I know I know..it's Momofuku again..
Okay, this is the last post about the Momo cookbook (as Lazaro called it)....for now!
Korean food is one of my favorite cuisines in the world. It might be the magic of kimchi (fermented cabbage); that some of you might have to turn your face away from. The spunky, spicy, and savoriness of the food (not to mention all the different kinds of side dishes) might be some of the reasons it won me over. I like it when some Korean restaurants make their soup in a hot stone bowl, and rice in a stone cup. It does make the food taste better. I remember taking my mom to a Korean restaurant for the first time. What she liked the most was the crispy rice in the stone cup. She even wanted to box leftover rice; I mean just rice!
Korean culture has influenced other Asian cultures. Here's my proof. If you have Asian friends or are Asian yourself, you most likely have done at least one of the following:
- Have tried kimchi
- Have drunk Soju (Korean Sake)
- Know at least one word of Korean; such as cheers in Korean
- Have watched Korean dramas!--this was probably the first step for me to get sucked into K-drama world. It's so addicting. Let me tell ya! It's like Seinfeld, Sex and the City, or the Friends series here.
Okay, I think I have enough of K-world and enough motivation to encourage myself to learn to cook Korean dishes. Here I am learning to make roasted rice cakes from the Momo Cookbook.
Rice cakes are very popular in Korean Cuisine which are called Dok boki. It also appears in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. When my friend cooked this for me, he boiled them. It wasn't that interesting to me until I had a crispy rice cake version. It could be grilled or pan-fried!? It tastes better than the boiled one to me. Once I found out that David Chang felt the same way and had the recipe, I was definitely up for it.
According to the book, rice cakes are made by beating cooked rice and then molding the very glutinous, thick results into shapes. They come in a cone-shaped disk or long stick. If you cut them into shorter lengths, they have an Italian gnocchi-like appearance. They are sold frozen or fresh. You can find them at Korean or Japanese grocery stores.
Roasted Rice Cakes by Momofuku Cookbook
1/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking sake)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Korean Red Dragon Sauce (the mixture of water, sugar, ssamjang, light soy sauce, sherry vinegar, and sesame oil)
1/4 cup roasted onions (from the last post)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
1 lb rice cake
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup scallions (greens and whites)
- Make the sauce by combining mirin and stock in a medium saucepan and put on the stove over high heat. Boil to reduce until lightly thickened, 2-3 mins
- Add the red dragon sauce, turn the heat down to medium and reduce the sauce to a glossy consistency, 6-7 mins
- Stir in roasted onions. Cover and keep warm over low heat until the rice cakes are ready
- While the sauce is reducing, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. I don't have a cast-iron skillet. I used a wok instead. Make sure it's clean because the white cakes will pick up any schmutz from the pan.
- Add oil to the pan, and just when it's about to smoke, add rice cakes. The book said it should sizzle when they hit the oil.
- Sear the rice cakes about 3 mins per side until they are light golden brown. Don't overdo it otherwise they will dry out
- Bring the sauce back to a boil and toss the rice cakes in it just for a few seconds until they're evenly coated
- Sprinkle them with the sesame seeds and toss again. Garnish with a large pinch of sliced scallions and serve hot