Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lunar New Year: Simple Rice Cakes (Dduk)

Dduk is the korean word for rice cakes. It is particularly associated with the Lunar New Year's celebration (often referred to as Chinese New Year) which usually falls in February.  

Dduk are a snack food frequently used in celebrations, memorial rituals and holidays.  We eat them plain or drizzled with honey.  Some people fill them with sweetend beans or sesame.  But, my angel's favorite way to eat these goodies is in soup.

While Americans find the texture of Dduk to be an adjustment, I can speak from experience when I say that these rice cakes grow on you.  My  husband is always shocked that I now have cravings for these and when I cook my favorites, I can't stop eating them.

The recipe below is straightforward Dduk made from regular rice flour.  Whether or not you decide to eat them, these are super fun to make.  And, you never know, your allergy challenged angel might ask for more.

Simple Rice Cakes (Dduk)
1/2 C rice flour
1/8 C sugar
1/8 t salt
5 T hot water
  1. Place ingredients in a small bowl and stir.
  2. Once dough is manageable, knead to form a consistent, workeable texture.  See my video (coming soon) How to make Dduk dough for more on knowing when the dough is ready.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest 5 minutes.
  4. Turn dough onto a silpat form small pieces of dough (approximately 1t) into shapes.  The shapes can be simple or sophisticated - balls, snakes, cubes, pyramids.  Have everyone in the house pitch in to help.  Keep a small bowl of room temperature water nearby in case the dough gets sticky.
  5. As shapes are formed, place them on a parchment lined tray.
  6. While everyone is forming rice cakes, line a steamer with parchment paper.
  7. Bring the steamer to a boil.  If using a bamboo steamer, let the bamboo sit over boiling steam to wet the paper and bamboo sufficiently.  This helps the dduk cook better.
  8. Place rice cakes in the steamer, leaving 1/2" space between rice cakes.
  9. Steam for 7-10 minutes.  Remove from steamer and place back on parchment lined tray.
  10. Allow rice cakes to cool then cover tightly with plastice wrap.
NOTE:  Rice cakes do not keep well.  You should eat them the same day.

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