HANJAN’S SPICY RICE CAKES (TTEOKBOKKI)

Calgary Herald - - YOU -

Serves: 4

1 lb (454 g) pre­cut frozen rice

cakes, or 1 lb (454 g) fresh rice cakes, cut into 2- to 3-inch

(5- to 8-cm) long ba­tons

2 large eggs

1 tsp (5 ml) bak­ing soda

1 tsp (5 ml) salt, plus more to taste

1 tbsp (15 ml) vine­gar (any kind)

Sauce:

2 cups (500 ml) dashi, plus

more if needed

1/2 medium onion, minced 3 gar­lic cloves, minced

1 cup (250 ml) gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) 2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) gochu­jang (Korean red chili paste)

Salt if needed

1/2 cup (125 ml) grape­seed or canola oil

1/2 lb (225 g) fish cakes, cut into ba­tons the same size as the rice cakes

1 medium onion, thinly sliced 1/2 bunch scal­lions, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) ba­tons

1. If you are us­ing frozen rice cakes, soak them in cold wa­ter for 1 hour af­ter cut­ting. Fresh rice cakes can be used straight from the pack­age.

2. To pre­pare the soft-boiled eggs, add enough wa­ter to a small pot to cover the 2 eggs. Set over high heat, add the bak­ing soda, salt and vine­gar, and bring to a boil. (The bak­ing soda makes it eas­ier to peel the soft-boiled eggs and the vine­gar will help cen­tre the yolks.)

3. Add the eggs and wait un­til the wa­ter starts to boil again, then lower the heat to main­tain a gen­tle boil and cook for 6 min­utes.

4. While the eggs cook, pre­pare an ice bath. When they are cooked, im­me­di­ately trans­fer the eggs to the ice bath. Chill for 5 min­utes, or un­til they are cool enough to peel.

5. Care­fully peel the eggs. Slice length­wise in half, sprin­kle the yolks lightly with salt and set aside.

6. To make the sauce, put the dashi in a medium pot set over high heat. Bring to a boil and boil to re­duce the vol­ume by half, 15-20 min­utes.

7. Add the onion, gar­lic, gochugaru, sugar and gochu­jang, re­duce the heat to medium and cook for 15-20 min­utes, un­til the onions are ten­der and the flavours have come to­gether. Taste and add salt if nec­es­sary. Re­move from the heat and reserve.

8. Add the oil to a large skillet set over medium heat and when it just be­gins to smoke, add the rice cakes. Cook, turn­ing the rice cakes oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til they are crispy on all sides but have not browned much, 8-10 min­utes; lower the heat if nec­es­sary.

9. Add the fish cakes, onions and scal­lions, in­crease the heat to high and toss with a wooden spoon for 1-2 min­utes, un­til everything is heated through.

10. Add the sauce and stir

2-3 min­utes so the oil emul­si­fies with the sauce. It should be thick enough to coat the rice cakes, but you may need to add a lit­tle more dashi or wa­ter if it re­duces too much and starts to burn.

11. Serve fam­ily-style on a large plate, gar­nished with the soft­boiled eggs.

KRISTIN TEIG

Rice cakes are “prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar street food in Korea,” says chef Hooni Kim.

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