Today I am thrilled to write about one of my favorite foods. Korean rice cakes are one of those ingredients that actually put a smile on my face whenever I pull them out. They are chewy, a little nutty, and are simply amazing food. I put them in soups, stir-fry, and of course my all-time favorite meal, ddeokbokki!! (recipe here)
I have found that the store bought kind are great. The biggest problem I have found is that many people (me included) don't have an Asian market close by, and my regular grocery stores don't even know what I am talking about. So, I had to find out how to make them myself.
I have known for a while how to make them, but I found that many of my fellow plant-based friends have the same problem. So this recipe is dedicated to my friend Joy. I hope you find these to be much better then those midget hockey pucks you had the other day.
2 c white sushi rice
1 1/2- 1 3-4 c boiling water
1/3 tsp. salt
You will also need a very good, high speed blender, a good food processor or a good coffee grinder.
The very first thing you want to do is make some rice flour out of your sushi rice. Place into your blender of choice. (I use a coffee grinder that holds 1 cup at a time, so I work in shifts) Blend until very fine powder. (it took me about 2 minutes) Pour the flour into a fine mesh strainer. Sift the rice flour, and any pieces that don't go through, put back through the blender with the next batch. You want 2 cups total of the flour. Pour into a large bowl.
Bring your water to a boil.
While your water is coming to a boil, add the salt to your flour, and mix well.
When the water comes to a boil, add 1 1/2 cups of it to the mix.
Mix well. It will be a little on the dry side. If all of it is not mixing in, you can add a little more water. You don't want a wet dough though. It needs to be just wet enough to loosely hold together.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave a small vent on one edge of about 1 inch or so.
Place in microwave for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove (carefully, it will be hot) and take the plastic wrap off. Stir around and mash with the back of your spoon. Cover back up with plastic wrap (with vent) and microwave another 2 minutes.
When 2 minutes more is up, remove (again, hot stuff, so be careful).
Remove plastic wrap, and scoop the now very rubbery dough out onto a clean work surface.
Do not let this rubbery, crumbly pile of white dough intimidate you. You are the master, and you will win.
Cover it with a dish towel or plastic wrap for a couple of minutes, until it cools down enough for you to work with it. (but not too much, you want it to be hot to work with)
Begin to knead the dough as soon as you can touch it without getting 3rd degree burns.
This is the hardest part of the process. You need to work this dough for at least 15 minutes. So put your favorite exercise music on and get to some serious arm day exercise!!
After 15 minutes, you should have a very smooth, elastic dough.
Now, roll it into a large log, about 12 inches long. Bend the log in half.
Now cut right where it bent.
Place one of the halves to the side and cover so it doesn't dry out.
Roll the half you have on the work surface again. You want to roll to about 12 inches again.
Again, bend in half and cut!
Now, I hope you are seeing a pattern here. Take one of the halves, put aside, covered and work with the other half. Roll out again, into a long snake. You want it to be about the thickness of your index finger.
Now, bend in half again, but this time, after you cut, you are going to place to two pieces together, and cut into the final size. I like mine about 3 inches long. You are the rice master, you get to choose though. You can make them 4 inches if you want. Or, if you are feeling playful, you can cut smaller. It is really up to you. Depends really on what you are planning on using them for. I like to do most of them at 3 inches, and maybe one "snake" I will keep long, let sit out for about an hour to dry, and cut into small pieces for soups.
Now, you have a few more "snakes" to work with, but when you are done, you will have lots of Korean rice cakes. As you cut them down, stack on a plate and cover them. When they are all done you can separate them into smaller portions. I will get two freezer bags and just put half in one and half in the other. If you are not using right away, put in fridge. They will stay in there for a week with no problem. If you are not using within a week, well, shame on you. But they do freeze well. So you can store them there too.
Get creative with them. Enjoy them, and don't let them intimidate you. It is just a big rice noodle.
**Just a side note. When you store in fridge or freezer, they will get hard. From the fridge you can just put into whatever dish you want and they will soften up. If you froze them, let the thaw for a while in the fridge, or soak for 10 minutes in some hot water.
After you make these a few times, it will just be second nature. I set one day aside each week and just make these and put them in the fridge for the week.
They are filling and there are many recipes you can find out there for making them.
Most of all, they are pretty much fat free, no added oils and they are good for you, so enjoy them!!