Gamja Tteok Twigim 감자떡튀김 (Pan Fried Potato n Rice Cakes)

Hate to admit it, but I am kind of OCD in the kitchen. I need my sauces in their own separate containers, spices in their glass jars, and most importantly, plates need to be color coded and bought in pairs, always. Also, another thing that irks me is having leftover ingredients in the fridge or pantry just sitting around, meaning they have to be used asap if possible. Throw in a personal disdain for wasting any kind of food and you have one meticulous kitchen hog. So, when I recently saw a half empty package of tteok (rice cake) in the freezer, I knew there was no choice but to do another rice cake dish.

After sampling some deliciously made fried tteok at my local fried chicken joint, I had to try and replicate it at home. Lucky for me, it was pretty easy (failed only once) and without all the mess that frying usually entails. I threw in some potatoes for added substance and made the same sauce used for tteokbokki. Lastly, I added some mozzarella cheese and the rest was history. I don’t usually enjoy a lot of the foods I make for myself, but I must say the palates were satisfied on this day.

“Cooking is one failure after another, and that’s how you finally learn.” ~ Julia Child

 

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Besides the sauce, these are all the ingredients you need.
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A good dose of gochujang, sweet vinegar, sugar, minced garlic, sesame oil, and mulyeot (corn syrup) is all you need for a nice sauce.
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After cutting up the potato pieces into strips, simply “fry” them in a generous amount of oil until well browned.
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Once the potatoes are browned, mix in the rice cakes and cook for a few minutes. Do not overcook the rice cakes or they will become hard as chips.
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Don’t follow this step unless you want your potatoes and tteok slightly soggy. Instead, boil the sauce on its own until it becomes thick and syrupy. Add it at the end to retain a crunchier texture.
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Add some cheese and enjoy with a good book.

 

Servings: 2 people

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. garae tteok (rice cakes)
  • 1 large potato, cut into strips
  • mozzarella cheese
  • 2, 3 tbsp canola oil

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp gochujang (red chili pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (or mulyeot, corn syrup)
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp water (as needed)

Directions:

1. Peel and cut one large potato into desired pieces, set aside. If using frozen tteok, make sure to thaw before using or soak in water at room temperature until ready to use.

2. Using a non-sticky skillet or frying pan, heat a generous amount of canola oil and saute/fry the potato pieces first. When they are nicely browned, add the tteok pieces and fry for a few more minutes. The tteok should not be cooked too long, a few minutes at most. Set aside on a serving plate and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.

3. Combine sauce ingredients into a small pan. Boil until the sauce thickens and achieves a syrup-like consistency.

4. If the mozzarella cheese hasn’t melted down, pop into the microwave oven until the cheese melts. Either add the sauce to the mix or use as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

*As with most Korean sauces, make sure to sample the sauce to your desired preference.You can adjust the taste by playing with some of the basic ingredients: spiciness (gochujang or gochugaru), sweetness (sugar, honey), sourness (vinegar), and even nuttiness (sesame oil or deulkkae garu).

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