Rice skewers (tteok kkochi) are another version of popular Korean street food style rice cake dish. The rice cakes are pan-fried on skewers and glazed with a delicious sauce made with gochujang.
I’ve been missing and craving for Korean street food for sometime and these rice cake skewers (tteok-kkochi, 떡꼬치) was the just right cure for my craving.
Living in the southern hemisphere, the continent furthest from Korea, I’m constantly missing Korean food that I can’t find here, especially the food from street vendors in Korea.
If you live in Korea or are visiting Korea for business or vacation, please enjoy the great goodies that you can easily find on any major shopping streets. Do it for me!
Around this time you will find many sweet pancakes, roasted sweet potatoes and chestnuts, and different types of rice cakes and fish cake soups. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Just thinking of all the goodness makes me drool, slurp!
So I bugged my husband to drive me to a Korean grocery store last weekend, which is about 1 hour away from where I live. I could drive, of course. But it is impossible to find parking space in that neighborhood.
So he has to drop me off in front of the store, where I can quickly grab a few things I need while he drives around the area until I finish shopping. The Korean stores are quite small and I can finish the shopping within 15 minutes.
One great thing about Korean grocery stores in Buenos Aires is that you can usually get freshly made tofu and rice cakes along with fresh produce.
I love plain rice cakes. I often eat them plain, right out of package without any additional flavor. Chewy and satisfying, it is a carb lover’s dream.
But if I have to add something to make it even more delicious, here is one simple recipe that I would like to share. With this recipe, you can mimic one of the most famous Korean street foods. It’s the rice cake skewers called “tteok kkochi (떡꼬치)”.
Don’t Have Fresh Rice Cakes?
If you can access the freshly made rice cakes, you are very lucky.
If not, use chilled rice cakes you usually find in many Korean grocery stores. You will need to blanch the cakes in hot water until they become soft. Wipe off excess moisture with a piece of paper towel and proceed with the recipe.
Now let’s see how easily you can imitate a delicious Korean street snack in your own kitchen.
For the sauce; Ketchup, Korean chili paste, strawberry jam and/or sweet chili sauce. You can use either strawberry jam or sweet chili sauce, but if you happen to have both? Use them both.
In a small mixing bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
Cut the rice cakes to the desired size; usually about 3-inch long.
If you are using frozen rice cakes, make sure to blanch the cakes in hot water until softened, wipe off the moisture with a paper towel.
Pierce 3-4 rice cakes with skewers.
Fry in the oil until the surface of the cakes gets bubbly and crisp, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
In another small skillet, boil the sauce until it thickens a little.
Coat the sauce over the rice cake and sprinkle with some chopped nuts of your choice. Walnuts, almonds or peanuts are great!
Enjoy it! You will love the crisp texture on the outside but the chewy soft stickiness of rice cakes inside. Even my husband, who is not a big fan of anything “rice cake”, thought it was great.
I left Korea some 25 years ago, and never been able to live there since then. Although I occasionally visit and spend some time with my family, it is not the same.
I envy those who get to live in Korea. Aren’t you having so much fun? Jealous!
Rice Cake Skewers, Tteok Kkochi (떡꼬치)
- mini skewers
- 1 lb rice cakes fresh or frozen (chilled), about3-inch long pieces
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 3 tbsp Korean chili paste (gochujang)
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp strawberry jam or sweet chili sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1-2 tbsp water
- dashes of freshly cracked pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped nuts of your choice
- Insert 3-4 fresh rice cakes through each skewer. If using frozen rice cakes, blanch the cakes in hot water until soften, wipe off the moisture with paper towel, then insert the skewers.
- In a small bowl, combine chili paste, ketchup, garlic, jam (and/or sweet chili sauce), honey, water, and black pepper; mix well . Pour the sauce in a small skillet and boil for 1 minute until slightly thicken. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the rick cake skewers until crisp and bubbly on the surface, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Brush with the sauce and sprinkle the chopped nut over.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.