Introduction of Korean Rice Cakes
Rice Cakes are a popular staple in Korean cuisine. It’s called “ddeok” which is a class of Korean rice cakes made with glutinous rice or short grain rice.
Rice cakes are such an integral part of Korean culture that there are many Korean proverbs using “ddeok” as a metaphor.
Here are a few that I want to share with you:
- “Good looking rice cakes are easy to eat” (Easy on the eyes, easy to enjoy)
- “Someone else’s rice cakes look bigger” ( Grass looks greener on the other side)
- “Rice cakes received in the middle of sleeping” (They just fall into your lap)
You’ll find at least one “Ddeok-jip”, which literally means rice cake house, in a neighborhood market in Korea.
There was a ddeok-jip in my neighborhood when I was growing up. When I would walk by the shop the fresh deokk would smell SOOoo Good. Often I would have to stop in and by a piece, then I would eat it while I was waiting for the bus.
There are hundreds of different kinds of ddeok. This popular staple comes in many shapes and sizes, the one consistent factor is it’s pleasant chewiness.
It is often considered a celebratory food and can range from elaborate versions with nuts and fruits down to the plain-flavored ddeok used in home cooking.
These plain-flavored ddeok are a main ingredient in many Korean dishes from new year’s soup called, ddeok-guk to the king of Korean street food, called Ddeokbokkgi.
When they are fresh they are soft to the touch and springy in nature.
The fresh ones only keep at room temperature for a day or two because they are simply made from rice, water, and, salt. No preservatives!.
So next time you go to your local Korean grocery get some ddeok and enjoy this Korean staple.
Even better, make your own. They make great hiking or travel snacks because they are easy to pack.
Here are my easy simple rice cake recipes: