This Raboki (rabokki) recipe will make you happy. It did for me, the first time I ever had it in Korea. It was a rainy night in Seoul, and I had just gone to an amusement park with my cousins and their church group. We stopped at a hole-in-the-wall food vendor on the way back, close to midnight, and the lady there put this amazing street food combination in front of me.
Rabokki is the combination of two awesomely delicious things: Ramen noodles and dukboki (tteokbokki). And it's so, so easy to make at home.
You might be surprised to find Ramen noodles featured so prominently in combination with dukboki, which, after all, is a dish that's more closely associated with Korean cuisine from the royal court in the Joseon dynasty than it is with graduate students living on instant noodles.
Ramen instant noodles first were created by a Taiwanese inventor, Momofuku Ando, in 1958, who created the flash-frying method that provides the noodles with their long shelf life. Ramen noodles first were marketed in Japan, and eventually gained their current tremendous popularity, especially with starving students in the United States.
Given the divergent histories of dukboki and Ramen noodles, the two do make an odd combination. However, South Koreans actually consume the most instant noodles per capita of any country: 69 packages a year per person. So perhaps the combination of dukboki and Ramen noodles isn't that strange, after all.
- 1/2 carrot (sliced into strips)
- 1/2 onion (sweet, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 lb. Korean cylindrical rice cakes (probably about 1/4 of a package)
- 1 large flat Korean rice cake sheet (odeng, oh mook, cut into squares or rectangles)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 4 tbsp. kochujang (red pepper paste)
- 1.5 tbsp. sugar
- 1 package Korean instant ramen noodles (try the Shin Ramen brand, broken into pieces)
- 2 scallions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- Optional: hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half
- If the rice cakes or fish cakes are frozen, thaw them in water first.
- In a pot or large pan, stir fry the sweet onion and carrots on a little oil for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Add the rice cakes and fish cakes and water and turn heat to high.
- When it starts to boil, bring down to simmer and add soy sauce, kochujang, and sugar.
- When the sauce has thickened, add dry instant ramen noodles.
- Stir until noodles have cooked, adding a little more water if necessary.
- When noodles are cooked through, add scallions and turn off heat.Top with hard-boiled egg halves, if desired.