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spicy garaetteok (Korean rice cakes) al pesto

Spicy garaetteok al pesto is something that randomly came to my mind. For the past couple of days, I’ve been obsessed with the Korean dish Tteokbokki. I’m simply obsessed with the chewy consistency of rice cakes. If you don’t know about Tteokbokki, it’s a dish that’s made of long, cylinder-shaped rice cakes (garaetteok) stir-fried in a spicy sauce like gochujang for example. I could watch Maangchi make them all day.

What’s so good about this dish?

The chewy consistency reminds me of gnocchi. And if you fry it ever so slightly, it has a crispy texture on the outside and soft, chewy texture on the inside. Pesto itself is delicious and paired with the garaetteok (rice cakes) is like having a gluten-free version of gnocchi, in a way.

spicy garaetteok al pesto

Spicy garaetteok (Korean rice cakes) al vegan pesto

In order to make this spicy garaetteok al pesto, this is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of spicy garaetteok (Korean rice cakes)
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff!)
  • 1 tablespoon of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)

For the vegan pesto

  • 2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove (or 1 tablespoon of minced garlic)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Before you begin making the pesto, in a medium bowl add the garaetteok (Korean rice cakes) and marinate them with the black pepper, gochugaru, and extra virgin olive oil.
  2. While that marinates, make the pesto.
  3. Using a food processor, first, pulse the cashews until they begin to resemble powdered parmesan. Then add the basil leaves, garlic, cashews, and salt. Pulse until they’re finely chopped.
  4. While the food processor is still running, slowly drizzle the oilve oil until the pesto reaches a spreadable consistency or the consistency you prefer!
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Once the pesto is made, in a nonstick pan on medium-high heat begin to stir-fry the rice cakes. 2-3 minutes.
  8. The rice cakes are done very fast! So you just want to stir fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  9. Serve in a bowl and top with pesto, and you’re done!


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