Tteokbokki with eggplant has quickly become one of my go-to dishes. This is only my 4th or 5th time cooking it — though that’s probably the most I’ve ever cooked a single dish — but I’m confident I have this one in my back pocket. By that, I mean I know what to look for in the supermarket, how to prep everything, how long I’ll need to cook it, and have thought up enough variations to keep it interesting.
I usually go vegetarian on this dish, though I think traditionally tteokbokki is made with fish cakes, which I gladly would add if I had any on hand. Pork would also work well here; chicken, not so much.
— serves 2–
1 large eggplant, cut into pieces roughly the size and shape of tteok
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
one bunch of scallions, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 clove of garlic, minced
a couple tablespoons of peanut oil
some hot water
2 heaping tablespoons gochujang (more if you like it extra hot)
3-4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup hot water, plus more as needed
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Salt eggplant with a heavy hand and let sit while preparing other ingredients.
2. To make sauce, combine ingredients and whisk to loosen gochujang paste.
3. On medium-high heat, cook onions and garlic in oil until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in eggplant and some hot water (just enough to create some steam), cover, and cook until tender but not squishy, around 7 minutes.
4. Uncover and add tteok and the sauce. Stir to coat ingredients thoroughly and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until tteok is at desired doneness (I like mine real chewy and bouncy).