Spicy Chicken Spinach Tteokbokki

I had a bunch of tteokbokki leftover from making budae jjigae the other night, and thought I'd try to recreate a childhood dish of the Hubs. He likes his rice cakes saucy, and chunked up with a whole lotta meat. Really, he thinks of this as a meat dish, with tteokbokki on the side, rather than the converse. I love my greens too, so I threw in a handful of spinach, which metallic flavour balanced out the sweet spice of the gochujang (red pepper paste). Finish with a flurry of chopped perilla leaves for a minty accent.

Ingredients (feeds 4):
3 cups tteokbokki (Korean rice cake)
400gm chicken fillet, diced into 1" cubes and marinated for at least 3 hours in spicy bulgogi
a handful enoki mushrooms
1 cup shredded carrots
5 cups Chinese spinach, cut into 2" lengths
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil
2 heaping tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
1 tsp guk kanjang (Korean light soy sauce)
3 tbsp chicken stock
1 cup water
3 perilla leaves, chopped finely for garnishing
sesame seeds for garnishing

1) Fry garlic in sesame-canola oil on medium heat until fragrant, about 35 seconds. Garlic cooks fast, so be careful not to burn it.

2) Increase heat to medium-high, add carrots and toss through, about 1 minute.

3) Add tteokbokki and gochujang, stir through, about 1 minute.

4) Add mushrooms.

5) Add chicken, stock, soy, and cook through, about 3 minutes. Add about half a cup of water and let it simmer for a while until water is almost completely reduced.

6) Add spinach, and another half cup of water, and stir through, letting the water cook off until reduced to a consistency you prefer for your sauce.

7) Salt to taste, and serve with sesame seeds and minced perilla leaves.

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