Thursday, June 3, 2010

The inseparables - Boiled egg in Tteokbokki 떡볶이랑 삶은 달걀

There is pair of things that one does not fully exist without the other. They are so entwined with each other, the one doesn't make any sense without the other. There are food pairs just like that: one of which I may say tteokbokki and boiled egg.

The first form of tteokbokki was mild, high-end food using beef strips and soy sauce. During the modern times, it becomes favorite snack food using spicy chili paste and fish cake.
When I was young, I was not allowed to have this snack with other friends. I had such fragile stomach which produce too much acid whenever I was stressed out. Can you imagine a 10 year old with Gastritis!? It was me. So, any thing too spicy or too salty -which tteokbokki was both - was out of question. I was watching my friend eating it with envy.

I had this popular snack when I was 15 years. It was an adventure. For the first time, against all the better judgement, I went with my best friend to have this almost national dish of Korea. By then my mother's ban was off. But our principle didn't like the idea of having small benders in front of our school, so he had banned all student from dropping by. If caught, me and my friend would have been in little bit of trouble. But you know how the forbidden fruit taste: it was gooooooooood!

My best buddy knew I could not eat too spicy food. So, she asked for extra boiled egg for me. Mixed with spicy burning seasoning, the egg was so tasty! After that, boiled egg and tteokbokki were inseperable, at least as far as I concerned.

Ttokbokki with hard boiled egg

For two:

1/2 lb ttokbokki ttok, two boiled egg, 1 lb cabbage, 1 medium size onion, 2 sheets of flat omuk (about 10cm by 10 cm per sheet Korean fish cake, optional), 2 T Gochujang (고추장 Korean chili paste), 1/2 T soy sauce, 1 c water

1. Cut cabbage into thin strips and slice onion. Cut omuk into desired size.
2. wash ttokbokki ttok and drain them well.
3. Mix gochujang, soy sauce, and water in large deep skillet with lid. Add cabbage, onion, and omuk. Place skillet on the heat with lid on, cook till the cabbage is half cooked.
4. Add ttokbokki ttok, stir gently and cook till the ttok becomes desirable texture.
5. Serve it with boiled egg.
** I made it little bit fancier by rolling the omuk and skewed it with egg. For this, cut omuk into strip and cook along the side of ttok. Take it out when the ttok is fully cooked and skewer it with egg.
** Ttock doesn't do well with time. So make this dish right before serving.


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