What is Cheese Tteokbokki?

Tteokbokki, translated as "stir-fried rice cake", is a popular Korean street food dish of chewy rice cakes bathed in a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce. While the traditional version contains no cheese, cheese tteokbokki has risen in popularity, especially among younger generations, for its creaminess and melted cheese flavor that perfectly complements the spicy rice cakes.

What is Cheese Tteokbokki

Cheese tteokbokki features the classic cylindrical rice cakes smothered in gochujang sauce, with the addition of copious amounts of ooey-gooey melted cheese like mozzarella or cheddar. The rice cakes soak up the rich, sweet and spicy sauce, while the melted cheese adds a decadent, creamy texture and flavor contrast.

Components of Cheese Tteokbokki

There are a few key components that go into making cheese tteokbokki at home:

Korean Rice Cakes

The main star of the show. Garatteok are long, cylindrical white rice cakes made of non-glutinous rice flour. They come in different sizes - thinner ones better soak up sauce flavor.

Gochujang Sauce

The sauce gives tteokbokki its signature red color and sweet, spicy kick. It's made with gochujang (Korean chili paste), gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), and other seasonings.


Mozzarella is commonly used for its meltiness, but other cheeses like cheddar, cream cheese or parmesan also work. The cheese provides a rich, creamy contrast to the spicy rice cakes.


The rice cakes are cooked in an umami-rich broth like Korean anchovy or kelp stock. Vegetable or other broths can also be used.

Key Takeaway: The key components of cheese tteokbokki are chewy rice cakes, gochujang sauce, melted cheese, and broth.

Flavor Profile

Half of the appeal of cheese tteokbokki lies in its complex harmony of flavors and textures:

  • The rice cakes are soft, chewy, and slightly sweetened by the sauce.
  • The gochujang sauce offers a savory, sweet and spicy punch.
  • The melted cheese is rich, creamy, salty, and cuts through the spice.
  • Optional add-ins like eggs, fish cakes or meat provide extra savory flavor and texture contrast.

Together, these elements create an irresistible flavor combination that hits all the right notes - sweet, savory, spicy and rich. The dish manages to be comforting yet exciting at the same time.


While tteokbokki has long been a popular Korean street food, the cheese version is actually a more modern creation.

Over the past few decades, cheese has become an increasingly common ingredient in Korean food, especially among younger generations. Creative chefs started experimenting by adding cheese to traditional dishes like tteokbokki to create fusion flavors.

Cheese tteokbokki likely originated from street food vendors trying to appeal to younger tastes. The innovation ended up becoming mainstream - you can now find cheesy tteokbokki at most Korean snack stalls.

The dish is especially prevalent in popular youth areas like college districts, where the creamy, cheesy goodness is perfect late-night snack fare.

Common Preparation Methods

There are a few common ways that cheese tteokbokki is prepared:


The most standard preparation mirrors traditional tteokbokki. The rice cakes are stir-fried in the spicy gochujang sauce until chewy. Then cheese is either mixed in or melted on top.


Some recipes call for baking the rice cakes first to create a crispy exterior before adding sauce. This helps maintain texture and prevents mushiness.

Grilled Skewers

Tteokkochi are grilled skewers alternately threaded with rice cakes and cheese wedges. They're brushed with sauce while grilling or dipped in sauce after.

Other Variations

There are also fusion-style takes like mac and cheese sauce or non-spicy "rose" sauce made without gochujang.


A single serving of cheese tteokbokki contains approximately:

  • 800 calories
  • 110g carbohydrates
  • 17g protein
  • 11g fat

So while not the healthiest choice, it provides a decent hit of carbs, protein and fat to fuel you up. Plus, the rice cakes are gluten-free.

Just be mindful of portion sizes, as the high calorie density makes it easy to overeat!


Is cheese tteokbokki spicy?

It can be, depending on the amount of gochujang and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) used in the sauce. But the cheese helps mellow out some of the spice level.

What cheese works best?

Mozzarella is the most popular choice for its meltiness. But any melty cheese like cheddar, Monterey Jack or cream cheese work well too.

Can you make it vegan?

Yes! Use vegetable broth instead of anchovy broth, and swap dairy cheese for vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. Rice paper can even substitute for rice cakes.

How do you reheat leftovers?

Reheat cheese tteokbokki in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a splash of broth if the rice cakes seem dry and stir frequently to redistribute sauce.


With its crave-worthy medley of flavors and textures, cheese tteokbokki has become a sensation. The cheeky fusion of Korean rice cakes and melted cheese speaks to an adventurous young food culture seeking bold new flavor combinations.

Underneath the social media hype though lies a genuinely tasty dish with a complex yet comforting harmony of spicy, sweet, rich and chewy elements.

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions