Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A childhood favorite: chapssal dduk/tteok

Known as chapssal dduk/tteok (찹쌀떡) in Korean or daifuku mochi (大福餅) in Japanese, red bean-filled rice cakes are a childhood favorite of mine. My grandmother and the other women in the family would get together before special occasions to make these glutinous rice balls and other types of rice cakes all day. They'd make this labor of love from scratch, slapping the hot, white glob of rice flour batter with a rice paddle til it firmed up enough to work with.

The dduk was used to prepare different versions of the confectionary... Some covered in savory black sesame powder, some mixed and dipped in herby green tea or mugwort powder, some filled with decadent chestnut paste. And then there were these... Dduk filled with sweet red bean paste.

Dduk is so sticky (no, seriously.. sweet/glutinous rice flour + water + microwave/steam = most difficult stuff you'll ever handle) that it has to be rolled in starch, confectioner's sugar, or sesame oil when preparing. Here, it is dusted with starch like I remember back in the day.

The most prized affirmation when it comes to these babies definitely came from the G-Unit herself. She saw them on the counter just now and asked me how I'd made these (I guess she didn't know we had all the ingredients, as I didn't either until I was rummaging through the pantry last night at 2am) and popped one in her mouth.

"으와~ 맛있다 (wow! it tastes goood)!!" she said with a smile.

Making them was all worth it.

Random food fact: Fortune cookies were invented in 1916 by George Jung, a Los Angeles noodle maker.



  1. aw, that's sweet =D
    red bean reminds me of patbingsoo! (my childhood favorite)

  2. hyekyung!! friggin write on your blog :)

    adam- hahaha nah... but thanks =P good seeing you briefly at monty!

  3. I bet if you entered a cooking competition with all our grandmas, you would definitely provide some intense competition-- I would bet my money on you!

    I don't miss Charlottesville very much, but I do miss you! (There's no one quite like you here in Mexico :]) I think it would have been so much fun to cook and chitter-chatter with you this summer. Poo! But yes, next year will be grandish fun, obviously.

  4. charlottesville! wah, virginia much? hahaah i'm from fairfax :]