Monday, November 4, 2013

Topokki (Tteokbokki) in Sindang-dong/ 新堂洞之韩式炒年糕/ 신당동 떡볶이

Topokki (Tteokbokki)/韩式炒年糕/떡볶이                Four Tour
2013/11/05 12:21

Dear friends, would you like to visit Sindang-dong when you visit Korea. Is an old street, but famous for topokki. Here it is, share with you the topokki in Sindang-dong. In fact, topokki available in other places in Korea are delicious too........................................

朋友们,当您抵达韩国的时候,您是否会到 首尔的新堂洞去嚐嚐那的炒年糕小食。那是一条旧街道,全是炒年糕小食店,以炒年糕驰名。在此与您分享新堂洞的炒年糕,事实上,在韩国其他地区的炒年糕小食店,也非常美味......................................................................

Sindang-dong in Seoul, where tteokbokki was first sold, is still very famous for the dish and treated as the mekkah or the center of tteokbokki. Since tteokbokki has become one of the most popular dishes, one will easily find a place to enjoy eating tteokbokki in Korea.

Tteokbokki (also known as topokki) is a popular Korean snack food made from soft rice cake, fish cake and sweet red chili sauce. It is commonly purchased from street vendors or pojangmacha. Originally it was called tteok jjim (떡찜) and was a savory braised dish of sliced rice cake, meat, eggs, and seasoning.


Tteokbokki is a traditional Korean street food which can be usually purchased from street vendors also called “pojangmacha” in Korean. The history of tteokbokki brings us back to the late Joseon dynasty. There are many hypotheses and controversy about its real origin. According to bibliographic data, the first tteokbokki in Korean history is said to appear in a cook book called “시의정서 (Siui jeongseo)” written in the late Joseon dynasty. However, based on the fact that tteok (the main ingredient, also known as rice cake) was produced even before in the Three Kingdoms period, it's possible to assume that the history is longer than what's usually considered. Tteokbokki can also be found in medical records: a book called “싱뇨찬요 (Shingnyo chanyo)” written by Jeon Sunui, a medical officer in the Joseon dynasty (1460). The purpose of the book was to cure people through food and tteokbokki was part of it.
Tteokbokki was also a part of Korean royal court cuisine in the Joseon dynasty. While the modern version of tteokbokki is red and spicy, the original version was brown and plain. It was called "궁중 떡볶이 (gungjung tteokbokki)", Palace Tteokbokki. Just like the name implies, gunjeon tteokbokki was a main example of Korean haute cuisine. It was mainly composed with a combination of tteok, meat, vegetables and different kinds of seasoning. After the introduction of gochujang (Korean spicy paste made of chilli peppers) due to the Japanese influence in Joseon dynasty, tteokbokki became red and spicy. It's believed that the main transition from plain to spicy tteokbokki occurred during the 1950s after the independence of Korea. In modern days, most of the tteokbokki sold in street vendors is red and spicy.
Tteokbokki, nowadays, is mostly regarded as a street food that can be picked up at street vendors (pojangmacha) and small independent snack bars. Recently, however, there have been efforts to turn tteokbokki from street food culture to a food franchise. This is mainly because of the continuous demand for tteokbokki among Korean people. So tteokbokki is now regarded by some as a big potential business. As a result, many brands and chain restaurants of tteokbokki have appeared since 2009. Additionally, there are too efforts to globalize Topokki in the international food market. Korean government has established a so-called tteokbokki laboratory in 2009 to try to globalize the dish and to provide technical support for its enhancement. Annually, about a billion Korean won is spent in this governmental project to try to make tteokbokki into an international product. In order to achieve a place for tteokbokki into the global market there're investigation on market research, development of sauces, types of rice cakes and cooking methods to fit into various countries. The spelling of “Topokki” was officially given by this institute in order to appear friendlier for the international market. Most of the tteokbokki was made of flour in modern days but after this governmental project, there's been encouragement to use rice instead. This is mainly because rice is regarded healthier than flour and, also, to help boost consumption in the domestic rice market.

Ingredients of tteokbokki

Typical ingredients of tteokbokki are boiled rice cakes ("tteok"), Surimi ("eomuk"), spring onion, soy-and-chili paste ("gochujang"), onions, diced garlic, salt, sugar and different kinds of seasoning based on the taste. Other ingredients include boiled eggs, pan-fried mandu (Korean dumplings), sausages, ramyeon (Korean version of ramen), and a variety of fried seafood or vegetables (which is called “twigim” in Korean).

Following the Korean War a new type of tteokbokki became very popular. While the older version was a savory dish, this latter type was much spicier, and quickly became more popular than the older traditional dish. In addition to traditional ingredients, this tteokbokki used gochujang, a fermented, spicy paste made from chilli peppers, along with fish cakes. Other ingredients added to tteokbokki include boiled eggs, pan-fried mandu (Korean dumplings), sausages, ramyeon (which then becomes rabokki/labokki 라볶이), a variety of fried vegetables, and cheese. These days, many kinds of tteokbokki are popular such as seafood tteokbokki(해물 떡볶이) or rice tteokbokki(쌀떡볶이). Flour tteokbokki was popular in early days, but rice tteokbokki is more popular these days.

Due to the constant popularity of tteokbokki, many kinds of tteokbokki have been invented. Just like other types of popular food, tteokbokki went through various fusions. For example, tteokbokki with pork cutlet is a combination of traditional tteokbokki with pork cutlet sauce and meat. There's also another type called "Shanghai Topokki" which replaced traditional red pepper sauce with the famous Chinese oyster sauce. Also, one of the famous fusions of tteokbokki among Koreans is rabokki. This is a combination of tteokbokki and ramyeon (Korean version of ramen). For busy people, tteokbokki are also sold in skewers called “Teok kkochi”. “Tteok kkochi" is mostly fried rather than boiled and the sauce is slightly different as well. There are many more different fusions tteokbokki out there such as curry tteokbokki, seafood tteokbokki, tteokbokki pasta, cheese tteokbokki, chicken tteokbokki, etc.

韓戰之後,有一種炒年糕開始變得普及起來。原來的炒年糕是一道鹹的菜,而新的炒年糕比原來的辣得多,並且很快就比傳統的更受歡迎。除了傳統的材料外,這種炒年糕還用了苦椒醬(一種用辣椒製成的辣醬),還有魚糕。加進辣炒年糕的其他材料還包括水煮蛋、煎韓式餃子、香腸、方便面(這種叫拉麵辣炒年糕:라볶이)、各種蔬菜及奶酪。現在也流行各種不同的辣炒年糕,例如海鮮辣炒年糕(해물 떡볶이)及辣炒年糕飯(쌀떡볶이)。用麵粉做的炒年糕在早期也流行,但現在比較流行的還是用米做的辣炒年糕。
(source : wikipedia)

Enjoyed this topokki at Sindang-dong.


At the Sindang-dong subway station, you will be able to see this sign board.


At the Sindang-dong subway station, you will be able to see this board,introducing the type of topokki.


                                               The history of topokki...

                                               Gochujang Topokki/red pepper paste topokki                                                辣酱炒年糕
                                             Soy sauce Topokki

                            At the entrance of Sindang-dong Topokki Town.

This restaurant is run for business since 1953 by this grandma "Ma Bok Rim".
历史悠久的小食店,从1953年开始由“Ma Bok Rim”奶奶经营。

This restaurant is just next to the above store, is run by the youngest son of grandma "Ma Bok Rim" Grandma Ma Bok Rim will close her shop for business on Monday,in contrast, her son will close for business on Tuesday..

This restaurant is  at  the opposite of grandma Ma,do you like Korean drama? "Hyeon Bin visited this restaurant.^-^

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