Wednesday, January 04, 2012

what to do with extra ddeok

When I had my $90 shopping spree almost two weeks ago, one of the things I had to buy, for the budae-jjigae, was a huge, family-size bag of ddeok-- Korean rice cakes. I've been using the ddeok as a supplement for all my soups, but even in so doing, I can't eat the supply fast enough, and I'm worried about what's going to happen when the ddeok begins to go bad. I'm averse to freezing the rice cakes, which never seem to thaw well, so I've been keeping them in the fridge.

In an effort to increase consumption, I did something last night that I haven't done for years: I fried some ddeok up for dessert. This was something I did a few times while living in Korea; I have no idea whether Koreans actually do this, although I've seen fat chunks of grilled ddeok before (Zen Kimchi has a good article here). My method:

1. Put a bit of vegetable oil in a plastic bowl.
2. Dump in two fistfuls of sliced ddeok.
3. Toss the ddeok in the oil, separating any pieces that are clinging to each other.
4. Make sure all ddeok slices are coated on all sides.
5. Toss the pieces onto a pan at high heat. Add a tiny bit more oil.
6. Lightly salt the pieces as they fry. Stir constantly, but every once in while, let the ddeok sit for a few seconds to allow browning. Some pieces of ddeok will bond with other pieces, despite the pre-coating precaution. Don't worry about this.
7. You're done frying when a good fraction of the pieces-- about a third or a half-- are lightly browned. Many pieces will have puffed up in the frying process.
8. Remove ddeok from pan and pile onto a plate. Peel apart any bonded pieces. Their insides will be soft, which provides a nice textural contrast.
9. Drizzle honey over the plateful of ddeok.
10. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the lot.
11. Congratulate yourself on having done some kick-ass work.

Results from 2005 are here. Results from this morning:



Jason said...

Looks real good. I will have to give your recipe a try. I really like cooking the larger cylinder-shaped ddeok on the grill.

Since the ddeok that we buy is already frozen, we usually have to keep it that way before we cook it. I will have to try and find some unfrozen ddeok and see if the results are better.

Charles said...

We've done this for a while as well, although not with the sesame seeds. It is indeed very tasty.

Charles said...

Erratum: apparently my brain was not working last night. Actually, what we do is fry them up, like you do up to Step 6. Just about as the pieces are getting done, though, we throw some sugar in the pan. This caramelizes on the ddeok, giving us what we have come to call "candied ddeok."

Honey does not actually play any part in the process, although I'm sure it is awesome (and it sounds more "traditional," anyway).