I love traditional Korean rice cakes (called “tteok”). Some people eat rice cakes in the morning as a grab-and-go breakfast while some others eat them to lose weight as a dietary food. These days, there are so many new kinds of rice cake, made from some unusual ingredients with new techniques.
I’d say the most appealing thing about rice cake is its texture, its soft chewiness. And thus, one of the most baffling things about tteok is that they lose its signature chewiness so fast. You buy some nice chunks of tteok in the evening on your way home from work, and the next morning you find them gone all hard and dry. Hard and dry, that’s not rice cake anymore. I bet you all have this sad experience.
And here is some good news for you! A new technique has been developed that can make tteok that preserves its chewiness for a long, long time.
No more hardened rice cake
Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA) developed a manufacture technique that prevents rice cake from going hard and dry. With this new recipe that involves no chemical processing or additive whatsoever, you can now enjoy the soft chewiness of rice cake for a long, long time. They call it “miracle” rice cakes since if you store them in the fridge, once defrozen they will restore their original chewy texture but completely.
RDA developed a manufacture technique that prevents rice cake from going hard and dry.>
According to RDA, the soft, moist, chewy texture comes from beating rice cake a numerous number of times which produces microscopic, elaborate structures within. And RDA managed to convert this beating into an exacting, scientific process.
In Korea, rice cake is a “must” item at special feasts like holidays, birthdays, kick-off ceremonies etc. And since rice cakes turn hard and dry so easily, tteok manufactures, when there is a large order, have to wake up at the break of dawn and start making rice cake right on the day it’s needed; they can’t do it earlier. That sure is a tough labor. Also, rice cake’s poor durability and difficult storage has been detaining vitalization of the tteok industry. But now with the new technique, things will start looking up, including increased rice consumption.
Time for rice cake to go global
Now that we’re striving for globalization of Korean food, rice cake can be one of the key items, especially with the new technique. Compared to bread, rice cake is healthier, more digestible, and can fill up your stomach. With the new technique, RDA announced that they’re expecting to generate1.3 trillion won worth of economic value. They plan to get the technique (which they named “cool tteok recipe”) patented soon and start putting it to practical use.
Let’s look forward to days when rice cake will be more popular than bread!