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Jjajang Tteokbokki is a classic Korean dish with chewy rice cakes cooked in a savory and garlicky black bean sauce. It’s perfect if you want to indulge in Tteokbokki without the spiciness! Vegan, one pan, and 7 ingredients!

Jjajang Tteokbokki with black bean sauce and scallions on a plate.

⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • A non-spicy twist on traditional Tteokbokki. If you can’t handle any spiciness but still love the chewiness of Korean rice cakes, this recipe is for you. This version swaps the spicy gochujang paste for savory black bean sauce.
  • Full of umami. The garlic, scallions, and black bean paste give the velvety sauce a ton of flavor that beautifully coats the rice cakes. It is salty, sweet, and so delicious!
  • 7 ingredients, one pan, and 25 minutes. This recipe is easy, requires just one pan, and requires very minimal preparation, making it great for a weeknight dinner!

📘 What Is Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki (떡볶이) is a traditional Korean dish that consists of cylinder rice cakes simmered in a sauce. There are different types of Tteokbokki:

  • Classic Tteokbokki: Using spicy gochujang paste, this type of Tteokbokki is quite spicy and has a vibrant red color. It’s the most popular type. You can find my recipe for Vegan Tteokbokki here.
  • Gukmul Tteokbokki: This is the soup version of Tteokbokki, as it is served in broth. It is usually not as spicy as the classic.
  • Rosé Tteokbokki: A twist on the classic Tteokbokki and a fairly recent invention. It gets its name from “rosé sauce,” which is a pasta sauce made by combining tomato sauce and heavy cream. You can find my recipe for Rosé Tteokbokki here.
  • Jjajang Tteokbokki: This is non-spicy as it is prepared with bean sauce instead of the regular chili paste. If you have tried Chapagetti instant noodles, the sauce tastes very similar.

🧄 Ingredient Notes

Here are the ingredients you will need to make vegan Tteokbokki at home:

  • Rice cakes – Called Garaetteok in Korean, these long and white cylinders are prepared from rice flour. You can find it in the fresh or frozen section of your local Asian store or get dried rice cakes here. Both can be cooked the same way (thaw the frozen ones on the counter for 1-2 hours).
  • Black bean sauce – This aromatic paste is made with fermented black beans, garlic, soy sauce, and sugar. You can buy it online or in most Asian supermarkets. I used black bean garlic sauce for extra garlic flavor, but you can use regular black bean sauce.
  • Garlic and green onions – For freshness.
  • Onion – For a natural sweetness and more complex flavors. You can replace it with shallots if you don’t tolerate onions.
  • Soy sauce – For extra saltiness and umami.
  • Sugar – To balance with the saltiness. You can use granulated sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.
Ingredients like rice cakes, black bean paste, onions, and garlic.

🥣 How to Make Jjajang Tteokbokki

This recipe couldn’t be easier. It consists of cooking aromatics, adding the rice cakes, and letting them simmer for a few minutes. Here is the full process:

Cook the aromatics

  1. Sauté the aromatics. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and chopped green onions. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the black bean paste. Next, add the black bean paste, sugar, and soy sauce, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the rice cakes

  1. Add the rice cakes. Add the uncooked rice cakes, sliced onions, and water to the pan.
  2. Let simmer. Finally, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let the rice cakes simmer for 15-17 minutes or until the cakes are soft and the sauce has thickened.
  3. Garnish. Before serving, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and garnish with chopped green onions for a pop of color!

🥕 Optional Add-ins

This recipe is versatile, so feel free to incorporate:

  • Vegan sausages: Add vegan cocktail sausages toward the end of cooking for a smoky aroma.
  • Vegan chicken: Shred vegan chicken into thin slices and add it to the pan halfway through cooking for a meaty texture and a protein boost!
  • Vegetables: Add sliced vegetables like carrots or mushrooms for a heartier dish!

🥒 What to Serve With Vegan Jjajang Tteokbokki

While this Jjajang Tteokbokki tastes wonderful on its own, you can sublimate it by adding the following:

  • Kimchi: Garnish with a few slices of vegan kimchi for a hint of spiciness and tanginess.
  • Vegan cheese: Top your steaming Tteokbokki with a sprinkle of grated vegan cheese. Cheese complements the black bean sauce beautifully!
Cooked Tteokbokki with black bean sauce in a pan.

📔 Tips

  • Stir regularly to prevent sticking. Rice cakes can stick to the bottom of the pan if you don’t stir regularly. Give it a quick stir every 1-2 minutes to prevent that from happening.
  • Do not overcook. Once the sauce thickens and the rice cakes are fork-tender, remove them from the heat. The sauce will continue to thicken a bit as it cools down.
  • Serve hot. This Jjajang Tteokbokki is best served hot as the rice cakes will slightly harden as it cool down.

💬 FAQ

What kind of rice cakes should I use to make Tteokbokki?

You can use fresh homemade rice cakes or store-bought ones (either frozen, fresh, or dried). If using frozen, let them thaw on the counter for 1-2 hours before using.
I prefer rice cakes sold in the refrigerated section as those seem to be more tender, but that is just a personal preference.

What is the difference between Tteokbokki and Topokki?

Tteokbokki and Topokki are the same! Topokki is the romanised name of Tteokbokki.

Which pan should I use for cooking Tteokbokki?

You can use a deep skillet or a saucepan. It doesn’t have to be non-stick as long as you stir regularly during the cooking process.

How do I store and reheat leftover Tteokbokki?

You can store leftover Tteokbokki for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, transfer to a saucepan and add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin out the sauce. Reheat over medium heat, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes.

How do I store black bean sauce?

Store the black bean sauce in the refrigerator after opening it. It will keep for months.

Can I freeze Tteokbokki?

Yes, you can freeze uncooked Tteokbokki for up to 3 months. However, I do not recommend freezing the cooked Tteokbokki in the sauce.

Picking a rice cake with a skewer.

I hope you are going to love this Jjajang Tteokbokki as much as we do! It’s a delicious alternative to the spicy version. Packed with umami, sweet and salty, it makes a great dinner on busy weeknights!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Tteokbokki with black bean sauce and scallions on a plate.
Recipe

Vegan Jjajang Tteokbokki (Non-Spicy)

5 from 1 vote
Author: Thomas Pagot
Jjajang Tteokbokki is a classic Korean dish with chewy rice cakes cooked in a savory and garlicky black bean sauce. It's perfect if you want to indulge in Tteokbokki without the spiciness! Vegan, one pan, and 7 ingredients!
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cook Time : 20 minutes
Total Time : 25 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 458 kcal

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and chopped green onions. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the black bean paste, sugar, and soy sauce, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the uncooked rice cakes, sliced onions, and water to the pan.
  • Finally, bring to a simmer over medium heat and let the rice cakes simmer uncovered for 15-17 minutes or until the cakes are soft and the sauce has thickened.
  • Once the rice cakes are fork-tender and the sauce has thickened, remove them from heat.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and garnish with chopped green onions for a pop of color!

Notes

  • Stir regularly to prevent sticking. Rice cakes can stick to the bottom of the pan if you don’t stir regularly. Give it a quick stir every 1-2 minutes to prevent that from happening.
  • Do not overcook. Once the sauce thickens and the rice cakes are fork-tender, remove them from the heat. The sauce will continue to thicken a bit as it cools down.
  • Serve hot. This Jjajang Tteokbokki is best served hot as the rice cakes will slightly harden as it cools down.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 458 kcal | Carbohydrates: 95.4 g | Protein: 7.6 g | Fat: 5.2 g | Saturated Fat: 0.7 g | Sodium: 445 mg | Potassium: 159 mg | Fiber: 2.3 g | Sugar: 18 g | Calcium: 14 mg | Iron: 0.2 mg
Course : Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine : Korean
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hey Thomas! I just wanted to let you know this Jjajang Tteokbokki is incredible. Love the taste so much. I have been looking for a good recipe for a while. Finally, I found one. Thank you very much. 😁