Adventures of an American Seoul-Sister

Adventures and Observations of an American Seoul-Sister

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to Eat Rice

Generally, I shun white rice as the nutritioanal miscreant that it is.  However, if I am going to eat it, I prefer to eat it as tteok.  Tteok is a Korean treat like soft candy.  It is white rice that is pounded into a pliable dough that can be formed into shapes, colored, and filled with gooey-ness.  Though tteok can take on hundreds of different shapes, all tteok tastes relatively the same--usually sweet and always ricey. 

Sometimes tteok is filled, commonly with a sweet bean paste or sweet potatoes, and this helps vary the flavor.  Other times, it can be shaped into a plain thick noodle and served in a sauce like the popular street snack tteokbokki.  Tteok can be rolled into slabs and layered with fillings like charcoal dust or ground soybeans.  Or, it can be rolled into balls and flavored with ground pine needles or powered with soybean dust.  It can even be made into dumplings (mandu) and added to soups.

I like to eat tteok less for the taste and more because it is just so pretty.  That being said, many of the varieties of tteok are quite ugly, but I don't eat those.  Here are some examples of pretty tteok displayed at Seoul's Tteok Museum.

This isn't pretty, but the picture turned out good.

Most of these ones are puffed, not pounded, but they displays are traditional and beautiful.

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