The Rice Paper Hack For Your Homemade Tteokbokki

Have you ever reminisced about that spicy, chewy tteokbokki dish you savored at a local Korean restaurant not long ago? Maybe the rich gochujang sauce, savory fish cakes, and delightful chew of the gluten-free tteok or rice cakes are all coming back to you. If you're ready to try recreating tteokbokki at home, you may already have garlic, gochujang, soy sauce, scallions, and even odeng (aka Korean fish cakes). But what if don't have any tteok? While they're usually easily found in Asian supermarkets in the frozen or refrigerated aisles, alas — you've just never picked one up.

Fortunately, if your pantry houses a pack of apocalypse-friendly rice paper, you can take inspiration from the many rice paper food hacks online and try altering it slightly for a substitute tteok. Rice paper is a vegan and gluten-free thin sheet made from rice or tapioca, predominantly utilized for Vietnamese spring or summer rolls and wrapping other food. Once it's wet (or activated), you can roll a sheet of rice paper into a long log. Brush the log with a little neutral oil so it doesn't get sticky, then cut it into even cylindrical tubes to resemble tteok. You can then cook these chewy rice paper cakes into spicy tteokbokki — no store-bought tteok required.

Turning rice paper into rice cakes is easy and fun

To transform your rice paper cakes into a spicy tteokbokki dish, make your preferred gochujang-based sauce, ensuring that it's rich and flavorful. You may need to dilute the gochujang with water if it's too spicy for you and mix in some honey and soy sauce while adjusting to your taste. Then, cook your rice paper tteok-esque pieces in this sauce until they absorb all the spicy goodness. Add cooked fish cakes, scallions, and sesame seeds to the mix — then dish up and enjoy.

The world is your oyster with your rice paper transformed into rice cakes. Those yearning for a less spicy dish can take a cheesy route by blanketing the rice paper rolls in a luscious cheese sauce instead. You could also enjoy these rice paper cakes with a little soy sauce, hot oil, and chili crisp for a quick lunchtime meal. 

Note, however, that rice paper's texture presents a slightly different chewiness when cooked than traditional rice cakes. Traditionalists may balk, but this is a fun and delicious alternative in a pinch. So the next time you yearn for tteokbokki and find yourself short of rice cakes, remember this wonderful rice paper trick. Satisfying your Korean cuisine cravings has never been easier!