Wednesday, August 28, 2019

[Food] Tteok-Galbi (떡갈비, Grilled Short Rib Patties)


[Food] Tteok-Galbi (떡갈비, Grilled Short Rib Patties)

Tteok-Galbi (떡갈비, Grilled Short Rib Patties)

Would you believe there's a counterpart to hamburger patty in Korea? You may have heard of Galbi (Rib BBQ) and Bulgogi (Marinated beef), but I'm sure you haven't heard of Tteok-Galbi (떡갈비, Grilled Short Rib Patties). 'Tteok' means 'Rice cake' and 'Galbi' means 'Ribs' in Korean, so it means 'Ribs that look like rice cake'.

You may wonder 'why do Koreans make rice-cake shaped patty with ribs? Ribs are already nice when grilled and eaten with bones.' Well, there's always a reason for everything, isn't there?

King Sejong the Great. One of the greatest kings in Korean history and creator of Hangeul (Korean Alphabet). He is also known as a famous meat-lover among Korean kings. I think that he must have loved tteok-galbi more than anyone in Korean history.
Tteok-galbi was invented in the Korean royal kitchen as a court cuisine because it wasn't appropriate and courteous eating ribs with bones or eating ribs with one's hands, so the court's cooks invented tteok-galbi as a very convenient way to eat with spoons and chopsticks without biting the ribs. So it has been considered a very luxurious dish, and is still expensive.

Moreover, tteok-galbi is typical high-maintenance food because...

You have to bone all the meat in ribs, chop the meat very coarsely, make dough with meat to shape the patties into shapes of a rice-cake.

After making all the meat dough, you have to grill them on an iron net and use hardwood charcoal slowly as you repeatedly spread a special soy-sauce on the patty with a brush, which takes a long time to cook.

There are two types of Tteok-galbi recipe. The first one was revealed at the end of the Chosun dynasty in thr early 20th century by court ladies of the court kitchen who lost their job in the Japanese occupation of Korea. It was spread to Gwangju and Yangju, Gyeonggi province.

Gwangju and Yangju-style tteok-galbi
Gwangju and Yangju-style tteok-galbi consists of pork and beef mince. They usually make them a little thinner and wider than Hwasoon and Damyang-style. It is a bit cheaper because it is mixture of cheaper meat (pork) and expensive meat (beef) in Korea, so its texture is a bit tougher and harder.

Hwasoon and Damyang style tteok-galbi

On the other hand, Hwasoon and Damyang's tteok-galbi is made of pure beef. Its recipe was created 650 years ago by Ms.Heekyeong Song. It is softer and tender than Gyeonggi-style tteok-galbi, but more expensive because it is made of 100% beef.

Gyeonggi-style tteok-galbi with green chili on an iron plate

Jeonra-style Korean meal with tteok-galbi

Today, tteok-galbi is one of the popular and expensive foods in Korea that attracts countless meat lovers from the world. It's not as famous as galbi and bulgogi, but people who know tteok-galbi attest that tteok-galbi is better than any meat dish in Korea.

If you are sick of hamburgers and meatballs, I recommend tteok-galbi to you :) You can taste the tender and high-quality meat dish that Korean kings had tasted in their palace :)

Bon Appétit!


  1. I support thus peace law. 🌏🌎🌍

  2. これを見たら何か腹減って来ました、、、😂

  3. 本当に美味しいそうです

  4. へぇ~~~美味しいそう!絶対食べてみたいです!