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How To Reheat Tteokbokki

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Honestly, when we first discovered tteokbokki, we couldn’t help but have it on a weekly basis! Eventually, we stopped ordering it as take-out and started making our own from scratch. 

This was one of the best decisions we have ever made, but naturally, it comes with a lot of trial and error.

And even when we felt like we perfected a recipe, we were still struggling with reheating this amazing dish while keeping its qualities. And so, a new set of experiments began.

So, what ended up being the best way to reheat tteokbokki? We highly recommend using a low heat setting and placing the tteokbokki inside a saucepan. This technique helps maintain the moisture levels, tender texture, and fantastic original flavor.

Other techniques that you can also definitely use are microwave heating and oven heating. But, both of these have their pros and cons which we will also cover.

In this short and sweet article, we will give you the low-down on everything you could need to know about reheating tteokbokki! We will look at the 3 best methods to use and even when they will work best.

What Is Tteokbokki?

Don’t feel out of the loop if you have never had tteokbokki, let alone heard about it before! This is one of the lesser-known Korean dishes, especially in most Western regions.

But, we can almost guarantee that you will go to Google the best Korean restaurants where you can find some close to you after this article!

Tteokbokki is a very popular dish that originated in Korea. It is also referred to as “simmered rice cakes,” which is a good way to describe how they are made.

These cakes are made from tteokmyeon (rice cake noodles). These are cylinder-shaped white rice cakes that almost look like white dough logs.

Now, the term more refers to the rice cake part than an actual specific flavor for a dish. There are many variations available. This makes it easy for even the pickiest eater! 

The most common “flavors” you will come across are curry tteokbokki, seafood tteokbokki, and a cream sauce tteokbokki. Other generally popular types include galbi tteokbokki (grilled ribs) or jajang tteokbokki (sweet bean sauce).

Then, even within these different categories, you can find more variations. For example, you can get chili options and non-spicy flavoring options for curry tteokbokki dishes.

And, for seafood tteokbokki, you will find a wide range of seafood-type combinations and flavors too!

Then, even the consistency of the variations differs! You can get saucy tteokbokki or stir-fried tteokbokki. 

We know, it seems like there are virtually an endless amount of definitions for this dish! But, the common denominator between all tteokbokki dishes is that they are made using rice noodle logs.

How Do You Choose The Best Reheating Method?

Now, this may not seem as important as the actual reheating methods. However, this is where our reheating experiment showed the importance of choosing the correct technique.

As we have just mentioned above, the different tteokbokki dishes are made with different ingredients.

So, while the noodles themselves pretty much reheat equally well with all the methods mentioned below, the accompanying ingredients may not.

A great example is seafood. Almost all types of seafood lose their original consistency when reheated in a microwave. The heat is simply too high and quick. So instead, you will need to reheat a seafood tteokbokki in a pan or oven.

All of the methods below have their own set of pros and cons. But, at the end of the day, the technique that works the best for you is the one you should choose.

All of them still do a pretty good job regardless of the ingredients the tteokbokki contains.

We would always recommend reheating almost all types of tteokbokki in a saucepan over medium heat.

With this technique, you can accurately control how quickly the dish heats and even how much. And, it enables you to still alter the flavor before serving it for a second time.

In terms of using a microwave, we are by no means an advocate of it, but it does work quickly. If you want to still ingest some nutrients from the dish, the microwave may not be the best choice as it kills a vast majority of them.

And finally, using an oven will provide you with a hands-free heating option. But, it takes the longest out of all methods and it still needs monitoring.

How To Reheat Tteokbokki

If you cannot decide which reheating method you should try first, test them in the order we have listed below.

The order of methods in this list was determined by reheating a bunch of different tteokbokki flavors and seeing how they do with all of the methods.

But, again, if you only have a microwave to reheat the dish, then use your microwave! Never buy any special equipment for just reheating food! Unless you do it frequently.

So, without further or due, let’s have a look at the three best and most common reheating techniques for tteokbokki!

Method 1: In A Saucepan

The size of your saucepan will largely be determined by the amount of tteokbokki you must reheat. But, just make sure it is big enough so the sauce doesn’t overflow when heating, simmered or boiled.

Then, heavy-bottomed saucepans (preferably they should also be stainless steel) will be a better option than virtually any other material.

Here’s how to reheat tteokbokki in a saucepan:

  1. Place the leftover tteokbokki inside your saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and slowly heat the dish.
  2. Heat your tteokbokki slowly. Keep stirring the mixture well, especially around the sides and in the corners, to ensure none of it burns in any area.
  3. Serve immediately and do not cool or reheat again.

Method 2: In The Microwave

As you likely already know, microwaves work with technology that allows them to reheat food very quickly using extremely high heat. This naturally is great if you are in a hurry. Plus, you only need to clean up one bowl afterward.

The downside however is that you lose a lot of nutrients in the dish. And, it often overheats the dish which makes it lose some flavor.

All of this can be avoided to a certain extent if you follow our steps below.

Here’s how to reheat tteokbokki in the microwave:

  1. Adjust your microwave’s temperature setting. The best range to set it at is medium. This way, it won’t take forever to reheat (on a defrosting setting) and it won’t cause too much loss of nutrients or flavor (as when the regular setting is used).
  2. Place the tteokbokki inside a microwave-safe bowl, plate, or container.
  3. Reheat the tteokbokki using the medium setting. It will take longer and you can check it after about a minute of reheating. Keep heating until your tteokbokki is perfectly warmed, but not scorching.

Method 3: In An Oven

The final method on our list today is no less effective than the one mentioned above. However, it takes the longest of them all and strangely, requires the most work despite being hands-free.

Using an oven to reheat tteokbokki will allow you to place it inside and leave it until it is heated. However, you need to monitor the progress. And, you cannot use high heat otherwise the tteokbokki will dry out instead of just heating.

Here’s how to reheat tteokbokki in the oven:

  1. Prepare your equipment. First, preheat your oven to 320ºF (160ºC). Then, line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat. Add your tteokbokki and place it inside the preheated oven.
  2. Heat the teokbokki in your oven. Check it after the initial 8 minutes. If it is still not warm enough, leave it for another 3-5 minutes at a time, depending on how cold it is.
  3. Between each check, give the mixture a stir to ensure all parts heat equally.

Expert Tips For Reheating Tteokbokki

There will never be a true end to the number of tips we can give you on reheating food. But, other than what we have already mentioned, here are a couple more you can keep in mind.

  • The larger the batch of tteokbokki is that you need to reheat, the longer it will take. This is why it is nearly impossible to give exact reheating times. Plus, the amount of heat used from person to person will vary, which will affect the final outcome.
  • If you have a meat-based tteokbokki dish (especially seafood), try using the saucepan reheating technique (method 1). It will give you tender meat that isn’t overcooked, packed with moisture, and still full of flavor and nutrients.
  • You can only cool and reheat food once. If there are still any leftovers that have already been reheated, it is best to discard the food safely. The risk of consuming twice reheated food is too high, even more so when meat is included!
  • To store leftover tteokbokki, you have to use the correct methods too. Otherwise, the dish will likely spoil before you can even reheat it once. You can place it in an odor and stain-free airtight container. Store it in the fridge away from any raw produce.
  • You can also freeze tteokbokki dishes, but the noodles aren’t as good thawed and reheated as they are fresh. So, avoid this trick if you can.

How Do You Make Tteokbokki?

If reheating just never tastes the same as fresh tteokbokki in your book, you may want to start making your own!

Here’s a great tutorial from Babish Culinary Universe on YouTube.

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