Rich in history as it is rich in flavour, an authentic taste of Korea usually begins with a humble topokki rice cake. Did you know this beloved Korean dish actually has a royal origin?
In the 1460s, these rice cakes were stir-fried with meat, veggies, and soy sauce, and was exclusively indulged by the aristocrats and palace residences of the Joseon Dynasty.
Back then, topokki was considered a high-class dish, and was made from leftover rice cakes (called tteok), from Lunar New Year celebrations, stir-fried in rich deeply flavoured soy sauce with an extravagant assembly of ingredients which include beef, carrots, onions, shiitake mushrooms.
The more popular red-sauced topokki today made its debut in the 1950s. It wasn't until the 2000s that it gained popularity in MYEONGDONG, which is now one of Korea's most popular topokki district!
It's widely believed that the red and spicy gochujang topokki (made with red pepper paste) only came about due to influence of the Japanese occupation in the Joseon dynasty. It became more popular when Korea celebrated their independence in 1945.
In the 1970s, topokki became an instant hit with the working-class crowd for its affordability, tasty deep flavour and nutritional value.
Now, topokki is widely considered to be Korea's national street snack and you can find a wide variety of topokki dishes readily sold in street stalls a.k.a 'pojangmacha', and commonly enjoyed with the sweet and spicy gochujang sauce, served with odeng fish cakes as well as veggies.
One of the best spots in Korea to get topokki now is in the Myengdong street . Koreans get their daily fix of topokki from the multiple vendors selling these sweet & spicy rice cakes there. MyeongDong Topokki (MDT) brings Malaysians a similar experience with their outlets that replicate the topokki shops in Korea , so we can all 'Eat Like A Korean' right in our neighbourhood mall!
In Malaysia, you can get an authentic taste of this dish at MyeongDong Topokki (MDT), which specialises in making this royal dish as well as other popular Korean cuisine
We're no topokki expert, but we've tasted their dishes and swear we could nom on these tubular rice cakes every day! They were firm, yet really soft and chewy, and had a little bounce to every bite.
Our favourite was their original MyeongDong Topokki that was drenched in a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce that we couldn't get enough of. However, if you have a low spice tolerance, their sweet and salty Soy Garlic Topokki was also good, and had a good flavour balance.
MDT also offers a taste of all the food we've salivated over from watching hours of our favourite K-dramas and Mukbang vids!
You can get a lot hot and hearty dishes in MDT like Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Jjigae, and Rabokki, to popular Korean street snacks such as Korean Fried Chicken, Squid Twigim (fried squid), Kimbap, and Kimali (glassnoodle rolled in seaweed and deep fried).
Affordable and satisfying, you can enjoy various flavours of topokki here starting at RM6.90 and get their set meals for as low as RM16.90. Served in huge portions, these meals also come with free refillable drinks and Pan Chan (savoury Korean side dishes).
Check out their extensive menu from their 14 outlets around Malaysia here.
Remember to go with an empty stomach! ;)
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