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Homemade Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe – A Classic Street Food

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Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe transforms traditional Korean street food into a plant-based delight. This dish features chewy rice cakes bathed in a spicy, sweet sauce, with crisp vegetables adding freshness and texture.

It’s a feast for the senses, offering a perfect balance of flavors. Ideal for those seeking a vegan option, it brings a beloved classic to more tables, satisfying diverse palates.

Why Does It Work?

  • Utilizes staple Korean ingredients for authentic flavor, ensuring a genuine taste experience.
  • Incorporates fresh vegetables for a nutrient-rich dish, making it both healthy and satisfying.
  • The recipe is adaptable to various spice levels, catering to all preferences.
  • Offers a vegan twist on a classic, allowing everyone to enjoy this beloved dish.
  • Quick and easy to prepare, perfect for a satisfying meal any day of the week.

Craving the fiery allure of Korean street food but need help finding plant-based options? You’re not alone. My journey to recreate the spicy, sweet comfort of Tteokbokki without compromising on my vegan lifestyle was a game-changer.

Enter the Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe, a culinary revelation that caters to the growing demand for inclusive, delicious meals.

This dish preserves the authentic flavors we all love and offers a compassionate alternative to traditional recipes.

With this homemade marvel, you will take advantage of Korea’s beloved snack’s rich, umami-packed experience. It’s the perfect solution for those looking to indulge their taste buds while adhering to a vegan diet.

Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe

What Is Vegan Tteokbokki? 

Vegan Tteokbokki is a plant-based version of the classic Korean street food, traditionally known for its spicy, sweet sauce and chewy rice cakes.

This vegan adaptation forgoes fish cakes and eggs, commonly found in conventional recipes, replacing them with various vegetables and sometimes tofu for added texture and protein.

The sauce retains its signature depth by blending spicy gochujang (Korean chili paste), soy sauce, and sweeteners like sugar or maple syrup, ensuring the dish remains true to its roots while fully accessible to those following a vegan lifestyle.

Fact-Vegan Tteokbokki offers a delightful twist on a Korean classic. It uses plant-based ingredients to create a spicy, sweet, and savory dish beloved by vegans and non-vegans alike.

Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe

Recipe Directions 

  • Start the Broth: Add the vegetable broth to a deep pan or pot and bring it to a simmer over high heat.
  • Add Vegetables: To the simmering broth, add the cabbage, the white parts of the green onions, the carrot, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, letting the vegetables soften slightly.
  • Incorporate Flavors: Stir in the gochujang (Korean chili paste), gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free), and sugar. This combination will start to build the dish’s signature spicy-sweet flavor profile.
  • Add Mushrooms: Introduce the mushrooms to the pan and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. This short cooking time ensures they retain some texture.
  • Cook the Rice Cakes: Add the rice cakes to the pan or pot. Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice cakes will soften and expand during this time, and the sauce will reduce and thicken, becoming rich and flavorful.
  • Final Touches: After tender rice cakes and the sauce thickens, heat off. Stir in the green parts of the green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil (optional) for an aromatic finish.
  • Serve: Transfer the Vegan Tteokbokki to a serving dish. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top for a nutty crunch. Serve warm and enjoy the comforting, spicy flavors.

Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Variations

  • Protein Boost: Incorporate plant-based protein sources such as tofu, tempeh, or seitan to add texture and substance. These can be pan-fried or baked before adding to the dish for an extra crunch.
  • Broth Variations: Experiment with different types of broth, such as mushroom or kelp broth, to deepen the umami flavor without straying from vegan ingredients.

Add-Ons

  • Vegetables: Adding more vegetables increases the dish’s nutritional value and color. Popular choices include spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, and zucchini. These can be added along with the initial vegetables set to simmer and soften.
  • Noodles: For a heartier meal, add vegan-friendly noodles such as udon, soba, or ramen towards the end of cooking. Ensure they’re cooked according to the package instructions before combining them with the Tteokbokki.
  • Kimchi: Adding vegan kimchi can introduce an extra layer of spice and a probiotic boost. Stir it in towards the end of cooking to maintain its texture and flavor.

Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe

Toppings

  • Green Onions and Sesame Seeds: A classic garnish that adds a fresh, aromatic finish and a slight crunch.
  • Nori Strips: Sprinkle thin strips of nori (dried seaweed) over the finished dish for a salty, oceanic flavor that complements the spicy, sweet sauce.
  • Edamame: Shelled edamame can add a pop of color and boost plant-based protein. Add them to the cooking end to keep them vibrant and slightly crunchy.
  • Vegan Cheese: For a unique twist, sprinkle some grated vegan cheese over the hot Tteokbokki. The heat will melt the cheese, creating a creamy texture contrasting the dish’s spiciness.

Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Choose The Right Bowl Or Plate: Serve in a deep, wide bowl or a shallow, broad plate to accommodate the sauce and make mixing easy.
  • Garnish Generously: Top with thinly sliced green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and nori strips to add color, flavor, and texture.
  • Side Dishes: Arrange side dishes like cucumber salad, steamed edamame, or vegan kimchi around the Tteokbokki or on separate small plates to allow guests to cleanse their palate between bites.
  • Provide Chopsticks And Spoons: To ensure a complete dining experience, offer chopsticks for the rice cakes and vegetables and spoons for the delicious sauce.
  • Rice On The Side: Serve with steamed rice to balance the dish’s spiciness and provide a neutral flavor counterpart.
  • Keep It Warm: If possible, serve Tteokbokki in a dish that retains heat well to keep the dish warm throughout the meal.
  • Beverage Pairing: Offer a cooling beverage, such as iced barley tea or water, to help offset the dish’s spiciness.
  • Enjoy Family Style: Place the Tteokbokki in the center of the table, allowing everyone to share and enjoy the dish together, fostering a communal dining experience.

Quick Tip-For the best texture in Vegan Tteokbokki, soak rice cakes in warm water for 10 minutes before cooking to ensure they’re perfectly soft and chewy.

Best Side Dishes

Best Side Dishes

  • Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim): A refreshing, crunchy salad that contrasts the spicy Tteokbokki.
  • Vegan Kimchi Adds probiotics and depth with its tangy, fermented flavors, enhancing the overall meal experience.
  • Steamed Edamame Lightly salted, these provide a protein-packed, simple snack that complements the main dish’s spiciness.
  • Seaweed Salad Its umami flavor and slippery texture pair well with the chewy rice cakes, offering a unique taste and nutritional boost.
  • Vegan Korean Pancakes (Pajeon or Kimchijeon): These savory pancakes, made with vegetables or vegan kimchi, are a crispy, flavorful side dish.
  • Rice Balls (Jumeokbap): These can serve as a neutral-tasting side dish to balance the bold flavors of the Tteokbokki. They are often shaped into small, bite-sized balls for easy eating.
  • Pickled Radishes Sweet, sour, and crunchy, they cleanse the palate and are a perfect counterbalance to the dish’s heat.
  • Miso Soup A light, soothing soup that can help mellow out the spiciness and add a comforting element to the meal.

How To Serve?

How To Serve?

  • Choose the Right Bowl or Plate: Serve in a deep, wide bowl or a shallow, broad plate to accommodate the sauce and make mixing easy.
  • Garnish Generously: Top with thinly sliced green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and nori strips to add color, flavor, and texture.
  • Side Dishes: Arrange side dishes like cucumber salad, steamed edamame, or vegan kimchi around the Tteokbokki or on separate small plates to allow guests to cleanse their palate between bites.
  • Provide Chopsticks and Spoons: To ensure a complete dining experience, offer chopsticks for the rice cakes and vegetables and spoons for the delicious sauce.
  • Rice on the Side: Serve with steamed rice to balance the dish’s spiciness and provide a neutral flavor counterpart.
  • Keep It Warm: If possible, serve Tteokbokki in a dish that retains heat well to keep the dish warm throughout the meal.
  • Beverage Pairing: Offer a cooling beverage, such as iced barley tea or water, to help offset the dish’s spiciness.
  • Enjoy Family Style: Place the Tteokbokki in the center of the table, allowing everyone to share and enjoy the dish together, fostering a communal dining experience.

Quick Tip-To balance the spiciness of Vegan Tteokbokki, serve with a side of cool, creamy vegan yogurt or a cucumber salad for a refreshing contrast.

How To Serve?

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Leftover Vegan Tteokbokki can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently to maintain texture.
  • Freezing: Freeze in a well-sealed container for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the sauce and chop the vegetables a day in advance. Keep them refrigerated separately. This reduces cooking time and ensures fresh flavors.
  • Rice Cakes: If using frozen rice cakes, thaw them in the refrigerator the night before for easier cooking.
  • Reheating: Add a little water or vegetable broth when reheating to prevent the dish from drying out and to refresh the sauce’s consistency.

Fact-Did you know Vegan Tteokbokki’s fiery red color comes from gochujang and gochugaru, which not only add spice but are also rich in antioxidants, contributing to its health benefits?

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Vegetables In Advance: Chop all your vegetables and store them in the fridge. You can quickly add them to the dish without additional prep time.
  2. Use Pre-Made Sauce: If short on time, opt for a pre-made vegan Korean sauce instead of making it from scratch. Just ensure it matches your dietary preferences.
  3. Soak Rice Cakes Ahead: Soak rice cakes in warm water before cooking. This reduces their cooking time in the sauce.
  4. Batch Cooking: Make a larger batch of the sauce when you have time and freeze it. Thaw and use as needed for a quick and easy meal.
  5. High Heat Cooking: Cook vegetables on high heat for a short time to preserve their crunch and reduce overall cooking time.
  6. Microwave Rice Cakes: If the rice cakes are particularly hard, a quick stint in the microwave before adding them to the pot can soften them up faster than soaking.
  7. Simplify Garnishes: If you’re in a rush, garnishes like sliced green onions and sesame seeds add flavor and appeal. You can also opt for a simpler presentation.

Vegan-Tteokbokki-Recipe08

Vegan Tteokbokki Recipe

Vegan Tteokbokki is a delightful plant-based twist on the classic Korean street food. It features chewy rice cakes smothered in a spicy, sweet sauce, enriched with various vegetables for added nutrition. This version maintains the beloved flavors of the original dish while being completely vegan, making it a perfect option for anyone seeking a cruelty-free, flavorful meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rest Time 0 mins
Servings 4
Calories 350 kcal

Equipment

  • Deep Pan Or Pot
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula
  • Serving Bowl
  • Strainer (optional for soaking rice cakes)

Ingredients
  

  • cups Low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 Green onions, roughly chopped; white and green parts separated
  • ¼ head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon Minced garlic (3 to 5 cloves)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes; optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Cane or coconut sugar
  • 4 ounces Shiitake mushrooms, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 16 ounces Korean rice cakes (thawed if frozen)
  • teaspoons Toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional) As needed

Instructions
 

  • Start the Broth: Add the vegetable broth to a deep pan or pot and bring it to a simmer over high heat.
  • Add Vegetables: To the simmering broth, add the cabbage and the white parts of the green onions, carrot, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, letting the vegetables soften slightly.
  • Incorporate Flavors: Stir in the gochujang (Korean chili paste), gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free), and sugar. This combination will start to build the dish’s signature spicy-sweet flavor profile.
  • Add Mushrooms: Introduce the mushrooms to the pan and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. This short cooking time ensures they retain some texture.
  • Cook the Rice Cakes: Add the rice cakes to the pan or pot. Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice cakes will soften and expand during this time, and the sauce will reduce and thicken, becoming rich and flavorful.
  • Final Touches: After tender rice cakes and the sauce thickens, heat off. Stir in the green parts of the green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil (optional) for an aromatic finish.
  • Serve: Transfer the Vegan Tteokbokki to a serving dish. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top for a nutty crunch. Serve warm and enjoy the comforting, spicy flavors.

Notes

  • Soak rice cakes in warm water for 10 minutes before cooking to ensure they’re soft and chewy.
  • Adjust the amount of gochujang and gochugaru to tailor the spice level to your preference.
  • Fresh vegetables can be substituted with whatever you have on hand for versatility.
  • Tamari offers a gluten-free option, but soy sauce works well for those without gluten sensitivities.
  • Toasted sesame oil adds a nutty, aromatic finish; use sparingly to avoid overpowering the dish.
  • Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor experience.

recipe card

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

vegan tteokbokki recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Tteokbokki Gluten-Free?

You can make Vegan Tteokbokki gluten-free by using tamari instead of traditional soy sauce and ensuring that your gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) is certified gluten-free.

Many gochujang brands contain wheat, so it’s important to read labels carefully. Also, check that your rice cakes don’t have added gluten.

How Can I Adjust The Spiciness Of The Dish?

Adjusting the spiciness of Vegan Tteokbokki is easy. Reduce the amount of gochujang and gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) for a milder dish, or omit the gochugaru entirely.

For extra heat, increase these ingredients gradually to taste. You can add fresh or dried chili peppers to customize the spice level.

What Can I Substitute For Gochujang If I Can’t Find It?

If you can’t find gochujang, a good substitute is to mix red chili flakes with a little soy sauce and a sweetener like sugar or maple syrup to mimic the spicy, slightly sweet depth of gochujang.

This won’t replicate the exact flavor but can provide a similar heat and sweetness. Miso paste mixed with chili flakes can also be a closer match regarding texture and umami.

Is It Possible To Prepare Vegan Tteokbokki Ahead Of Time?

Preparing Vegan Tteokbokki ahead of time is possible to a degree. You can prepare the sauce and chop the vegetables in advance.

However, freshly cooked rice cakes are best, as they can become hard when refrigerated and reheated. If you need to save time, soak the rice cakes and prepare the other components ahead, but cook them together just before serving.

Are There Any Nut-Free Options For Garnishing?

For a nut-free garnish, skip the sesame seeds and opt for chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, or a sprinkle of nori (seaweed) strips to add flavor and visual appeal without using nuts.

Toasted sunflower seeds can also provide a crunchy texture that’s nut-free. Always ensure that any store-bought ingredients are certified nut-free if allergies are a concern.

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VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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