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Korean LA Rice Cakes 찹쌀떡

Growing up, I would have these squidgy little rice cakes on-the-go for breakfast.  A Korean hybrid granola bar, if you will.  Inside these chewy baked rice cakes, my mother would pack in a traditional mix of adzuki beans, chestnuts or raisins and as a child, I was happy to enjoy them as they were delightfully soft and gently sweet.  Before hopping onto the bus, I’d hurriedly tuck these into the inside front pocket of my peacoat, not realizing the important cargo I carried–only later did I realize how precious these little rice cakes were.

These LA baked Korean rice cakes were first produced in the spirit of nostalgia by homesick Korean immigrants who settled in California, specifically Los Angeles.  Living in a foreign land, very far from their loved ones, and without their familiar creature comforts, these baked rice cakes stood as a token of their homeland where something as special as rice cakes could find a place in a new land, far from home.  This is precisely what I love about food.  It possesses the magical ability to draw people close even if they’re far away.

Instead of the traditional steaming method followed by the tedious pounding and stretching of the dough, these rice cakes can be assembled in as little as 10 minutes with easily accessible ingredients that can be baked with a regular oven, no special equipment or ingredients involved.  The flavor combinations are endless too.  How delicious would chocolate chip ones be?  East meets west with a Korean-American chocolate chip treat/rice cake fusion.  Yum!  Today, I’m making for you an LA rice cake the way I often enjoyed them as a child.  On special occasions, mama would drizzle them with rice syrup, elevating them from modest breakfast on-the-go to a special after supper plated dessert.  Either route you go, these are surprisingly versatile with a beautiful squishy-chew that is unlike any other.  If you enjoy mochi, you’ll love these!

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Korean LA Rice Cakes 찹쌀떡
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 dozen minis
Ingredients
  • 1½ c sweet rice/glutinous rice flour {not regular rice flour}
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • 1¼ c water {or whole milk}
  • 1 ts pure vanilla extract {or almond}
  • 1 c of add-ins like nuts or dried fruit
  • {We always added cooked adzuki beans and sometimes chestnuts or raisins
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk in all the dry ingredients.
  2. Pour in the milk and extract. Blend until smooth.
  3. Fold in your desired add ins. I added 1 c adzuki beans.
  4. Pour into lined cupcake tins or a greased and parchment lined pan. {These will stick like crazy!}
  5. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. It is ready when the rice cake is dry, chewy, and has a browned top.
  6. Cool completely before serving and drizzle with brown rice syrup or honey if desired.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

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