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Korea's Favourite Spicy Snack

Since Hallyu, the wave of South Korean entertainment and pop culture, has swept across Asia and the world, people outside Korea also have a growing appetite for Korean foods that appear in Korean movies and TV dramas. Recently, a TV drama called My Love from the Star became a massive hit, which sparked a craze for fried chicken with beer. However, the food appearing most frequently on screen is said to be another Korean snack. When US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Seoul in February, he was seen eating this local delicacy—tteokbokki, rice cakes with chili paste.

Tteokbokki is Korean street food, which is easy to make. Whether it is delicious or not depends on the quality of its ingredients and their preparation. The chef at the United College Si Yuan Amenities Centre has tried different brands of rice cake, kimchi, and Korean chili paste before she found the right ones. Before being cooked with other ingredients, rice cakes are first blanched in hot water and then given an ice water bath. With this step, rice cakes have a tender yet firm texture. Here rice cakes are stir-fried with kimchi, onion, cabbage, and carrot. You may say it is a local variation. As long as it tastes good, who cares if it is not the original recipe?

The owner of the small eatery where Kerry tasted tteokbokki said, 'He must enjoy eating spicy food because he didn't even ask for a glass of water.' At Si Yuan Amenities Centre, you may try tteokbokki whether you are a spicy food eater or not. Just tell your preference to the chef, she will adjust the level of spiciness that suits your palate best.