Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dukbokgi (Sauteed Rice Cakes)

It took me forever to try the saucey little Korean food called Dukbokgi. I resisted it because I thought it would taste fishy. I am not a fan of "fishy" things and I was surprised to realize that not all dukbokgi is. Dukbokgi is a favorite street food and late night snack for Koreans. Long rice cakes, vegetables, and fish cakes are cooked in a spicey sauce then served with a side of soju. But, it took me a while to realize that all Dukbokgi is different and not all is made with fish. One taste of a fish-cake-less dukbokgi and I was sold. Now, I crave these spicy sticks so often that you would think I was Korean, too!
But, my new-found love of dukbokgi could not be shared with everyone in our family. Instead, because of an allergy to pepper, our angel was left drewling each time that we ate it. While pepper allergies are not common but, for those who suffer from them, they are equally as concerning. So, as a family, we had to find a way for us all to enjoy dukbokgi.
After a little research and lots of testing in the kitchen, we figured out a way to make a delicious, pepper-less dukbokgi. And, if mom and dad need a little spice, it isn't hard to mix a little spicey sauce in ours to liven up the party!


1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 onion, cut julienned
2 C cabbage, finely chopped
long rice cakes or duk
3 green onions, cut julienne
1 t sugar
3/4 C water
rice oil

Place the ground beef in a large skillet with lid, sprinkle with salt and cook, uncovered, on med heat until beginning to brown.
Add the garlic and ginger then stir until meat is completely cooked. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Lower the heat, if necessary.
Remove meat from skillet.
Put one tablespoon oil in the skillet.
Add the cabbage, onion, and any other long-cooking vegetables to the pan. Sprinkle with salt.
Give the vegetables a stir, add 1/4 C water and cover.
Cook 3 minutes or until the vegetables just begin to turn a bright color.
Add the cooked meat, duk, and 1/2 C water to the saucepan.
Stir, cover, and cook about 7 minutes.
Stir and add the remaining vegetables. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
Uncover skillet, stir, and allow to cook until the water has cooked into a thick sauce. Occassional stirring at this point will help.
Adjust seasoning and serve.

NOTE1: Long rice cakes, known as duk, can be purchased at your local Korean grocery. They are usually found in the refrigerator/freezer section already cut into 1-2 inch lengths or in the fresh duk area, uncut. Although most duk is made from rice flour, some bakeries use wheat flour to adjust the texture. I have found the refrigerated duk made in the US the most reliable for allergy control. You may also make your own duk using my Simple Rice Cake recipe but omitting the sugar.

NOTE2: You may replace the cabbage or add other vegetables to this dish to suit your dietary needs or just pump up the nutritional value. We commonly add a cup of one of the following to ours: sliced zucchini, julienned bell peppers, chopped cauliflower, or julienned carrot. The length of time the vegetable requires for cooking determines when you add it.

This month we are featuring Korean recipes as we compete for a trip to Korea with Please visit the AllergicAngel's Korean blog, vote for our posts and help the AllergicAngel go to Korea!.

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