Traditional Tteok is made by steaming and then pounding glutinous (sweet) rice into a dough like mass. This “dough” is then shaped into balls, rectangles, squares, cylinders, etc. The shaped rice cake may be coated with various powders, flours, or starches and eaten as is, or after frying or grilling.
Tteok is used for many holiday foods, snacks, semi-sweets, and as street food offerings. (Pictured: Fresh tteok coated in mung bean powder)
Recipe Type: Dessert, Holiday, Korean, Recipe, Snack, Street Food
1 pound uncooked glutinous rice (sweet rice, Japanese mochigome もち米, Korean chapssal 찹쌀)
(sugar or honey to taste – for “sweet” rice cake)
water as needed
Potato Starch as needed
Mortar and Pestle
Wooden or other heavy pounding mallet
heavy wooden or stone prep board
Lint free cloth or cheesecloth
Place the rice in a large pot and add water to about 2 or three inches over the rice level.
Soak at least 12 hours.
Drain the rice and place in a large capacity steamer (Line the steaming tray with cloth).
Steam the rice for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The rice should be mushy soft throughout.
Transfer the steamed rice into the mortar and mash completely with the pestle.
Add sugar or honey to taste during the mashing for “sweet” rice cake.
Form the mashed rice into a mound on the prep board or clean sturdy countertop and pound with the mallet, kneading and folding as needed to keep in place, until a smooth dough-like consistancy is achieved.
Dust the wooden prep board with potato starch.
Place the dough onto the board, and either pinch off small pieces, to roll into balls, or cut into squares or rectangles.
For coated Ddeok – Roll the Ddeok balls in any of the following;
Soy Bean Flour
Ground Toasted sesame seed
Any ground nut
Ddeok balls may be eaten now or placed in a warm oven (just long enough to warm) and served warm.
Uncoated Ddeok may also be quickly fried in hot sesame or vegetable oil.