This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite dishes/restaurants I tried while I was in Korea. The restaurant, called villa de spicy [link], specialized in creative ramen and rice cake dishes. Specifically, the rice cakes were treated as pasta or gnocchi, and cooked in various traditional pasta sauces, such as cream-based mushroom, pumpkin, and rose sauces.
One of my favorite pasta sauces is vodka sauce topped with fresh basil, so I decided to experiment and make a rice cake fusion dish of my own.
The rice cakes, when treated well, serve as the perfect carrier of the flavors that they are cooked in while maintaining their integrity and chewy texture. This definitely isn't the most healthy recipe, but it's so comforting and delicious, and it's okay to indulge once in a while, right?
currently listening to:
mumford & sons- hopeless wanderer
1 small bag Korean rice cakes (frozen) (600g/1.32 lb)
4 strips bacon
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
handful of basil leaves, torn, plus more for topping
prep time: 10 min
cook time: 15 min
adapted from the food network and beyondkimchee
1. Chop the bacon, and mince the shallots and the garlic. Crush the tomatoes using your hands or a wooden spoon, or dice them with a knife.
2. Bring a medium pot of water (with a pinch of salt) to a rolling boil. Add the rice cakes (frozen), and cook them for just 1-2 minutes, then remove from water and drain. If your rice cakes are fresh, you can skip this step.
3. While the water is brought to a boil, cook the bacon in a skillet on medium-high heat until just crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve some of the bacon fat in the skillet if you wish (if you do, then reduce the amount of butter accordingly).
4. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and stir for about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
5. Add the tomatoes, their juices, and the vodka to the same skillet, and return to medium heat. Simmer, stirring often, until the alcohol cooks off, for about 7 minutes. Add salt to taste.
6. Stir in the heavy cream and the rice cakes. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly and the rice cakes are soft and chewy, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and parmesan.
Serve immediately, and top with the bacon, parmesan and basil! Enjoy!
*Note, rice cakes do not heat up well in the microwave, so if you wish to eat the leftovers on the next day, simply re-heat in a pot or skillet on low heat