Rice Cake – Sweet enough to get you through the cold winter!
Koreans enjoy eating tteok (rice cake) as a dessert or light snack. Tteok is a Korean sweet cake with glutinous rice flour. It is chewy, steamed or pounded rice dessert. On special days, tteok is a necessity. Wherever there is a major rite of passage, there is tteok. From the past, Korean has made rice cakes and shared them with their neighbors. Tteok is about sharing. It never used to be possible to eat Tteok alone. There are various kinds of rice cakes and each rice cake has a special meaning so people made different rice cakes for different events.
|New Year’s Day||Garae tteok||Longevity|
|Thanksgiving Day||Songpyeon||Making a wish|
|Dol(first birthday)||Gyeongdan, Baekseolgi||?|
|Moving||Patsiru tteok||Family peace|
|100th day from birth||Baekseolgi||Purity and celebration|
|Test||Chapssal tteok||Passing the test|
|Memorial ceremony||Siru tteok with bean powder||?|
|Full moon day||Yakbap||Good harvest|
Korea has been producing tteok for about 2000 years and now there are about 200 forms of rice cake.
◎ Basic methods of tteok
? Steamed rice cakes (sirutteok): patsiru tteok, baekseolgi, songpyeon, jeungpeon
– Rice powder mixed with other ingredients and steamed in a siru (earthenware steamer)
? Pounded rice cakes: ?injeolmi, jeolpyeon
-After steaming, pounded on jeolgu(large mortar)
? Pan-fried rice cakes: hwajeon
– Kneaded glutinous rice dough shaped into small circles and pan-fried
? Boiled rice cakes: gyeondan
– Layers of steamed rice cake
Siru tteok with bean powder
– Steamed rice cake made with white rice flour and unfiltered rice wine
– Also called Sultteok(Sul means alcohol)
– Steamed sticky rice made with chestnuts, jujubes (Korean dates), honey, pine nuts and cinnamon
– A very pure white-colored tteok
– Half-moon shaped rice cake
– Stuffed with sesame seeds and honey, sweet red bean paste and chestnut past
– Sticky rice cake
– Rice cake coated with bean flour
– Pan-fried dough with edible petal toppings such as azalea or chrysanthemum
– Prepared by placing petals on top of round, flat biscuits of glutinous rice dough
– Thin, plain rice cake
? Garae tteok
– White, long plain rice cake
One of the main problems with tteok is its relatively short shelf life. It typically keeps its optimum flavor and texture for only one or two days. After that, it becomes stale and spoils rather quickly. But please don’t worry about its flavor any more. If you store it in the freezer as soon as it cools completely after production, you can feel the same flavor when you eat it again.
If you would like to eat a piece of tteok, go straight to the markets nearby. These days, you can simply pick up a tray at your local Tteok jip (Tteok house) or even from a street vendor.
What other tteoks can you get from traditional markets?
◎ Fusion tteok or Modern tteok
The well-being trend brought attention back to tteok instead of eating bread or cupcakes as a dessert. Tteok is considered a low-calorie, low-sugar dessert. Various fusion tteok has been created and franchised stores have produced various tteok. Also more tteok cafes have showed up and attracted the people to tteok cafes. Newly developed tteok has welcomed people with stylish design and various tastes. Traditionally, you had to buy tteok in large quantities and bigger chunks.? By making it bite-sized, tteok becomes a more elegant dish. A variety of ingredients such as cocoa, coffee, cheese or green tea fit into the “fusion” category of modern tteok,
? Franchised stores
-You can order tteok cake and individually wrapped tteok on/off line at the franchised stores.
– Recommended stores
Tteokbo’s Day(떡보의 하루): As the 1st tteok franchise company, there are about 150 franchises all over the nation.
Bizeun(빚은): Bizeun implies tteok kneaded from warm heart and it has sold tteok since 2005.
JILSIRU: It makes classic tteok and runs a caf? and tteok museum. It has served tteok to national guests.
Tteok Museum: for more information?click here.
? Stylish fusion tteok
They are tteok, not cake.
Images from a book, Landscape With Tteok(떡이 있는 풍경)