I have blogged about making Korean Rice Cakes in Red Pepper Sauce (Deokkbokki) in my first blog. You can read it here. This kind of spicy deokkbokki is the most popular way to cook the long rice sticks and can be found in almost any snack stand here in Korea.
But there is another way to cook deokkbokki - the sweet, savory way. My korean friend, BB, taught me how to fix this snack. She served it to me one time as a snack and I was fascinated with the sweet and savory flavor with a hint of garlicky goodness. Now let me share with you how to make this quick snack.
First you need to assemble these ingredients:
Deokkbokki (korean rice cakes), vienna sausages, carrots, dried mushrooms, garlic, onion and leeks or celery. Not in the picture are cooking syrup (or Karo syrup or any pancake syrup), cooking oil and dark soy sauce.
For the rice cakes, if you buy them fresh like what I get from the local korean market, there's nothing to do with them before cooking. But if you get them from the grocery chiller, chances are they would be hard and stuck to each other.
The key is to soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes. They would soften and be easy to pull apart.
Next, prep the ingredients by cutting the carrots and the celery/leeks into thin sticks. Slice the onion thinly. Mince the garlic. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water to reconstitute them. Cut the vienna sausage diagonally, lengthwise. (For measurements, you would need half a carrot, half an onion, one celery rib or 2 leek stalks, 1 cup of dried mushrooms, 1 tbsp of garlic and 1 cup of vienna sausage.)
Now take a deep pan or a wok and add about 2 tbsps of cooking oil. Drain the rice sticks and place into the pan. Stir-fry for about half a minute and then add the vegetables (carrots and celery). Stir-fry for about a minute. Drain the mushrooms, squeeze them before adding to the pan. Add the vienna sausage last. Stirfry for about 1 minute. Now add the minced garlic and mix until everything is well-coated.
Now add about 4 tbsps of soy sauce and then 2 tbsps of cooking syrup. Mix everything and let simmer for a minute or two. If it looks too dry, add more syrup. If it is too wet, just let it simmer longer. It'll be ready when the sauce has coated everything in the pan. Cooking time is between 10 to 15 minutes total. I told you this was a quick and easy snack to fix.
To serve, just scoop the deokkbokki on to a plate and serve with toothpicks (like what koreans do). Take a piece of deokkbokki, eat. Then take a sausage, eat. Take a piece of deokkbokki, eat. Then follow it up with with a veggie or a mushroom. You get the picture. Before long, you'll be cleaning up the plate and licking the sweet-savory sauce in the end. (Not saying that's what I did but...) :)