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How Long Do Korean Rice Cakes Last?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

When you have leftover tteokbokki, it will usually expire a couple of days after it has been made. These rice cakes need to be refrigerated to ensure that they stay good until you get a chance to eat them.

Korean rice cakes are also known as tteokbokki. These stir-fried rice cakes are much different than the crunchy snack that Americans are used to. When you purchase American rice cakes at the grocery market, they will last in your cupboard for a long time especially if the package is left sealed.

Tteokbokki is a different story. Since Korean rice cakes are made fresh, they need to be consumed before they go bad. A fresh tteokbokki rice cake should only be stored in a refrigerator for 2 to 3 days tops after it has been prepared.

Are you curious to learn more about how long you can keep Korean rice cakes? On this page, we’re going to discuss how long it takes until a Korean rice cake goes bad. When you’re done with this article, you’ll know exactly how long you can keep that tteokbokki for. Keep reading to find out!

How Long Does It Take For Rice Cakes to Expire?

Tteokbokki is one of Korea’s most beloved recipes. This healthy snack is always a tasty treat to eat. Of course, Korean rice cakes are best when they are consumed directly after they have been cooked. However, sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach, and you may have some leftovers.

All leftover rice cakes should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

One thing to keep in mind about Korean rice cakes is that they will begin absorbing the sauce as they sit in the fridge. The longer they sit, the poorer the quality will be. This is why these rice cakes usually expire within 2 to 3 days. After this timeframe, they are no longer suitable to serve.

What About Store-Bought or Uncooked Korean Rice Cakes?

Store-bought tteokbokki usually has a longer shelf life than fresh rice cakes. Always check the package directions to see how long the rice cakes have until they expire. In most cases, the tteokbokki will be a vacuum-sealed bag to ensure the quality and flavor of the rice cakes holds up.

Most pre-packaged tteokbokki will last for a couple of weeks. The tteokbokki doesn’t start to expire until it is cooked or exposed to air. However, it may start to expire if it sits long forgotten in the refrigerator well past the expiry date.

Since uncooked and packaged tteobokki isn’t sitting in sauce, it won’t expire as fast as prepared rice cakes. This will allow for longer shelf life when kept refrigerated.

Should You Eat Expired Rice Cakes?

There’s nothing more aggravating than realizing you missed the best before date on any food item you buy, rice cakes being no exception. In some situations, you may be able to eat an expired rice cake.

Always do a visual inspection of the rice cake first. If you see any mold, then you should dispose of the rice cake, if not then it may be okay to eat.

When you cook a rice cake, it’s important to seal the leftovers tight. This way they will last longer when refrigerated. While cooked rice cakes have the potential to go bad much sooner than packaged tteokbokki, they can still be consumed if eaten within a few days.

After checking for mold, you should smell the tteokbokki as well. Your nose can actually tell you a lot more about the condition of the rice cakes than your eyes could. If they do not smell edible then you shouldn’t trust eating them. However, if they still smell good then chances are they are okay to eat.

One thing to always keep in mind about a best before date is that it simply means the food is the best quality before that date. This doesn’t mean you can no longer eat the food once it passes that date. Always make sure the rice cake has been thoroughly cooked before

Can You Freeze Tteok?

If you purchase a package of tteokbokki and know you will not eat them before the shelf life passes, you should freeze them. Make sure the rice cakes are vacuum-sealed in a bag or in an airtight container before freezing them.

You can also freeze freshly made K rice cakes after preparing them. When you want to eat an easy and healthy snack, you can cook them, and it will still be full of flavor. 

It’s important that the frozen rice cakes are fully sealed, so no air gets at them. If they are exposed to air when you store them, they will not be good to eat.

When you store your favorite rice cake recipes properly, they will last up to 3 months frozen.

One thing to keep in mind about when you store frozen rice cakes is that you must allow them time to thaw before cooking them. Frozen rice cakes are best when they thaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

Once the rice cakes have thawed, they should not be frozen again. Store any uneaten tteokbokki in plastic wrap or an airtight container in the fridge to eat within 2 to 3 days.

Are Korean Rice Cakes Supposed to Be Chewy

When most Westerners think of rice cakes, they think of big round snacks that are crunchy and fluffy. Western rice cakes are a healthy snack to turn to when people want to cut back on salty snacks, like potato chips and cheese puffs. This is why most Westerners are surprised to find out rice cakes from Korea are completely different.

Rice cakes in Korea aren’t crunchy at all. In fact, they are actually a hot, chewy treat. Western rice cakes are essentially a diet food that most people don’t think of as a delightful treat.

Tteokbokki rice cakes are a much tastier experience. Once a person tries Korea’s version of rice cakes, they will no longer have room for those flavorless crunchy circles.

What Is Tteokbokki?

Tteokbokki (rice cakes from Korea) are moist and chewy cakes made from compressed rice. They have a have unique texture that many people around the world love.

Unlike Western rice cakes, which are big flat circles, tteokbokki is smaller cylinders. Some would describe them as thumb-shaped cakes. However, sometimes they are found in bigger rolls, which can be lived into big circles (similar looking to Western rice cakes).

These rice cakes are very simple to prepare, especially if you buy vacuum seal packaged cakes. Simply place the rice cake in boiling water and wait until they float to the surface. This usually only takes a couple of minutes, and once they are ready, there are many options for how they are served.

The most common way of eating these rice cakes is by tossing them in a sauce for extra flavor or mixing them in your favorite soup. Tteokbokki is a staple food in nearly every market in Korea and can be found in street food carts all over the country.

While there is nothing better than a real tteokbokki made fresh in Korea, the packaged rice cakes are the next best option. They are an easy meal to prepare quickly and can be mixed with nearly any type of sauce you enjoy eating.


Once you prepare tteokbokki, it has a limited shelf life. Cooked rice cakes are often prepared in a sauce, and will start to soak up that sauce as they sit around in the refrigerator. If you have leftover rice cakes, they should only be kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. In case you do leave them a little bit longer than this, always check for mold before consuming.

Prepackaged rice cakes are a different story because they are vacuum sealed. All packaged rice cakes will have an expiry date labeled so you know exactly how long you can keep them. If you don’t think you will eat up the tteokbokki by the listed date, you can freeze them for up to 3 months for longer keep.

Whenever you store leftover rice cakes, you should always make sure they are wrapped tightly or put into an airtight container. This will prevent them from spoiling faster than intended.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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