Friday, July 17, 2009

Tteokbokki (Spicy rice cakes)

Sometimes, I wish I were Korean. I'm quite fond of Korean things. It all started with Korean dramas. I've watched quite a bit in the past 7 years. So much that I've picked up words and phrases, here and there.

One day, I'll travel to Korea. See the palaces, the scenery, eat the food. And one day, I'll get around to learning the language. Haha. I have a Korean learning kit. I haven't read it yet though. I bought it last year. (Not to mention the Cantonese learning kit that I also have and yet to finish reading.. which was purchased about 2-3 years ago.. haha.)

Tteobokki are spicy Korean rice cakes. My history of tteokbokki started when I first saw it in the Korean drama 'Goong', when it first aired about 2 years ago. I loved the series. It was so full of culture and tradition. And it was then when I first saw tteokbokki and wanted to try it. So when I saw it at a Korean restaurant, I tried it. And now, I tried making it. Hehe~

I tried to make rice cakes the other day. I decided that I didn't want to go out just to buy them, so I tried making them instead. (You can find them at Korean grocers, for about $5 a tray or something. The amount of rice cakes that I made probably equated to about 2-2.5 trays). They turned out okay. I had them freezing in the freezer for the past few days. And with a few ingredients that I had on hand, I made tteokbokki for dinner. Not quite the traditional Korean tteokbokki, but good enough for me.

Rice cakes
Makes about 45-50 rice cakes

400gm rice flour
200gm glutinous rice flour

Combine together until a dough is formed. Be careful not to add too much water, so add a little at a time when a dough is nearly formed. If you add too much water, the rice cakes may turn out soft and sticky.

Boil a large pot of water on the stovetop.
Roll rice cakes out and pop into the pot. I rolled some into cylinders and some sliced.
(They will sink to the bottom, but will float to the top when cooked.)
Leave them in there for a few minutes after they float to the top.
Transfer to a large bowl filled with cold water. (This will prevent them from sticking to each other.)
Drain rice cakes and allow to dry before freezing.
Thaw and cook in boiling water before using.

Tteokbokki (Spicy rice cakes)
Serves 4-8

rice cakes, cooked and cooled (doesn't have to be completely cooled down. Just as long as it's not too soft to deal with)
150gm tteokbokki sauce (see photos above, or similar) (you can get it at Korean grocers and some Asian grocers)
some broccoli, chopped
300gm beef, sliced
2 onions, sliced
*fish tofu, sliced (I couldn't be bothered thawing the fish tofu so I didn't use any)

In a pan, saute the onions with a little oil.
Add the beef and stirfry for a few minutes until half - 3/4 cooked.
Removed from pan, set aside.
Stirfry the broccoli with the tteokbokki sauce, then add the onions, beef and rice cakes.
Carefully combine and cook on low heat until serving.
Serve immediately.

You could have also added some cooked ramen if you didn't have many rice cakes.

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