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Today, I’m bringing tteokbokki to the new world, first stop in Mexico. Due to the labor-intensive nature of traditional Mexican mole sauces, I didn’t make this mole from scratch. The mole that Americans recognize is Mole Poblano.

Wikipedia says, “Mole poblano is prepared with dried chili peppers (commonly ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle), ground nuts and/or seeds (almonds, indigenous peanuts, and/or sesame seeds), spices, Mexican chocolate (cacao ground with sugar and cinnamon and occasionally nuts), salt, and a variety of other ingredients including charred avocado leaves, onions, and garlic. Dried seasonings such as ground oregano are also used. In order to provide a rich thickness to the sauce, bread crumbs or crackers are added to the mix.”

Before you start making the sauce, soak your Garae tteok in a hot water bath (not boiling water) for 10 minutes (check the instructions on the package of tteok you bought at the Korean grocery store for recommendations on this step). Dry them off.

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Here are the ingredients

1 lb Garae tteok noodles (presoaked)
1/4 cup Mole Poblano paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 lb chicken thighs, diced
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for a garnish

Sautee the chicken thighs, garlic and onion in grapeseed oil until the chicken is about halfway cooked. Add the chicken stock and mole paste. Once the mole sauce has returned to a boil, put in the tteok and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the tteok is cooked.

Notice that the sauce has an appearance similar to Jjajangmyun (Korean Black Bean Paste Noodles). This recipe could make an interesting North American alternative for Jjajangmyun when “Black Day” comes around on April 14. Something to think about.

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