[Gungjung: royal, ttuck: rice cakes, bokki: sauté]
Gungjung-tuckbokki or royal tuckbokki is a non-spicy version of Koreans’ favorite pastime dish, tuckbokki. I assume that it is called “royal” tuckbokki because this dish contains as much meat and vegetables as rice cakes unlike its cousin and moreover contains all of the 5 food groups.
I like to make this delicious dish for a one pot meal for lunch. Children love Gungjung-tuckbokki especially because it is not spicy compared to its cousin, tuckbokki. Parents love this because it is a great way to sneak in vegetables. I decided to cook this dish for my friend and her two-year old boy, who were visiting from Boston. There are various ways to make this, but I simplify the process by using leftover bulbogi (불고기) marinade or also what I call Korean BBQ marinade as the sauce, which I often have in hand in the refrigerator.
Ingredients forKorean BBQ marinade:
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar or white sugar
- 1 table spoon of garlic, minced
- 1 scallion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried ground ginger or 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
- 1/2 yellow onion, pureed
- 1/4 Asian pear, pureed *optional
- 1 1/2 table spoon of maesilchung (Korean apricot syrup, 매실청) *optional
- A pinch of fresh black pepper
- 1 table spoon of sesame oil
*If you have leftover sauce, you can store it in the refrigerator about 2 weeks.
Ingredients for rice cake marinade:
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1/2 pound (200g) of thinly sliced sirloin or ribeye or bulgogi meat from a Korean market. Shabu shabu meat from the Japanes market is a great option too.
- 1/2 pound (200g) of tuckbokki rice cakes (round cylindrical shaped Korean rice cakes)
- 5 shitake mushrooms, fresh or dry, thinly sliced
- 1/2 thinly sliced onion
- 1/3 red bell pepper, thinly julienned
- 1/3 yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
- 1 small carrot, thinly julienned
- 2 scallions, cut across into 2 inch pieces
- Drizzle of vegetable oil
- A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Mix the Korean BBQ marinade if you don’t already have pre-made marinade.
- Cut the beef into bit size pieces, about 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches long. In a bowl, add the Korean BBQ marinade to the meat just enough to coat all the surfaces but do not soak it. The rest of the marinade will be used later.
- If the shitake mushrooms are dry, soak them in warm water for about 20-30 minutes until they are plump. Thinly slice them and add about 2 table spoon of the Korean BBQ marinade and set aside.
- Place the rice cakes in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes until they are a little soft to the touch but not mushy. I bought a combination of white and brown rice cakes that were rather large and thick so I had to cut them into smaller pieces. If you buy rice cakes specifically made for tuckbokki, you do not have to go through this process, which I should have done as well.
- Coat a tablespoon of sesame oil and soy sauce each with the rice cakes and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and drizzle vegetable oil enough to coat the pan. I like to use grape seed oil. Sauté the onions, then add the marinated beef and mushrooms. When the meat is almost fully cooked, add the rice cakes and rest of the vegetables with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the bulgogi marinade. Taste and add more marinade if needed.
- Serve on a large plate, sprinkle toasted sesame seed for garnish and serve!