04 February 2010

Roasted rice cakes

I'm sorta loving me some Momofuku. It's a pretty fun book, and there's a fair amount of deliciousness to be found in there. It's no "semi-homemade" *gag*, but it's good fun. This dish, for example, uses no fewer than three other recipes in the book (four, if you count that the ramen broth requires another recipe). But that's fun, in and of itself. You're building towards the other recipes in the book when you're cooking.

This recipe was... challenging... to find the ingredients. Mostly the rice cakes. There are 3 Japanese grocery stores in San Diego. I visited two of them, and even then, I wasn't sure I had the right thing after I left Mitsuwa. They're described in the book as:
"Rice cakes are sold frozen and they keep in the freezer for months. You can buy them at any Korean (or Japanese) grocery store."
Well, the frozen rice cakes that the manager in Mitsuwa sent me to were pink and labeled as a dessert. The other rice cakes they had that even looked remotely correct were in the dried, package section. And they were individually wrapped, and rather looked like bricks. Heavy. Dense. Pasty White. Bricks.

Raw rice cakes

Well, I bought them and brought them home. And hoped they'd be delicious (spoiler alert! They were delicious! Though even now, I'm not sure if they were what the author intended. Ah well, deliciousness happened, who can complain?).

Alright, the rest of the dish:
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup ramen broth
½ cup korean red dragon sauce
¼ cup roasted onions
2 tbsp canola oil
6 rice cake sticks
1 tbsp sesame seeds
½ cup green onion
Mix the mirin and ramen in a saucepan. Boil over medium heat until reduced, a few minutes. Add red dragon sauce and continue to reduce, a few minutes. Add roasted onions, and reserve sauce.

Rice cake sauce

Heat the oil in a pan, once the oil is hot add the little bricks rice cakes to the pan. Watch them puff up. Rapidly.

Frying rice cakes

Neat. Sear 3 minutes to a side, until nicely browned.

Rice cakes

Remove from the heat, chop into small chunks, and toss them into the sauce. Throw in the green onions.

Green onion

Toss well to coat the sauce all over the cakes. Place into a serving dish, then sprinkle on the sesame seeds.

Rice cakes in sauce

Serve as a side or an appetizer. These little crispy, chewy rice cakes are delicious. They have a sweet, sticky interior, and a rich, spicy, hot exterior. The bean paste flavour in the dragon sauce is delicious. And the sesame flavour on top is really, really nice. And as side dishes go, this is an easy one to assemble. Most of the work is in making the ramen, onions and dragon sauce, and that can all be done in advance.



KirkK said...

Hey BBQ Dude - This looks like a riff on Dduk Bokki. Interesting........

Indirect Heat said...

Yeah, a fair amount of what's in the Momofuku book is either Japanese or Korean inspired (though, I've seen more than one person complain that his Japanese ramen "isn't authentic" because he uses bacon as his source of smoke and umami). The book is pretty good fun - especially for someone like me, who loves many different types of Asian food but doesn't cook it very often.

Dr. Ricky said...

Yes, it is indeed a derivation on tteok bokki. Remind me sometime to pick out the proper tteok bokki rice cakes for you.


but you know how great sticky rice cakes are. Specially in a waffle iron.

Hiroyuki said...

So, you bought Japanese rice cakes, mochi, "kiri mochi" to be exact, which are pre-cut, small, rectangular ones.
I wonder if the book makes any mention of the difference between mochi (made from glutinous rice) and tteok bokki (made from regular, non-glutinous rice).

Indirect Heat said...


Yeah. I had quite some troubles identifying any rice cakes at all, and none of the folks I talked to in the store were able to understand what I was looking for. Ah well, better luck next time, I guess.

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