Rice cakes are chewy noodles that are made with glutinous rice flour and can come in both disc-shaped and tubular cylindrical forms. They should not be mistaken for puffed rice cakes that are more cracker-like and crispy.
How to Use It
Depending on the shape of the rice cake they are usually cooked in different ways, but they are common in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisine.
The flat disc-shaped rice cakes (called nian gao in Chinese) are most commonly used in stir-fries in Chinese cuisine.
The tubular ones (which are called garaetteok in Korean) are much more common in Korean cooking and are most commonly cooked with gochujang paste and fish cakes as comfort food known as tteokbokki. The tubular ones are usually more commonly cooked in a saucy or stew dish.
In Japanese cuisine, they can also be pan-fried or grilled on a skewer to give the exterior a crispy burnt rice texture, which is then served with a side of dipping sauce.
They don't have a lot of flavor on their own but they are excellent sauce vessels, and when paired up with their chewiness - rice cakes can make any dish a very satisfying one to eat.
Whenever I use frozen rice cakes for stir-fries, I like to either run hot tap water over them for 1 minute to soften them up before I pan fry it.
If you are using the tubular ones for stews or saucy dishes, you can throw them directly in the stew to cook or you can soak them in hot water for 2 minutes.
Where Can I Buy Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are most commonly found in an Asian supermarkets.
Some are kept in the fridge, but they usually can also be found in the freezer aisle as well.
You can also find these as dried noodles but they take a bit more work before you can use them so it is much easier to buy fresh or frozen ones.
The fresh and frozen ones also are more consistent than the dry ones and they are usually chewier as well.
How to Store It
If you bought the rice cakes frozen, take out what you need for your recipes and re-freeze the rest in a well-sealed ziploc bag.
If you bought the fresh ones from the refrigerated section, do the same and use what you need and freeze the ones you do not use.
Rice cakes mold easily, so I don't recommend keeping them too long in the fridge, once the package has been opened.
Recipes That Use Rice Cakes
Full disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am providing these links as a way for you to see the product so that you have an idea of what to look for when you go grocery shopping. Any type of ingredients I recommend are ingredients I use at home and any opinions of them are my own opinions.