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Tteok Sanjuk (Korean Beef Skewers with Green Onions)

A recipe for Tteok Sanjuk (Beef Skewers with Green Onion, Tteok Sanjeok, 떡산적) from the cookbook, The Korean Table! These small skewers of alternating beef, rice cakes, and green onions are grilled until golden.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword beef, grill, Korea, Korean, meat, rice cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8 small skewers


Tteok Sanjuk

  • 1/2 pound (250 grams) sirloin steak tips, boneless rib eye steak, filet, or boneless short ribs
  • 16 (2 inch, 5 centimeter) Korean rice sticks (or longer sticks cut into 2 inch, 5 centimeter segments)
  • 8 green onions cut into 2 1/2 inch (6 centimeter) pieces
  • 8 (7 inch, 18 centimeter) bamboo skewers
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil


  • 5 tablespoons Sweet Soy Base Sauce see note below
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 1 green onion minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Sweet Soy Base Sauce, makes 1 3/4 cups (425 milliliters)

  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) water
  • 4 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 6 (1/8 inch, 3 millimeter) slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns crushed
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) soy sauce preferably low sodium
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (65 milliliters) red or white wine


To make the Tteok Sanjuk:

  • If you're using whole steak tips, cut them crosswise into segments approximately 3-4 inches (7-10 centimeters) in length. Cut the beef against the grain into 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeter) thick slices about 2 inches (5 centimeter) in length. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the rice sticks and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for 5 minutes until softened. Drain in a colander.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Add the beef and scallions to the bowl and marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Take a bamboo skewer and thread a piece of meat, a piece of green onion, and rice stick. Thread the skewer along the far edge of the food. Repeat the pattern until the skewer is full, ending with beef. Each skewer should have three pieces of beef.
  • Add the sesame oil to a large skillet or brush the surface of a grill pan with the sesame oil and place over medium heat. When the skillet or pan is hot, cook the skewers for 1 minute. Brush with the remaining marinade. Turn the skewers over and cook 1 minute more, or until the beef is cooked through.
  • Place 2 skewers on each plate and serve the Tteok Sanjuk hot.

To make the Sweet Soy Base Sauce:

  • Combine the water, garlic, ginger and peppercorns in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Be careful not to let the liquid evaporate completely.
  • Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and wine. Turn the heat to high and boil for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Strain the sauce through a sieve into an airtight container. Discard the ginger, garlic and peppercorns. Store the sauce in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3 months.