One of South Korea’s most famous street food dishes turned viral within the foodie culture on social media is a spicy rice cake dish. Prior to the cyberage, this dish would otherwise be segmented to natives of its origin and international travelers. Now with instant access to the most obscure and intimate food items all around the world, Tteokbokki has become a must-try dish.
Luckily, Colorado is home to a wide variety of Asian restaurants that offer traditional snacks like this — comprised of white, cylinder-shaped rice cakes, a sweet and spicy Gochujang-based sauce, fish cakes, boiled eggs and scallions. What is commonly found sprinkled through the street markets of Seoul can only be found at a select group of restaurants and bars in Aurora, CO.
If you’re looking to make this dish at home, ingredients can be found at any Asian grocery store from H-mart to Pacific Ocean Marketplace.
Seoul Korean BBQ and Sushi
Location: 2080 S Havana St., Aurora
The Lowdown: Located on the glorious food strip that is home to so many amazing Asian hot pot and fried chicken joints is Seoul Korean BBQ and Sushi. While barbecue and hot pot aren’t the subject of this article, this spot kills it with its authentic experience and deliciously charred bites. On the appetizer menu, Don Bok-gi ($12) is a braised rice cake dish with fish cake and hot chili sauce. It comes spicy and bubbly — ready to warm the soul.
Thanks Sool Pocha
Location: 2222 S Havana St., Aurora
The Lowdown: Thanks Sool Pocha offers a true Korean nightlife experience with its premium selection of alcoholic beverages and chef-inspired items. Whether it’s corn cheese or a hot bowl of ramen, the fare is authentically selected to fulfill a night of drinking. The spicy rice cake ($18) can be customized with various toppings from blood sausage and boiled egg to cheese and dumplings.
Location: 1930 S Havana St., Aurora
The Lowdown: Angry Chicken specializes in some of the best Korean fried chicken in Aurora. However, tucked in between army stew and garlic noodles are those simple but addicting Korean rice cakes or Dduk Bokki ($17.99). The rice cake soup is mixed with a spicy Gochujang sauce, green and white onion, cabbage and ramen noodles.
Location: 1930 S Havana St., Aurora and 5610 S Parker Rd., Aurora
The Lowdown: Commonly know for it’s milk tea drinks and snow bowls, this dessert shop offers a handful of rice cake based dishes including TteokBokKi ($17.95) and rice cake skewers ($3.75) The TteokBokKi at Snowl is served traditionally with a spicy Gochujang sauce, chewy rice cakes, boiled eggs, cheese and fish cakes. As this dish can get a tad spicy, it’s convenient for the menu to double as a freezer full of icy treats to cool things down.
Mono Mono Korean Fried Chicken
Location: 1550 Blake St., Denver, 3014 E Colfax Ave., Denver and 599 Crossing Dr., Lafayette
The Lowdown: Another delicious Korean fried chicken joint in Denver is Mono Mono KFC with traditional sides from bulgogi nachos to kimchi fries. It’s the classic spicy rice cakes ($10) that simply add a chewy texture, countering the crispy chicken.
Location: 2222 S Havana St., Aurora
The Lowdown: Known for its giant dumplings, Seoul ManDoo also features a light Dok-bok-gi ($5) snack made with braised rice and fish cakes in a hot chili sauce. Just enough to cure that chewy and spicy craving without ordering a giant pot.
Location: 12201 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora
The Lowdown: Uniquely, Porklet offers both regular Dduk Bokki ($8) with rice cake, hot chili sauce and green onion as well as a creamy Dduk Bokki ($8) with the same rice cake, hot chili sauce, green onion and cream. While the above mentioned dishes are extremely delicious, Porklet has a laundry list of must try dishes from cheese stuffed pork tenderloins to tornado fried rice.
If you don’t see your go-to spot for Tteokbokki or spicy rice cakes, please leave a comment! Check out the rest of the articles in this series HERE.