Tteokbokki (Dduk Bbok Kie): Hot and spicy Korean street food

Tteokbokki stall

Tteokbokki or Dduk Bbok Kie as our Korean interpreter Kim spells it is a popular street food in Korea. I only knew that after I had it though. Three of us were walking around the streets sans interpreter and stopped to grab a quick bite to eat before heading back to the main event.


I caught sight of a group of locals congregating around this stall which sells some kind of spicy looking pottage. I don’t know what it is but it looks starchy and comes in a rather promising shade of red. The smell coming from the bubbling pot was decidedly pleasant and I concluded this was just the thing to have on a chilly autumn night.

busan street

We were in huge market somewhere in Busan and attempts to ask what it was failed miserably. I wanted to know what it contains so I can write about it but finally gave up and did The Sign Language Thing (TM).

pointing thing

The Sign Language Thing (TM) involves using your index finger to point at the simmering pot, turn that finger 90 degrees to indicate one serving, and rotate it another 90 degrees to point towards yourself, demonstrating your intent.

Dduk Bbok Kie

The Tteokbokki is served with a whole boiled egg, fish cakes, sliced meat, and tteok (a long rice cake with a texture like chewy dough) doused with a hot paste. It was surprisingly good. I love the hot sauce made with peppers – you can still see the chillis in the dish. It’s savory and spicy and costs 3000 Won (RM 8).

pork sausage

I was also given a pork sausage made with pork and starch as a “service”, which means free in their version of English.

eating Tteokbokki

Anyway, I was standing there eating the hot Tteokbokki (though I didn’t know what it was at the time) when up came this hot Korean girl (or so I thought at that time) and explained in PERFECT QUEEN’S ENGLISH what the dish contains. I was flabbergasted and my jaw probably dropped in mid-chew, exposing the half eaten contents inside my mouth.

I’m sure she was very impressed. T_T

She translated what I said to the stall owner and vice versa and thanks to her, this post comes complete with the ingredients in Tteokbokki.

malaysian student

Oh, and I found out she’s a Malaysian studying in Seoul after talking to her. Heh! She was here with her friends for PIFF 2009.

Skinny dipping in Gwangalli Beach

skinny dipping

…one cold night, it was decided that a trip to Korea would not be complete without a dip in the famous Gwangalli Beach in front of our hotel in Busan.

Thus, I went in and did it!

The interesting thing was that two other people in our group were also rendezvousing on the beach (they were not aware we were there) and I was told this conversation happened:

Farez: Where are you? I’m at the beach.
Farez: Jun Jye…is that you? Running towards me? Naked?
(It wasn’t – that was me)
Jun Jye: What?
Farez: You’re running towards me. On the beach. Naked.

It’s funnier when you hear it, I’ve got other videos in this series. Heh!

…and OMG, the water is freezing. Autumn in Korea combined with a killer wind chill factor nearly gave me hypothermia.

Korean Airlines KAL stewardess

Korean Airlines KAL stewerdess

I am back in KL after a grueling 6 hour plus flight from Seoul! We took a KAL (Korean Airlines) flight from Busan to Seoul too so that took the better part of the day. I’m going to crash now so here’s an XX Chromosome post (been neglecting this) with the Korean Air flight crew/cabin attendants. I’ve given them a crash course on how to mix proper Bloody Mary drinks. πŸ˜‰

Regular programming will resume tomorrow! =D

P/S – I’ve returned the +82 010 688 1579 Korea cell phone rental so call me at my usual number if you want to get in touch with me.

I kena whack by an auntie in Korea

fireworks auntie

I was bargaining with this aunty who approached me on the beach to sell me fireworks and managed to get her to sell me one which costs 5,000 won for 3,000 won. I bumped into her again when I was getting it from the street vendor and told her I’m gonna buy it for 2,000 won this time.

She whacked me with her fireworks. T_T

It was pretty funny though…and I might have inadvertently triggered off a turf war between the beach vendor and the street vendor. Heh!

Posted: 4:27 am Korean time


korean seaweed

The land of gigantic chunks of dry seaweed,

korean chick

Cute Korean chicks offering you melon,

korean bow

Parking attendants bowing to every single exiting car,

pig statue

And mysterious religious relics long lost to man.

Posted: 7:14 pm Korean time

Live octopus


You know the saying right? When in Rome, do as the Romans do. There are several must-eat dishes in Korea – and one of them is live octopus. I also had a dish that is…er, decidedly canine in flavor but that’s another post. Live octopus (octopi?) is served with the eight armed creature still squirming with the suckers trying to stick on your tongue.

It’s surprisingly good – videos up soon, I just finished working, am so tired I’m about to pass out.

Posted: 10:58 pm Korean time

Bacon breakfast

bacon breakfast

Ha! I haven’t seen bacon (as in real streaky bacon that comes from oink oink) served in a hotel breakfast buffet for a very long time.

Posted: 10:13 am Korean time

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