Roasted Rice Cakes

roasted rice cakes

Rice cakes are gelatinous, chewy, and a bit of an acquired taste, but mostly an acquired texture. Rice cakes don’t have a lot of flavour on their own since they are made from rice. Usually Korean rice cakes are found in soups or in dok boki, a Classic Korean dish that tosses boiled rice cakes with a red spicy sauce.

I’ve had dok boki in Korean restaurants before, and even though I like the chewy rice cake texture, eating more than one or two of them isn’t really my thing. After a while they start to feel too heavy, too gelatinous. I think it’s the monotony of the texture of the dish; there are no real contrasts.

raw rice cake sticks

Roasted rice cakes are different because of the roasting. Roasting them in oil in a cast iron skillet crisps up the rice cake giving it a toasty, crunchy outside and a soft, chewy inside. It’s an addictive combination and much better than boiled. Mike and I tried some of the roasted cakes right out of the pan and they were delicious just like that.

roasting in a cast-iron skillet

bowl of crispy rice cake sticks

The cakes were delicious plain, but they were even better when you tossed them in that signature red sauce. Chang’s sauce is made up of Korean Red Dragon sauce, roasted onions, mirin, and ramen broth.

Sweet and spicy, crisp and chewy, this dish is answers all my complaints about the monotony of dok boki. If my version is this good, I’m definitely ordering this when I visit Noodle Bar again!

bowl of crispy rice cake sticks cut up

roasted rice cakes tossed in sauce with sesame seeds

Note: Rice cakes are called mochi in Japanese and they do an awesome grilled mochi of their own: isobe maki mochi. Mochi is grilled until puffy and golden brown, wrapped up in seaweed and drizzled with shoyu. It’s quick and tasty, if you don’t have time to make all the Momofuku sauces.

14 Comments add yours

  1. This is one of my favourite Korean dishes. I love the texture and the spicy sauce that goes with it…just so delicious.

    Hi Mary,
    This dish was delicious! I especially liked how the texture of the rice cakes changed when roasting them.

    steph on January 21st, 2010 at 12:32 am
  2. These look great.
    I have just figured out how to make japanese-style mochi and love them roasted, but I have never tried the Korean version … yet!

    Hi Kate,
    Thanks, these rice cakes were pretty tasty. I love Japanese mochi, especially mochi isobe! Yum!

    steph on January 24th, 2010 at 8:34 pm
  3. I remember having these in a salad at Momofuku Noodle Bar two years ago. It was some shrimp salad that had these in it. Freaking blew my mind of course. Love the rice cakes.

    Liz,
    The rice cakes blow my mind too!

    steph on February 6th, 2010 at 11:36 pm
  4. would it be possible for you to list the recipe for this? thanks!

    Lena,
    You can find the recipe posted on this other blogger’s website: http://www.inuyaki.com/archives/2495

    steph on March 9th, 2010 at 1:55 am
  5. so I bought the rice cakes frozen in a bag and am a bit confused as what to do next…I’m not supposed to sear them straight from the freezer, am I? Do they need to be defrosted first? I think I read something somewhere about boiling briefly, THEN roasting? Help!

    You can just defrost them on the counter for a bit until they feel like they’re not frozen anymore. I haven’t tried the boiling then roasting method, I think that might make it so they’re not crispy on the outside.
    Let me know how it goes!

    steph on May 14th, 2010 at 10:40 am
  6. If I don’t have any ramen broth what can I sub for that?

    A pork broth would work, or dashi. If you don’t have either, I think chicken broth would work too. The broth’s just there to loosen up the sauce a bit.

    steph on May 25th, 2010 at 9:14 am
  7. Question: where did you buy that package of rice cakes?! I WANT to make this!

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