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Korean rice cake- how to prepare properly?

EWSflash Sep 12, 2010 10:40 AM

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.

  1. soypower Sep 15, 2010 10:57 PM

    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.

    1. j
      joonjoon Sep 15, 2010 10:44 PM

      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. asiansupper Sep 14, 2010 08:41 AM

        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. ipsedixit Sep 12, 2010 12:20 PM

          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. c
            celeryroot Sep 12, 2010 11:58 AM

            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.

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