Best Tteokbokki Types at Korean Restaurants

Lingua Asia_Everything You Need to Know About Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki is the SOUL FOOD of South Korea.

It’s the mortal enemy of dieting that many Koreans, including K-pop stars, struggle to resist.

Find out which types are the best to order at a Tteokbokki restaurant!

Key Takeaways

  • Gungmul Tteokbokki is extra soupy.
  • Gireum Tteokbokki is deep-fried in chili oil.
  • Royal court style, Gungjung Tteokbokki, is soy sauce-based and not spicy.
  • Cheese Tteokbokki is smothered with mozzarella cheese.
  • Jeukseok Tteokbokki is cooked on the spot!

※Allergens & Calories

Koreans are unaware of allergens as no one seems to have allergies (parents will just feed you things until you get used to them).
I did my best to include allergens, but they vary depending on the place.
Be sure to check with your server before you order.

1. Extra Soupy – Gungmul Tteokbokki (국물떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Gungmul Tteokbokki Set

Gungmul Tteokbokki is the same as the regular type, but with extra soup.

The ingredients are fairly simple: rice cakes (tteok), fish cake (eomuk) and/or green onion (pa).

It looks soupier and tastes milder, making it perfect for someone who can’t eat spicy food (maepjjiri or 맵찔이).

You can find this soothing dish at most tteokbokki restaurants.

📌Tip! The best way to eat Gungmul Tteokbokki is to order side dishes like blood sausage (soondae) and fried assortment (twigim), and dip them into the soup/sauce.

Allergens: wheat, soybean

Nutrition Facts (per 100g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to MIMI Tteokbokki

2. Chili Oil – Gireum Tteokbokki (기름떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Gireum Tteokbokki

Gireum Tteokbokki is quite the opposite of Gungmul Tteokbokki, by having minimal broth/soup. It literally means oil tteokbokki in Korean.

For this dish, rice cakes are stir-fried with chili oil, minced garlic, etc. It tastes like Rice Cake Skewers (tteok kkochi).

Gireum tteokbokki is a specialty of Tongin Market next to Sajik Park in Jongno-gu, Seoul.

A bit of TMI: Even the then U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry tried oil tteokbokki at Tongin Market when he visited Korea in February 2014.

📌Tip! The good thing about gireum tteokbokki is its long-lasting texture that doesn’t get soggy or dry because it’s fried in oil. The bad thing is its high calories because it’s fried in oil.

Allergens: wheat, soybean, beef, shellfish, sesame

Nutrition Facts (per 420g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to Cheongjeongwon

3. Royal Court Style – Gungjung Tteokbokki (궁중떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Gungjung Tteokbokki

Gungjung Tteokbokki is a traditional version that was enjoyed by royal families during the Joseon Dynasty.

This one is perfect for kids and maepjjiri (who can’t eat spicy food) because it has a soy sauce base instead of red pepper. For this reason, it’s also called Ganjang Tteokbokki (soy sauce tteokbokki).

As it contains beef, mushrooms, veggies along with rice cakes, it’s often served as a side dish at upscale Korean restaurants.

📌Tip! Gungjung Tteokbokki can be a HEALTHY and nutritious meal. It’s special because you can have it while dieting!

Allergens: wheat, soybean, milk, beef, shrimp, shellfish

Nutrition Facts (per 100g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to J-kitchen

4. Cheese Tteokbokki (치즈떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Spicy Cheese Tteokbokki at Yupdduk

Cheese Tteokbokki is the standard variety smothered with mozzarella cheese.

Oh yes, because cheese makes everything better!

Koreans add mozzarella to a lot of random dishes now, like tteokbokki, fried rice, Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Ramyun and even grilled clams! More surprising is that they work.

Yupdduk serves an iconic dish of swirled mozzarella melted on top of extremely spicy tteokbokki in a huge bowl.

Cheese tteokbokki doesn’t have to be that spicy to be tasty, but it helps.

📌Tip! Unless you want to challenge yourself, I highly recommend ordering the lowest spiciness possible. If tteokbokki is too spicy, try Cool Peace or Juicy Cool (peach flavored drink), order extra cheese toppings and rice balls.

Allergens: wheat, soybean, egg, beef, milk

Nutrition Facts (per 200g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to Yupdduk

5. Rosé Tteokbokki (로제떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Rosé Tteokbokki at Yupdduk

Rosé Tteokbokki is the super trendy new kid on the block.

It uses rosé sauce, a mixture of tteobokki sauce and cream! Kind of like rose pasta, but the tteokbokki version!

Literally all my friends recommended it when I recently moved back to South Korea.

This is a perfect naughty food to eat on your cheat day, as long as you ignore the calories (it doesn’t count if your eyes are closed).

This is probably why Yupdduk never shares their caloric info. If you really must know, it’s rumored to be around 2,600 to 3,000 calories per one order/bowl.)

📌Tip! Rosé tteokbokki is indeed milder than the regular ones, but it still can get spicy. I’d recommend ordering the mild flavor from the menu.

Allergens: wheat, soybean, egg, beef, pork, chicken, milk

Nutrition Facts (per 100g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to Baedduk

6. Cream Tteokbokki (크림 떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Cream Tteokbokki at Yupdduk

Cream Tteokbokki is made for maepjjiri or anyone who loves cream sauce. It’s like carbonara, Korean style (I can already feel the Italians reading this plotting revenge)!

I honestly haven’t tried it yet, but most reviews are pretty good among Koreans.

Cream tteokbokki should be nicely salty, tender, savory and very thick with lots of cheese.

📌Tip! Koreans recommend adding bacon toppings to this one, because why not?

Allergens: wheat, soybean, egg, beef, pork, chicken, milk

Nutrition Facts (per 100g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to Barunchicken

7. Instant – Jeukseok Tteokbokki (즉석떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Jeukseok Tteokbokki

Jeukseok Tteokbokki literally means “instant”, but it’s actually “cooked on the spot”!

I love getting this one with my friends. It really has a retro vibe while being nutritious with veggies. The best way to eat vegetables is by hiding them in something naughty.

You can select the level of spice and ingredients. My favorite ingredient to add is tripe.

Hear me out. I know it doesn’t sound appetizing, but it’s so yummm and simply works in jeukseok tteokbokki.

📌Tip! Wear the apron at a jeukseok tteokbokki restaurant. Boil it first at a high heat, then switch to a low heat once it’s all cooked. After finishing the tteokbokki, order the after party of fried rice with mozzarella cheese topping. That will complete your Korean experience whichever country you are in.

Allergens: wheat, soybean, egg, beef, milk

Nutrition Facts (per 290g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to Mukshidonna

8. Ramyun Noodles – Rabokki (라볶이)

Lingua Asia_Rabokki at Gimbap Heaven

Rabokki is ramyun noodles plus tteokbokki! It tastes a bit spicy and sweet.

Rabokki is mostly eaten at a bunsikjip (snack restaurants like Gimbap Cheonguk) with its best friend, gimbap (Korean seaweed rice rolls).

I used to love this combo in high school and uni.

📌Tip! Try tuna gimbap with rabokki since they complement each other perfectly. You should be able to handle this combo by yourself, cause I can (the portion is not that big, or maybe I’m just a big eater).

Allergens: egg, milk, soybean, wheat, pork, beef

Nutrition Facts (per 390g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to Nongshim

9. Black Bean Sauce – Jjajang Tteokbokki (짜장떡볶이)

Lingua Asia_Jjajang Tteokbokki

Jjajang Tteokbokki uses jjajang (black bean sauce) instead of red hot peppers.

If you’re a fan of Chapagetti, you’re going to love this one, because it tastes just like that.

Chapagetti has a solid fan base that overlaps with jjajang tteokbokki. Yupdduk added it to their menu a while ago, but unfortunately, it was discontinued.

📌Tip! If you want to cook this at home, you can use rice cakes, fish cakes and Chapagetti sauce.

Allergens: soybean, wheat, pork, beef, shellfish

Nutrition Facts (per 400g)

Calories (Kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Sodium (mg)
According to Fatsecret

What is Tteokbokki or Topokki?

Lingua Asia_Tteokbokki in traditional market

Tteokbokki or Topokki is the top comfort food of South Korea.

Most Koreans grow up eating tteokbokki with friends in elementary school, and continue as adults.

Tteokbokki is made from cylindrical rice cakes, fish cake, sweetener (sugar, honey or mulyeot) and gochujang. It’s very spicy and a bit sweet.

What are Tteokbokki ingredients?

The main ingredients of tteokbokki are rice cakes (tteok), fish cakes (eomuk) and green onion (pa).

The classic recipe uses a gochujang-based sauce, while the many variations start with soy sauce, rosé, cream, jjajang and even curry.

Popular toppings are cheese, boiled eggs and wide glass/potato noodles.

Ssal Tteok (Rice Cake) vs. Mil Tteok (Wheat Cake)

Ssal Tteok (Rice Cake)Mil Tteok (Wheat Cake)
TextureVery chewyLess chewy
Sauce in tteokLessSeasoned all the way
ColorWhiteBecomes clear later
Cooking timeShorter cooking times like with Jeukseok Tteokbokki as the texture becomes soggy when cooked for too longLonger cooking times like at tteokbokki restaurants as the texture stays the same

When is the best time to eat Tteokbokki?

Anytime is always a great time to eat tteokbokki.

Koreans crave it even more when they’re stressed from work, since spicy foods can help relieve stress by causing the body to secrete endorphins.

How many calories does Tteokbokki have?

It depends on what’s inside. Traditional tteokbokki can be nutritious and healthy. It generally has only 216.88 per 100 grams.

But, anything with cream sauce or cheese will increase the calorie count. If it tastes too good, it’s probably high in calories.

How do I eat Tteokbokki?

Lingua Asia_Tteokbokki with fries

You can start eating tteokbokki by having the rice cakes, fish cakes and vegetables in any order. It’s best to alternate!

If you order side dishes like fries, dip them in tteokbokki soup.

Make sure to mash the boiled eggs at the end and mix them with sauce. They’re so delish!

If you had jeukseok tteokbokki (instant), don’t forget to order fried rice and cook it with the remaining sauce.

There’s only one rule when it comes to tteokbokki, simply enjoy it!

What to eat with Tteokbokki?

Lingua Asia_Tteokbokki with oden skewer

More conventional side dishes for tteokbokki are Korean blood sausage (soondae) and assorted fries (twigim).

Now there are more creative options like corn dogs and rice balls that pair really well.

If your tongue is on fire, drinking yogurt/milk should help. (Koreans drink peach-flavored juice, called Juicy Cool or Cool Peace.)

In winter, having an oden skewer with tteokbokki is also extra nice!

How do I make Tteokbokki?

There’s a super easy way: Trader Joe’s sells it, and it’s vegan!

The Korean community in America seems to be overjoyed with this. Rumor has it that it’s pretty sweet and not so spicy (but a bit spicy for non-Koreans).

Where can I eat Tteokbokki?

A Koreatown near you is a good place to check.

A decent tteokbokki restaurant could be Yupdduk, which has branches in Irvine, Los Angeles, CA and Queens, NY!
(But Yupdduk is known to be very spicy, so try the mildest flavor first.)

Korean grocery stores should sell it either as a package you cook or at a bunsikjip (snack corner) style food court.

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