Day 3 – Chinese Rice Cakes

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ImageKorean rice cakes, broccoli, Enoki mushrooms, ground beef, ginger root, garlic, green onion

Items Purchased at Koreana Market:

  • Rice Cakes (1 bag)……………………………….$2.79
  • Broccoli (1 lb)……………………………………….$1.26
  • Enoki Mushrooms (150g)…………………….. ..$1.18
  • Ground beef (approx. 1lb)………………………$3.43

Items purchased at Safeway:

  • Ginger Root (.24 lb)……………………………..  $0.48

Total Cost: $7.74

Chef: Japan

I went out on a limb and wanted to try making a Chinese rice cake dish. Let’s just say I should’ve had a practice round. The first time I tried these rice cakes was at Din Tai Fung in Bellevue, WA (near Seattle) and loved it. It feels like wide-rice noodles, but chewy like mochi.  I looked up a few recipes online and it seemed fairly easy. This is the recipe I was going for, but they did a lot more prep than I.

I should’ve taken into consideration that it’s not really a dish you’d serve as the main course. It’s more of a side dish. I also made a few mistakes that I thought I could mask. The recipe asked for pork, but I had already bought ground beef and was too lazy to go out and buy pork. It also asked for corn starch, but we only had flour which wasn’t as big of a deal as it did the trick to thicken the sauce.  Substituting beef for pork was a terrible mistake since pork is saltier and would’ve had a better contrast than the blander, softer ground beef. The one upside, I learned what the Chinese call the Holy Trinity – ginger, green onions and garlic. Its a lot of strong flavors that mix well together and made me feel like a real chef! If you cook that up in a pan, you’ll know what I mean.

I will have to admit, this might’ve been the first failure. It wasn’t received well. Not through words, but by the hefty amount that was left over. I wasn’t offended because I didn’t care for it either. You cook and you learn, right?

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