Tasty Treats: Tteokbokki

Megan Weber, Staff Reporter

Food is a major necessity for survival, but people tend to look at it as something much more than just a factor of life. Some of us just love to get our hands onto something delicious! It can also be seen as something pleasurable and enjoyable; not just a requirement in order to remain healthy.

Many people love to eat food, as there is a huge variety to choose from for when it comes to items to snack on! Not only are there different shapes, sizes, and textures, but there are also other attributes that each piece of food has that gives it individuality.

Advanced technology and the other aspects of our expanding future help create foods to be more unique, inclusive, and diverse. I love food for so many reasons! Not only does it satisfy my needs, but I find that it is very beneficial to my mental health!

One food that I find extremely interesting isn’t even from my own culture at all! This item is from Korea, and it is a very popular dish. The dish is called tteokbokki, or 떡볶이, as it is written in hangul. This dish consists of stir-fried rice cakes and other sweet, small treats. Fish cakes, boiled eggs, and scallions are a few commonly added ingredients. I personally find it to be a well-known dish amongst foreigners, especially with the inclusion of globally well-known ingredients. As a foreigner, I love to see people coming together to try something new! It is always important to appreciate and respect other cultures, and taste testing food from these areas is a simple way to show interest!

I have always been one to take interest in other countries. So when I was given the opportunity to try food from a Korean restaurant, I was ecstatic! I had already been studying about Korea beforehand, so I was excited to finally partake in traditional aspects of the place that I was so fascinated with! I had heard about many people’s experiences with tteokbokki and other Korean foods and I was determined to form my own opinion around it. 

Once I had ordered and brought it home, I was so stoked to take my first bite. I had always been curious as to what the dish had tasted like. Taking the first bite was interesting. I wasn’t used to it, yet. It had this texture that I wasn’t familiar with, but when I took another bite, I was hooked with its unique characteristics! It had a sweet, spicy, unforgettable flavor that combined to make the perfect chili paste that gracefully smothered the rice cakes. The rice cake itself was very chewy, which made the texture fun and simple to bite into.

Some people may be thrown off due to the unique taste of the paste, or even possibly just the chewy texture of the dough. However, for most people, it should become an instant favorite with these delicious features. With its tasty flavor and special texture, it should be clear that this dish is very significant to the beauty of Korean culture, while also appealing to the satisfactory need of hungry visitors.

It was truly an amazing experience to finally get to eat it for the first time after seeing it various times across the internet! It has officially been declared to be my favorite food ever after my first time I had it. Every time I order Korean food, I try to make sure I get an order of tteokbokki along with any other thing that catches my eye. The amazing diversity of food that the world provides for us is astonishing.

To my picky eaters out there, take this as an informative lesson. To my open-minded eaters out there, listen carefully! If you ever have the chance to get your hands onto some tteokbokki, take that opportunity! Trying something new can truly open your eyes and your interests into a whole world!

Locally, try it for yourself! There are plenty of different places to visit that carry this dish. Try Ja Kum Sung. It’s right by our school! The address is below! Happy eating!

Visit them today! Located at: Ja Kum Sung 7523 Ritchie Hwy, Glen Burnie, MD 21061