Traditional Ddukbokki

Last weekend, while walking from Gwanghamun to Gyeongbokgung Palace, I visited 통인 시장 (Tongin Market) for the first time. I am moth-to-flame when the word 시장 appears.

Entering Tongin, I passed two soybean stew restaurants before seeing two 옛날 떡뽁기 (traditional pan-fried rice cake) stands. What is this? This ddokbokki 덕뽁기 doesn’t look like standard street fare.

The grandmother who served the rice cakes explained she learned this style of cooking from her grandmother and has since run this rice cake stand for 26 years.

Instead of sauce, grandma uses garlic, spring onions and crushed red pepper and dry rubs this mixture into the rice cakes before stir-frying the ddokbokki in sesame oil.

I wish I had Smellavision to share the aroma with you.
This dish and the standard street fare belong in two separate categories.

Getting to Tongin is easy. Exit the Gyeongbokgung subway stop from exit 2, hang a left, walk for 10 minutes, until you see the market entrance on your left. Be sure to eat at this stand:

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