Friday, January 22, 2010

Ddukbokki (korean spicy rice cake stirfry)

This dish is incredibly easy, inexpensive, and delicious. It is a family favorite in my household and with the addition of extra veggies and the tofu, it becomes a healthy, complete meal on it's own! There's usually enough leftover a second set of meals (or our bento lunches!).
If you are new to this dish, be sure to taste your dish, with clean utensils, as you cook it so you can adjust the seasoning or cooking times, if necessary, and check the veggie consistencies.

Ddukbokki (korean spicy rice cake stirfry)
1 lb pkg of cylindrical rice cakes (dduk), thaw if frozen
Vegetables, cut to bite sized pieces (sliced or diced)*
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsps Korean red pepper paste
½ tsp Korean red chili pepper powder (optional)
2 Tbsps sugar
2 Tbsps sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
1 pkg extra firm tofu, drained, lightly pressed, and either cut into cubes or crumbled
Olive oil or vegetable oil

Cut the dduk (rice cakes into bite sized pieces), between 1 to 2 inches. Boil water in a medium sauce pot and cook until they are soft and chewy, about 5 minutes. Drain and rince in cold water. (If you forget to cut the rice cakes before boiling, don't worry. You can cut them after... which is something I end up doing more often than not.)

In a small to medium bowl, mix soy sauce, red pepper paste, red pepper powder (if using), sugar, sesame oil and garlic. This sauce will have the consisency of cocktail sauce. Depending on how much veggies you put in the dish, you may need to make a second batch.

Stir fry the vegetables in a large wok (or frying pan) with a small amount of the cooking oil until the veggies are a consistency you prefer. If using harder vegetables like carrots, you may want to start them first and then add the faster cooking vegetables as the harder ones soften.

Add the sauce, tofu, and the dduk to the vegetables and stirfry, coating and heating everything evenly. Transfer to a serving dish and top with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve with rice.

*Veggies that I typically use are sliced carrots, onions, green onions, and rehydrated shiitake mushrooms. I plan to use spinach some time soon as well. :-)
**You may add a crushed beef bouillon cube to the sauce, if you want. This adds a deeper roundness, but is not necessary.

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