Tteokbokki or Ddukdokki is awesomely addictive for its flavor and texture and is a Korean favorite worldwide.
To your chosen braising vessel add 5 cups of water, 5-7 anchovies, 3-4 scallions and a large piece of Kelp, about 6x8 inches.
Bring to a boil over high heat, once boiling reduce heat to low, simmer for about 20 minutes. Which the broth is simmering soak the rice cakes in some cold water this will help reduce cooking time.
You may notice some sediment start to collect on the top of the broth, skim this off as much as possible with a ladle or a metal spoon. Next, strain your broth and its ready to go.
Combine chili powder, chili sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
To the strained broth add chili sauce mixture and stir. Next add the soaked rice cakes, fish cake/ICM, and hardboiled eggs if using. Gently stir to combine.
Cover your cooking vessel with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Gently stir, replace lid and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes. Repeat an additional time then check rice cake for texture.
If the rice cake remains tough or the sauce is too thick start by adding 1 cup of water and cooking an additional 5-10 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Once the rice cakes are cooked to desired tenderness remove from heat. Stir in Ume Plum Vinegar and Sesame Oil.
Garnish with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and sliced hardboiled eggs.