Monday, June 1, 2009

Chili Hot Ddeok

It was a long weekend so we took a drive down the coast where there are acres of green fields that used to be (and some still are) padi or rice fields. The west coast of Sabah is truly pretty, with blue hills on one side and the calm blue sea on the other side:


We went to the Bongawan Golf Resort that has been bought and recently renovated by some Koreans and we were hoping to have their daily Korean buffet. The restaurant was nice with a view of the golf course, which seemed rather devoid of shade trees except for coconut trees which don't give shade but then I'm not a golfer:


But the Korean buffet spread was pathetic, mostly veg and pickles, tough looking pa jon pancakes, and flies galore so we left and went to the Golf Club where we had their chicken chop rice which was, how shall I put it, strange-looking and tasting. Lucky for us we bumped into a friend who was there to golf and when we finished, the waiter told us that our meal was already paid by this friend. This is a common practice here. I like that, I should eat out more often at places where my friends frequent.


We passed by a stall where some fishermen displayed their catch of mackerel and another kind of fish which I can't recognize. I bought the whole fish because it was so fresh:


Since I was craving for Korean food, I got home and cooked the packet of ddeok that had been sitting in my fridge. Ddeok are short solid cylinders of rice dough that are very chewy. The Chinese (see my post on Shanghainese rice sticks), Japanese and Korean all have various shapes of chewy rice dough, and one common way of eating it is grilling and dunking it in soya sauce. My kids love to eat glutinous rice dough this way, as a snack.

The following way of cooking ddeok is very easy because everything is thrown into a pot and boiled until the water is reduced to a thick sauce and the rice dough is soft (but still chewy). You can take the long way and fry the ingredients before adding the water but why take the long (and oily) way when you can avoid it with similar results.

Personally, I'm not so hot about eating ddeok this way. I think Japanese curry sauce would go better with it but who knows, maybe that's how they eat ddeok in Japan.

Ddeokbokki, a popular Korean snack.

Chili Hot Ddeok (serves 4 or more)
600g fresh ddeok, soaked for 1 hour in room temp water & drained
1 brown onion, sliced thinly
200-250g fried fish cake, sliced thinly
1 T garlic, chopped
4 -5 T gochujang (Korean hot bean paste)
1 to 1 1/2 T gochugaru (Korean chili powder--can use local chili powder)
1-2 T light soy sauce
1 t fine sugar (Koreans like it 2 T sweeter but I don't)
2 cups dried anchovy or chicken stock
chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish, sesame oil to drizzle

1. Put the stock, gochujang, gochugaru, garlic, light soy sauce and sugar into a pot. When it boils, add the ddeok and brown onion and let it simmer, covered, stirring now and then.

2. After 15 minutes, add the fish cake slices and extra water if there isn't enough liquid. Let the ddeok simmer (stir!) for another 10 minutes, check if the texture is right for you (soft but still chewy), adjust seasoning if necessary and dish out. If there's a lot of liquid, remover the lid and increase the heat so that the liquid reduces and becomes thick.

3. Garnish with the sesame seeds, spring onions and drizzle some sesame oil over.


Agnes said...

That looks delish!!! Where did you get the rice doughs???

J2Kfm said...

oh so thats what they're called. cz in the menus normally referred to as korean rice cakes, or nin kou.

Anonymous said...

Hi Yi's mum... mine is in the freezer so it's frozen. Do i still need to boil it long long after it is defroze? thanks. Chris

Precious Pea said...

Ahhh...Korean Chee Cheong Fun! Looks yummy. Haven't had any Korean food for ages...craving for some now.

550ml jar of faith said...

Love this blog! I am a HUGE fan of rice cakes, Korean or otherwise and thoroughly enjoyed the ones I had in Seoul on the streets, dunked in that hot hot sauce! I'm going to attempt this with Jap curry sauce like you suggested... sounds awesome!

terri@adailyobsession said...

agnes: i've found the best korean mart! it's ace korea market (something like tt) in asia city, two doors from shikei restaurant (next to chung hwa school). the store is well-stocked n prices are much cheaper than other korea marts.

j2kfm: it is nien gou in mandarin.

anon: take it out to thaw n then soak it in room temp water. it'll still need about 20 to 25 minutes of simmering.

pp: i don't know about kl but we are getting quite a flurry of new korean restaurants here. hey, how come u r back in kl so soon?

jar of faith: i didn't eat this when in korea, i think it wasn't as popular as it is now. hey, u have a great blog urself!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri
See you have been round to that Korean Store in Asia City. It is quite well stocked isn't it? It's almost like they transported a grocery store straight from Korea. Must admit I feel pretty lost in there, such a lot of products but dunno what to do with them. Anyway, hope this store will remain for a long while so we can get our korean ingredients easily. Hope you will share more korean recipes with us in the future. I must try cooking this ddeok soon. Bought a pack from Tj Aru before but it went bad after a while because I was not sure how to cook it. Will try again with your recipe. Thanks again for sharing. Have a nice weekend. Nick

ganache-ganache said...

Terri, I find ACE very well stocked too, my girls like to go there for their variety of biscuits & rice crackers ! I've been buying stuff from there as well, going to make Korean pancakes tonight, the girls love it !

Katie said...

The chicken looks very interesting, balanced on top of the rice like that. The first thing that caught my eye in tha dish though, was the plump mushrooms - delicious!

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