korean rice cakes in a bowl with cheese and scalions

This Vegan Cheese Tteokbokki features chewy Korean rice cakes smothered in a flavour packed cheese sauce. Comforting, quick and easy to make making it the perfect dish for lazy nights in!

cheese tteokbokki with scallions and korean red pepper flakes in a pot with wooden spoon

My sister came home on the weekend and requested a veganized version of what she calls her not-so-healthy broke but delicious meal: tteok and cheese… which is basically Korean rice cakes with cheese. Think mac n’ cheese but instead of the mac- tteok!

Growing up, my sisters and I would go to the asian food court near our house every weekend after Japanese school and pick up a batch of kimbap and tteokbokki as a snack. If you’re new to tteokbokki, it’s a popular street snack in Korea made with chewy rice cakes smothered in a spicy, sweet and salty sauce. I think being it a street food, you can guess just how simple this dish really is– but don’t be fooled it is packed with flavour and deliciousness.

Cheese Tteokbokki?!

I asked my fav Korean friend Remy if it’s a weird recipe or concept but she said: “it’s actually super common, people make cheese tteokbokki all the time in Korea!”. So, my sister and I decided to pursue it.

My sister makes this dish two different ways. The first being making the tteokbokki with the spicy-sweet sauce and then melting cheese over it (YUM) and the second being straight up cheese sauce and tossing rice cakes in it. We opted to make the “tteok and cheese” version this time around because of what we were craving BUT if you want the other version of cheese tteokbokki, let us know- we’ll get to veganizing it 😉

ingredients for tteokbokki recipe on a blue marble top

What You Need

First, lets talk about the Korean rice cakes (tteok). If you go to the asian market or grocery store you may find different varieties of tteok. The one we need for this recipe is garaetteok that is white in colour and cylinder in shape. The thinly sliced gara tteok is typically used for making stews and soups like tteokguk.

Next are the ingredients for the cheese sauce that include potato, carrot, cashews, nutritional yeast, miso paste and some spices to for flavour. You’ll also need tapioca starch which is the secret ingredient to making this cheese sauce so cheese-like by giving it a slightly stretchy texture. If you like things spicy, add some Korean red pepper flakes to the cheese sauce as well as for garnish.

step by step pictures of making cheese tteokbokki

How to Make Vegan Cheesy Korean Rice Cakes

The reason why this is my sister’s go-to recipe is because of how easy and quick it is to make! She typically just throws in some cheese and milk into a pot, stirs it up until melted and then tosses in the cooked rice cakes BUT because we’ve adapted her recipe to make it healthy, it does involve a little blending of the cheese sauce.

The first step is to cook the rice cakes until they’re fork tender. They have a texture similar to mochi and should be soft and chewy.

Next is to blend all the cheese ingredients into a blender until smooth.

Then pour the cheese sauce into a pot and let it thicken over medium heat. The key here is to consistently stir so that the bottom doesn’t burn. You’ll know when the cheese sauce is ready when it becomes thick and slightly stretchy.

Then toss in the rice cakes in the cheese sauce until everything is nice and coated. Whala! You’ve got your self vegan tteokbokki with cheese.

cheesy tteokbokki in a pot with scallions and red pepper flakes

Tips for Cheese Tteokbokki Recipe

  • Make it Healthier: You can pair this vegan tteokbokki with some korean side dishes or add vegetables into the dish. Think of it like broccoli or peas with mac and cheese! My sister really enjoys it with some frozen mixed vegetables or cauliflower mixed into it.
  • Make it Spicy: For people that are looking for a spicy cheese tteokbokki recipe, I highly recommend blending in some Korean red pepper flakes into the cheese sauce! I made this for my family and my dad can’t handle spice which is why I always mix it up at the end but you can blend it right into the sauce.
  • How to Reheat: This is one of those dishes that truly tastes best right when its cooked because the cheese sauce tends to loose stretchy-ness and the rice cakes become hard when places in the fridge. When microwaving it, you risk the rice cakes drying out. However, if you have left overs you can save it by putting it back into the pot with a little bit of water over low heat until the rice cakes are soft again. Note that the cheese sauce does get slightly thinner.
  • Serious Laziness: Because we were trying to health-ify her recipe, we made our own cheese sauce BUT you could always melt some dairy-free vegan cheese with a bit of non-dairy milk in a pot with spices and make a quick one-pot version of this (yes we did try this and it was DELICIOUS) ;).
cheese tteokbokki in a blue bowl with green onions on top

This recipe fits all hungry situations:

  • Feeding a Big Party/Family: This makes a BIG batch!
  • Date Night In: Pair it with a nice side salad and some soju– fancy ya’ll.
  • Solo Lazy Night: basically my sister 😂

We hope you try this tteok and cheese recipe and love it as much as we do! If you haven’t tried tteokbokki, we highly recommend trying the original dish too!

close up shot of korean rice cake with cheese in a pot with wooden spoon

More Vegan Cheesy Recipes to Love!

korean rice cakes with cheese on chopsticks

If you recreate this Vegan Cheesy Korean Rice Cakes recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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cheese tteokbokki with scallions and korean red pepper flakes in a pot with wooden spoon

Vegan Cheese Tteokbokki

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews


This Vegan Cheese Tteokbokki features chewy Korean rice cakes smothered in a flavour packed cheese sauce. Comforting, quick and easy to make making it the perfect dish for lazy nights in!


Units Scale

Cheese Sauce:

Rice Cakes:


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook rice cakes until soft. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Add the cheese sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Over medium heat, add the cheese sauce into a pot. Stir cheese sauce constantly until thick and starts to slightly stretch, around 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to low heat. Stir in the rice cakes until all the pieces are covered.
  4. Serve immediately and garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and Korean red pepper flakes. 


  • Helpful Equipment: blender, sauce pan, spatula
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: entree
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, korean


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 467
  • Sugar: 1.6g
  • Sodium: 580mg
  • Fat: 7.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 89.5g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Protein: 10.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0


vegan tteokcokkie recipe pinterest graphic

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. I am so in LOVE with this recipe!!! I did substitute the cashew milk with coconut milk, left out the carrot and miso but added extra vegetable broth base to the one cup water but only because I didn’t have the items that were called for on hand. The sauce truly pulled like cheese does and the flavor was the closest in all the “Cheese Sauce” recipes that I have made! this will become a staple in my household! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!!

  2. This dish was so yummy!! My boyfriend and I love vegan spicy Tteokbokki, so when we found this vegan cheese Tteokbokki recipe – we knew we had to make it!
    For the potato & carrots, I air fried them until they were golden brown seasoned with a little avocado oil, nutritional yeast, & salt + pepper.
    It came out fantastic! 🙂 I added the full cup of veggie broth, but next time I’ll add 3/4 cup to make it a little thicker.

  3. My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

  4. So yummy! Perfect cozy comfort food, on a rainy day. Probably any other day too! This was super easy. Whipped it up quickly. Thank you!

  5. I saw someone eating “tteok and cheese” on tiktok and got mad cravings for it- so I was so excited to see OkonomiKitchen had veganized it! The nice thing about this recipe is there aren’t a bunch of crazy ingredients, I had most of these things in my fridge already and what I didn’t was found easily at my nearby T&T.

    Also- this cheese sauce. Holy crap. I’ve never tried making my own, I usually rely on all the processed, pre-made stuff, but whipping this up was so worth it. Hands down the best vegan cheese sauce I’ve tried.

  6. I made this a little while ago and it was DELICIOUS. Best vegan cheese sauce recipe I’ve ever come across. I roasted the carrots and potato instead of boiling or steaming, though, just because I love the flavors of roasted veggies 🙂 I made enough to have leftovers but I ate it all in one sitting haha, it was just too good! Will definitely be making it again.

  7. I’m glad I read the comments ahead of time! The ingredients just say potato and carrot but never say to cook them! I’m sure it’s obvious to most but I was getting ready to just it all in the blender! Now I gotcha. Getting ready to give it a go!

    1. Hi LC! The potatoes are peeled and cooked– either boiled or steamed 🙂 Same with the carrots!

    2. I tried this a bit ago and it turned out great! I altered the recipe a bit to fit my needs and it turned out great! Perfect quick lunch or snack!

  8. Hey Lisa!
    This sounds amazing! I did a similar sauce before but the veggies were cooked in that recipe. You used raw veggies and cooked them later with the sauce being pureed. Do you think there‘s a difference? It would save quite some time to not boil them before… so I‘ curious 😀

    1. Hey Vicky! The potatoes and carrots are actually cooked, stated in the ingredients list 🙂 Hope that helps!