1. For prep, thaw the frozen rice cakes for at least 15 minutes prior to usage, or soak them in semi-cold water for 5 minutes.
2. Cut the steak into 1-inch chunks. Heat a non-stick skillet or frying pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook steak chunks until slightly browned and then add the minced garlic, cook another 2,3 minutes.
3. Add the remaining seasonings with water and soy sauce. Carefully mix together and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until rice cakes are soft.
4. Serve hot with rice or eat stand alone (warning: it can be spicy if eaten this way).
*One common variation (there are many) of tteokbokki is the addition of instant ramen noodles with the rice cakes. It is very popular in Korea and has a name of its own--labokki. Also, be sure to taste the sauce as it thickens and adjust the level of spiciness (gochujang) or sweetness (brown sugar or corn syrup) depending on your taste preference.