
  • Vegetables: Various vegetables can be added to tteokbokki or served alongside it. Some options include broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and snap peas.
  • Fried or baked tofu: Tofu is a great source of protein and adds a nice texture to the dish.
  • Vegan fish cakes: Vegan fish cakes made from wheat gluten, tofu, or mushrooms can be used in place of traditional fish cakes. If you’re gluten-free, skip these!
  • Vegan dumplings: Vegan dumplings made with vegetables or tofu to add to your meal.
  • Kimchi: Many varieties of kimchi are vegan-friendly, but it's always a good idea to check the label or make it from scratch.
  • Stir-fried greens: Bok choy, kale, or spinach can be stir-fried as a healthy side dish.
  • Ramen: You can make this gluten-free ramen to accompany this dish as well.

Storage Tips

  • To store vegan tteokbokki, let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To freeze, freeze it in individual servings in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave or on the stove. The texture may change a bit after freezing, but it's still safe and tasty to eat.