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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rant of the Week: What's the Deal with the Ever Elusive Ttukbokki and Rabokki?

I know I sound like a broken record but I will say it again and again. Why is it that something as seemingly simple as ttukbokki, rice cakes smothered in a blood red spicy sauce, that's so ubiquitous in Seoul so impossible to find in LA? The dish's cousin, rabokki, that adds ramen noodles (hence the "ra") either instead of or in addition to the cylinder blocks of chewy rice cakes, is equally hard to get.

I've scoured the many joints that purported to specialize in this and every time have been sorely disappointed. In Korea (cue broken record), you could find half-way decent to excellent ttukbokki at every street corner stall or mom-and-pop joint. Throw in some fish cakes, hard-boiled egg and lots of green onions and you've got yourself the best snack in the world. Definitely one of those "Oh my God it's so spicy but I'll keep shoving it into my mouth because it gives me so much pleasure"-type of food. Even better with some kimbab rolls to dip into the gooey and oh-so garlicky red sauce.

I may have to resort to trying to recreate the glorious OG at home, and will keep you posted.

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