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How To Keep & Reheat Tteokbokki [& Stop It Going Hard]

Tteokbokki is super easy to make. A little too easy in fact.

If you’ve recently made more tteokbokki than you can handle, you may be wondering how to keep and reheat it later.

Psst. these tips also work for store-bought and take-out tteokbokki too.

In this article, I cover:

Ready? Let’s dive right in.

What’s the best way to reheat tteokbokki?

The best way to reheat tteokbokki is in a saucepan. Place the tteokbokki in a pan, separating the pieces as much as possible. Next, add just enough liquid (water or broth) to cover the bottom of the pan. Reheat the tteokbokki on a low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

A note on my experiment

I cooked up a delicious batch of tteokbokki and stored in in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day I tested two methods of reheating it:

  • Warming it up in a pan with some broth
  • Microwaving it

The best method by far was reheating it in a pan. Microwaving isn’t recommended for reheating but I wanted to see if I could make it work because it is oh so convenient (I couldn’t).

Reheating tteokbokki on the stove

Put your tteokbokki in a pan along with enough liquid (water or broth) to cover the bottom of the pan, you can also add some extra gochujang for flavor. Heat the mixture on a low heat, stirring frequently. Serve once the tteok has softened and the sauce has thickened.

Overnight, my tteokbokki became hard and dry.

To make them soft and chewy again, they needed extra moisture. The easiest way of giving them this extra moisture is to heat them in it.

How to reheat tteokbokki in a pan:

  1. Put your tteokbokki into a pan, separating them as much as you can.
  2. Add just enough liquid (broth or water) to half cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add in extra flavorings (e.g. gochujang sauce) or any leftover sauce (optional).
  4. Heat the mixture on a low heat.
  5. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent sticking and incorporate the new liquid into the sauce.
  6. Once the mixture has warmed through, serve immediately.

What liquid you add is up to you. Water is okay but won’t add much flavor. I prefer to use some sort of broth. Anchovy, kombu, dashi, or just plain old chicken (or vegetable) broth all work well. 

Be careful not to add too much liquid or the resulting dish will be more like a soup.

Low and slow is preferable for reheating tteokbokki because it allows ample time for the tteok to absorb the liquid and soften. Boiling the water first is more of a harsh method and doesn’t recover the tteok’s texture as well.

My verdict

The tteok was tasty and still soft and fluffy reheated this way. It was a tiny bit more mushy than the day before, but you should always expect to lose some quality when reheating.

The reheating process was quick and easy, which is great because the microwave isn’t a suitable option for reheating tteokbokki.

Reheating tteokbokki in the microwave

I didn’t hold out much hope for the microwave but I had to try it because I can’t heat my tteokbokki in a pan if I’m on-the-go.

I put the tteokbokki in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkled some water over it and covered the bowl. Then I microwaved it for 2 x 10 second intervals. 

The tteokbokki I got out was hot but hard, and it only got harder as it cooled.

My verdict

I don’t recommend using the microwave to reheat tteokbokki, you won’t get good results.

The tteokbokki will be (technically) edible – but hard, dense and very unappetizing.

How to store tteokbokki

You should keep tteokbokki in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The tteokbokki will get hard as it cools down, but you can soften it up again when you reheat it. You can keep the tteokbokki in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before it starts to go bad.

However, the quicker you eat your tteokbokki the better.

Tteokbokki continues to absorb the sauce it’s stored in when refrigerated. Eventually the tteok (rice cakes) fall apart – similar to what happens to pasta.

If you want to avoid this happening, you can store the tteok and the sauce separately.

Can you freeze tteokbokki?

Cooked tteokbokki doesn’t freeze well and you should avoid doing it. The texture will suffer and you won’t ever get the soft chewy dish you were expecting upon reheating. 

You can however freeze uncooked rice cakes. Portion the rice cakes out (they will stick together) and keep them in freezer bags. Suck/squeeze as much air out of the freezer bag as you can to protect the rice cakes from freezer burn. The rice cakes will last for up to 3 month in the freezer.

If you have access to a home vacuum packing machine, this will give your rice cakes the best chance of survival in the freezer. Vacuum packing the rice cakes will ensure that absolutely no air can reach them and will preserve their texture. Vacuum sealed rice cakes can last 3-5 times longer in the freezer than rice cakes in a simple freezer bag.

There’s no need to flash freeze the rice cakes first because they’re so dense there’s no risk of them being squished by the vacuum machine. Simply portion them out and seal. 

How to prepare and cook frozen tteok

The rice cakes (tteok) will be hard and stuck together when you get them out of the freezer.

You’ll need to soak them in room temperature water to separate, defrost and soften them. I tend to soak my rice cakes for around an hour as this gets them nice and soft.

The soaking time will vary depending on the size and shape of your tteok as well as your desired texture.

Some people only soak their tteok for 10-15 minutes to separate them, while others will leave them soaking for several hours. 

Once you’ve soaked your tteok, you can continue to make your dish as normal.

How To Reheat Tteokbokki

If you’ve recently made more tteokbokki than you can handle, you may be wondering how to keep and reheat it later. In this recipe, I explain how to reheat tteokbokki to get the best results.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Servings 1 person
Calories 132 kcal

Equipment

Pan

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion tteokbokki
  • 1 dash water or broth

Instructions
 

  • Put your tteokbokki into a pan, separating them as much as you can.
  • Add just enough liquid (broth or water) to half cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in extra flavorings (e.g. gochujang sauce) or any leftover sauce (optional).
  • Heat the mixture on a low heat.
  • Stir the mixture frequently to prevent sticking and incorporate the new liquid into the sauce.
  • Once the mixture has warmed through, serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 132kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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