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Korean rice cake- how to prepare properly?

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I have a nice Korean market up the street, they often have the fresh extruded rice cake, and try as I may, I can't get it to come out right. If I saute it it somehow doesn't have that yummy soft texture and is hard on the outside, if I steam it it just gets gooey, it also does when I try to heat it up in a curry sauce. I just wrapped a couple up in wet paper towels and microwaved it, the centers were nice and soft but the glommed onto the paper towel pretty good, and I kept having to remove bits of paper tgowel while i ate. Besides, I know that Koreans don't traditionally use paper towels and microwaves!

Does anybody have any suggestions? This is one of the things I crave, but once they've been refrigerated or frozen I can't seem to get them back anywhere near the original texture. Is it even possible? I may hleft them in the hot curry too long and that'ave s why they mushed up.

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  1. I had the same problem with cakes and rice noodles. I was told by lady at store not to refridgerate. Seems much better. In addition , in reading some of my more recent asian cookbooks they say the same. You also need to use within a short time.

    1. I usually stri-fry them in a hot wok, working quickly making sure not to over cook. If you are sauteeing in the traditional fashion, I think you might be overcooking it.

      1. If the rice cakes are truly fresh (if you press them, are they soft?) there is no need to soak, but you should soak them for a bit in water if you end up buying the kind that are clearly packaged and not made locally (i.e. hard).

        Also when you cook them, a little sauce base (like in dukboki / tteokbokki) helps ... after all the veggies/sauce has been added, place rice cakes on the top then cover for 5 - 10 mins.

        1. If you're talking about tteok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tteok) that looks like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kor..., then every application of it I've seen calls for a boil or a braise. I always keep a bag of it in the freezer in case I get hit with a tteokboki craving.

          1. One of my favorite ways to eat tteok is by pan-frying them in a little oil. The outside gets nice and crispy and the inside gets nice and gooey. My mom likes to sprinkle sugar on hers, but I like mine savory and eat them plain, with a sprinkle of salt or dipped in a little soy vinegar dipping sauce.

            Whenever I use them in stew or stir-fries, I only cook them for a couple minutes. There's nothing I dislike more than mushy tteok. I get it to the point where they are just cooked, or even a little before that and remove it from the heat source. They will inevitably become fully soft in a matter of minutes but still have a little bite to them.