Ddeok, Korean Rice Cakes

Ddeok (떡) is the Korean variation of rice cakes. Ddeoks are made from sweet glutinous rice flour and also include other ingredients such as: red bean paste, mung beans, korean dates, fruits, and much more.

Ddeok flavours

From left to right: Red Bean Paste, Green Tea, Mung Bean and Sesame

Ddeoks are made in a variety of ways, the major ones are:

  • Steamed or Siruddeok (시루떡)

시루떡Sometimes they come as cakes as well!

  • Pounded or Injeolmi (인절미)

인절미

  • Boiled or Shaped (꿀떡, 송편)

shaped ddeok

  • 쌀떡 Rice Ddeok in Korean dishes: these are normally used in soups, ddeokguk (떡국) and for snacks, ddeokpokki (떡볶이)! They come in strips or slices as well!

Here’s what Ddeokguk (떡국) looks like,

ddeokgukAnd ddeokpokki (떡볶이)

ddeokpokki

There’s a franchise that’s popular for ddeok in Korea known as Bizeun (빚은) which means Shining Bright. If you’re interested here’s their website, though it’s in Korean! www.bizeun.co.kr.

Here’s a small list of what they sell besides ddeok*:

  • Hangwa, a type of biscuit that’s sometimes covered in fruits, honey or edible roots. 2000 won per piece (These ones look pretty and they’re always included in a gift box for chuseok)

Hangwa

  • Manju (만주) (600 won per piece.) These ones tastes like the red bean pastries in Singapore and Hong Kong but they are pretty nice!

manju

*These images are not from Bizeun nor do they represent their products, but from external sources.

The prices for ddeoks vary from place to place.

  • For Bizeun, they tend to charge ‎₩1‎2,000 ($14.13 USD) – ‎₩35,000 ($41.20 USD) for a whole cake or set. These do make wonderful gifts as they are well packaged!
  • For normal street shops, they charge ₩1,000 ($1.18 USD) – ₩2,000 ($2.35 USD) per piece and tend to be much richer in flavour. Here’s what they may look like in neigbourhood stalls:

ddeok stallsOr if you are in Jongro you can check out this place:

jongro ddeokThis is a famous neighbourhood store in Jongro that sells ddeoks! Do try them if you can.

Though hey may be nice to eat as a snack,these treats are usually for momentous occasions or celebrations. Be it celebrating the New Year, a wedding, a child’s or even a 70 year old man’s birthday!

Tradition dictates that by eating ddeok, or more specific ddeokguk (ddeok soup) during the New Year or on your birthday, you gain an age! It marks the end of the year for you in a way.

Image Sources: Daum, Sirunara, Naver, Daebok, Egloos, Localview, Songhak,

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