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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Simple Recipes- Korean Spicy Rice Cakes (Tteokbokki)

I was running errands Friday evening and was asked to pick up some pre-made kimchi at my local korean groceries. What I love about this shop in particular is that they have fresh rice cakes available for sale. If you're lucky, you may also run into some fresh sweet rice cakes, which is a korean dessert, or korean sushi (Kimbap).

A tip with these fresh rice cakes is that if you don't intend to cook with it the same day it's purchase, throw it in the fridge if you gonna use it within the next two to three days. If you just want to stock up, then chuck in the freezer and defrost it when needed. Mind you, the one that I purchase came in a kilo. What I would recommend is that you portion it however much you want, and freeze the remainder until you decide to cook with it.

So being a Sunday evening, I decided to stay in to wind down and get some me time. The Boy stayed behind at church to help out with the Christmas production we have on 7 December. I had skipped lunch due to a late breakfast and a famished from something hearty and full of vegetables/seafood. (Note to you all, I am a Pescetarian.). With limited items to cook with, I decided it'd have to be Korean Spicy Rice Cakes. The fact that the recipe does only focus on rice cakes means that this recipe really doesn't call for much but for rice cakes and some staple vegetables that we would normally stock up with in the fridge.

Note that I have my take on this dish, and have added and taken out some things. I didn't have any onions, carrots or cabbage in the fridge hence the only vegetable used was chinese cabbage (which is the is the vegetable used to make kimchi).

Other ingredients you will need include: korean fish cakes (which is generally found in the freezer section of the any good korean grocers), dried large anchovies (which is also found in the freezer section. You can substitute this with anchovy powder which can also be found in korean grocers), korean hot pepper paste (aka Gochujang) and dried seaweed (also found in korean grocers).

My recipe goes as follows:

STEP ONE- Ingredients A: The hot paste mix

  • 2 tablespoons Korean Hot Chilli Paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped and minced)
  • 1 knob (size of 1 clove of garlic) of ginger (chopped and minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Honey 
  • A dash of sesame oil 
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
Method: Combine all ingredient A in a bowl and mix until combined. Then set aside. 

STEP TWO- Ingredients B: The stock

  • 1 1/2 cups of water 
  • 1 (10cm by 10 cm) sheet of dried seaweed
  • 7- 8 dried anchovies (you will need to de-head them and remove the innards)
  • 2 pieces of korean fish cake (slightly thaw it before using it)
Method: Put all ingredients in a cooking pot and boil over the stove top on medium heat.  Once it comes to a boil, reduce it to a low heat and boil for 5 minutes. Then remove the seaweed, anchovies and fish cake from the pot. You may discard the seaweed and anchovies. 

Allow the fish cake to cool before slicing it into 1cm by 6 cm strips. Then set aside. 

Keep the broth on a low simmer. 

STEP THREE- Ingredients C: The rice cakes and co

  • 325 grams  fresh rice cakes (The pack I purchased came in a pack of 650 grams)
  • Liberal amount of chinese cabbage (sliced into one centimeter strips)
  • 5 boiled eggs (shelled/ peeled)
With the broth on a low simmer, put in the chinese cabbage and allow for it to cook until softened. Then put throw in the fresh rice cakes with Ingredient A (the hot paste mixture). Stir occasionally to prevent the rice cakes from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

You will note that the rice cake will thicken up sauce. If you find that the sauce is to thick add some water. However do test the saltiness of the sauce and adjust with salt to taste. 

Just before serving stir in the fresh boiled eggs and the fish cakes. Give it one last stir before turning off the heat. 

Serve while hot with fresh spring onions (aka green onions or scallions) and toasted sesame seeds. 

  • The korean hot pepper paste is chilli/ hot. Two tablespoons was sufficient for it to give a kick to the overall dish. If you are concerned, just use one tablespoon instead. 

Let me know what you think of this recipe and whether you would like to see more savoury recipes.. This recipe is my own hence it will not be authentic as I'm not of korean decent. If you are looking for something more authentic, do search up google for other recipes. 

Comment below if you have other questions. 

Happy Cooking!

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