Korean street junk fusion is on the up. I feel like I’ve been reading for months about the Kogi Taco trucks in LA, and a few weeks ago, Zen Kimchi posted an interesting piece about the bulgoki hotdogs, chopped galbi and fries and beef and kimchi sandwiches that are becoming popular in the states.
As most of these things seem to be happening in America though, thus far I haven’t really felt able to relate. On Friday night however, en route to the pub, I got the opportunity to sample what may well be the next item in this flavour mashing craze; the Tteokburger.
Selling from a street stall near Gangnam station, the Rice Cake or ‘Tteok’ burger is pretty much what it sounds like. Beef patties are roughly formed around three or four thick, cylindrical ricecakes. They are then cooked on a hotplate, and sandwiched into a sesame seed bun with some shredded cabbage and lots of ketchup and mustard.
As street burgers go this was pretty good. The patty was thick and meaty (even with the addition of the rice cakes the burger probably had more beef than any of the nearby fast food chains,) and the tteok managed to lend a bit of substance to the burger without being intrusively chewy or bland. What I really loved about this burger however was the sauce overload. A couple of good squirts of ketchup and that watery Korean mustard (it looks like cheese in the photo) and the burger turned into the sort of cheap, sweet, messy affair that’s made for right between the third and fourth beers of a Friday night.
Now that’s what I’m tteoking about!