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!
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.
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 😉
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.
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.
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) ;).
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!
More Vegan Cheesy Recipes to Love!
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!
Hungry for more? Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest for more deliciousness!
SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓
Okonomi Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you purchase something through my amazon affiliate links, I earn a small commission that helps me produce consistent content at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my plant based kitchen!