Growing up, my Taiwanese mum always makes healthy and low-fat Asian meals without the use of too much oil or loads of sugar. She made sure that I eat more vegetables and broth in my diet. She is also a fan of Korean cuisine, especially when the dishes are very spicy. One of my favorite healthy Asian meals is my mum’s Korean stir-fried rice cakes (Vegan + Gluten-Free), also known as Ddukbokki (떡볶이) in Korean. The dish is Vegan + Gluten-Free. The soft and chewy rice cakes are soaked in a slightly savory and peppery sauce. This is for those who don’t want the spicy version of Ddukbokki (떡볶이).
The dish is very simple to make without the use of oil. It is very filling and hearty, serves about 2-3. You can find these Korean rice cakes anywhere at your local Asian supermarkets, they might come in frozen or in the refrigerated sections. They come in various different shapes: oval slices, cylindrical sticks and rounds.
If using frozen Korean rice cakes, soak them in very hot water for at least 5 minutes prior to cooking. If using fresh Korean rice cakes, soak them in cold water until they are slightly tender (you don’t want them to be dry or hard). If you bought the cylindrical sticks instead of the rounds or oval slices, cut into 1″ – 2″ pieces for smaller bites. I’m not too fond of chewing long cylindrical rounds in one whole bite, so that’s why I personally prefer the oval slices.
You can add any vegetables to the dish, I can name a few: bok choy, bell peppers, seaweed, bean curd, leek, bean sprouts, different mushrooms, sweet onions, bamboo shoots, or other kinds of greens. In this dish, I added julienned carrots, julienned broccoli stalks, chopped napa cabbage, baby spinach, corn, shiitake mushrooms, and chopped scallions for garnish.