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Tteokbokki: Is It Vegan, Halal, and Spicy?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Korea, you’re probably wondering if Tteokbokki is vegan, halal, and spicy. Well, I was asking the same thing when visiting Korea.


Tteokbokki are rice cakes that are very popular among teenagers.

You can find these almost everywhere, from street food markets to grocery stores. It’s very popular, and many people eat them almost every day. At first, I didn’t know if I could eat them because I’m vegan, but I did some research.

After doing some thorough research, here are the things I found.

Is Tteokbokki Vegan?

Yes, tteokbokki is vegan. It’s made out of rice cakes, and the ones sold in street markets are normal. However, there are tteokbokki recipes that have some kind of meat, fishcake, and fish broth added to them.

Is Tteokbokki Halal?

Yes, tteokbokki is halal since it’s made from rice cakes. There’s no meat added to the rice cakes, it does have some red chili pepper paste, but that’s also halal-free.

Is Tteokbokki Spicy?

Yes, tteokbokki is spicy. Almost all recipes sold in grocery stores and street markets are made with Korean red chili pepper paste, which adds a bit of spiciness to them. However, there are non-spicy tteokbokki recipes, but you really have to find them in grocery stores since most street markets don’t offer them.

What Is Tteokbokki?


Tteokbokki are rice cakes with red chili red pepper paste. It’s very popular in Korea and seen as one of the most bought snacks. Many people really like rice cakes because they’re easy to eat and not expensive at all. 

If you’ve never been to Korea, I highly recommend you eat them. The best place to get them is in the Myeongdong street market. You can find all sorts of food there for very affordable prices. What’s great about this street market is that there are lots of foreigners walking around.

Another plus is that the tteokbokki is vegan, halal, and spicy. The sauce you get with the tteokbokki is made with red chili pepper paste, and this ingredient you can find back in many other dishes. 

Some people even said that this market was the best place in whole Korea where you could buy tteokbokki. Now that you know that make sure to give it a try!

Side Dishes That Are Great With Tteokbokki

Side Dishes That Are Great With Tteokbokki

There are many dishes that you can eat with tteokbokki. The three best dishes that I’ve liked the most are included here below. Tteokbokki with sundae, fried chicken, or tofu slices will really blow your mind. 


Sundae is a Korean blood sausage, and it goes very well with tteokbokki. Many people order this while drinking soju or any other alcohol.

What I really like about the sundae is that it gives a sweet after taste. It’s not too strong, and when you’re eating this with Korean rice cakes, it’s mind-blowing how good it is.

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is popular in almost every city in the world. However, most people don’t eat tteokbokki with fried chicken.

What people mostly do is order fried chicken and tteokbokki separately, but when you eat these together or bite after bite, your mouth will explode with tasty foods.

Tofu Slices

Tofu slices are very common to be served with tteokbokki, and there’s nothing really special about this. However, it’s still worth trying.

Many people order this when they’re looking for something spicy. It’s often served in the winter when it’s really cold outside. People like eating spicy foods when it’s snowing.

Related Article:
Korean Food: Is It Spicy, Vegan, and Halal?


What Does Tteokbokki Taste Like?

Tteokbokki tastes a bit chewy, like rice that’s smashed together with a bit of spiciness. It’s something you can’t really describe, but you should see it as rice that’s squeezed together to a small stick. After that, there are spices added to it to give it a sweet, sour, and spicy taste.

How Much Does Tteokbokki Cost?

Tteokbokki costs somewhere between $2 – $6. This is 1,000 to 7,000 Korean won. It’s even cheaper if you make it yourself, the rice cakes can be bought in grocery stores and chili paste too. Both of them costs a combined around $3-$4, whereas you buy them in a street food market, it will probably cost you around $5

Why Is Tteokbokki So Chewy?

Tteokbokki is chewy because it’s made out of squeezed rice. Rice is known to be chewy, you can also find this back in sushi, which’s also chewy, but Tteokbokki is even more rice squeezed together.


Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, you probably know that tteokbokki is vegan, halal, and spicy. It’s cheap and easy to make yourself. If you ever have the chance to visit Korea, make sure to try some tteokbokki at the Myeongdong market. 

They serve one of the best Korean rice cakes in whole Korea, and it’s also affordable. You can’t really go wrong with this. There are many tourists trying tteokbokki every day, and once their back in their own country, they often buy them at Asian grocery stores.

In short, tteokbokki is chewy because of the rice that’s squeezed together, it costs around $5, and the taste is sweet, sour, and spicy.

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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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