Spicy rice cake, also known as Tteokbokki is arguably the most common and famous Korean food. It is made with a chewy cylinder-shaped rice cake and mixed with the spicy sauce. The spicy sauce is made out of gochujang (hot pepper paste) and other ingredients.You can find them anywhere in Korea, but around the San Gabriel Valley, it is rare to find a pre-packaged spicy rice cake. Most of the time they come in frozen packs and you have to cook it yourself.
Last week, I went to Cali Market to buy food for the weekend. As I was roaming around, in the aisle for instant noodles and dry noodles, I found a box of instant spicy rice cake. It was not frozen, it is just like the instant noodle bowl. It’s packed in a microwaveable cup and inside it comes with dry green onions, the sauce, and the rice cake (they are not frozen). The box contains six instant cups and it cost $19.98. It’s called the “Korean Style Rice Cake With Hot Sauce”. The instructions are on the cup and you can cook it with either cold or hot water. First, you put the rice cake and the water and microwave for two minutes. After that, you mix it with the sauce and the dry green onions and there you have it, instant spicy rice cake. Beware of the temperature and the spiciness.
I think the quality is worth the price compared to buying the frozen packs and starting everything from scratch. It is also convenient because you can bring them to work, school or anywhere that will have water and microwave.
Cali Market is located at 1000 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801.