Vegan Tteokbokki (떡볶이) with Vegetables

pan of cooked tteokbokki with sesame seeds on marble background

4.9 from 12 reviews

This Vegan Tteokbokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes) is chewy, saucy, spicy, and loaded with veggies! A plant-powered twist on the classic Korean street food.


  • 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought)
  • 3 green onions, roughly chopped; white and green parts separated
  • 1/4 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 5 cloves)
  • 23 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 (450 g) Korean rice cakes (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


  1. Add the vegetable broth to a deep pan or pot and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add the cabbage, white parts of the green onions, carrot, and garlic; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the gochujang (paste), gochugaru (flakes), tamari, and sugar. Add the mushrooms and simmer for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice cakes to the pan/pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice cakes will soften and grow a larger, while the sauce will decrease and thicken.
  4. Turn the heat off and stir in the green onions and sesame oil (optional). Top with sesame seeds, then serve warm.


  • Substitutions: there is no substitute for the rice cakes, gochujang, or gochugaru. Please see the links above for my personal recommendations.
  • I recommend using freshly made or refrigerated rice cakes – frozen are okay, but shelf-stable ones can be very dry.

Keywords: vegan tteokbokki, healthy tteokbokki, vegan korean food, vegan korean recipes, korean rice cakes, spicy rice cakes, topokki