I love travel. You know that. There are some places that have got under my skin and that I love to return to. Places that inspire because of the place, the people, the light and often if not always, the food. There is a long list of places that I want to go to.

Sydney is one of my favourite cities to visit. I returned in November, my first visit in (their) Spring. I had few plans, not even where I would stay. I was coming out of an intense period of travel for work – which I love – but I knew that a schedule was the last thing that I would need.

Sydney is Sweetest in Spring

It was a gorgeous time to be there. The streets lined with bright purple jacaranda trees, heaving with blossom and intensely fragrant. There was so much jasmine lining the streets and bright pink rhododendron clinging to the ornate metal balconies on the front of Sydney houses. The sky was bright and the temperature was my ideal, between 20 and 24 deg C. I walked every day, soaking it all in.  I love getting out by the water, and sipping coffee or wine by the beaches. Most of all I love the food. Sydney has some terrific cafés and restaurants. 

I will post an updated Sydney eating and drinking guide for you soon, but for now I want to talk abut one place and one particular dish. The last place I went to before I went to the airport was a new restaurant at Potts Point, Paper Bird. Specialising in east Asian food, I found the menu exciting and kicked myself that I hadn’t gone for a proper meal rather than this quick dash. I ordered a few small plates, one of which was Ddeokbokki, gochuchang & peanuts (ddeokbokki or Tteok-bokki being Korean rice cakes, and gojuchang one of my very favourite things, Korean fermented pepper paste).

It was love at first bite and I came home determined to explore possibilities. For these, I cook the rice cakes in a gojuchang broth, fragrant with garlic, ginger, soy and shaoshing wine. I would suggest saving the broth after, use it to cook rice, or add it to chicken broth to make a quick soup in which you cook rice and also cook an egg in it. So many possibilities, all delicious. 

Enjoy!

Peanut Dusted Hot Korean Rice Cakes (Garaetteok)
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Peanut Dusted Hot Korean Rice Cakes (Garaetteok)

Ingredients

  • 300g Korean rice cakes / Garaetteok
  • 500ml water
  • 2 tbsp gojuchang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp shaoshing wine
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and cut into slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • optional - 6 spring onions cut on the diagonal into one inch segments (with root removed)
  • 100g skinless peanuts
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
  • sea salt and white pepper
  • optional: fresh coriander to finish, I have also used garlic chive flowers that I found in Chinatown as a garnish

Instructions

  • Soak your rice cakes in cold water until you are ready to use them. If they are frozen make sure they are thawed first. (I buy mine in the fridge, they keep for a long time so there is no need to buy frozen unless you have no choice).
  • Make your peanut powder. And prepare to be addicted to it. Preheat your oven to 180 deg C. Put the peanuts on a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, gochugaru and white pepper (fresh ground is the best if you can). Roast until golden, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as with their high oil content they can go too far.
  • Remove from the oven and with a high powered blender or food processor blitz them to a powder. Leave to the side.
  • Put the 500ml water, gojuchang, soy sauce, shaoshing wine, ginger, the spring onions if you are using them and garlic in a pot. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice cakes and cook until soft, 10-12 minutes usually.
  • Remove the rice cakes with a slotted spoon and gently toss them in the peanut powder ensuring that they are all evenly coated. It is up to you if you take the garlic or ginger out. I quite like them but if their flavour is too strong for you, feel free to remove them.
  • Eat hot garnished with fresh coriander if you wish. I love garlic chives with these too, and in this case, pretty onion-y garlic chive flowers.
  • http://eatlikeagirl.com/peanut-dusted-hot-korean-rice-cakes-garaetteok/

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    Niamh

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