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Dinner Tonight: Roasted Rice Cake

I've been infatuated with Korean cuisine for years now but never really understood rice cakes. They always seemed so mushy, bland, and covered in sweet sauce. But a recent midnight snack at a Korean bar changed everything. Instead of boiled, these were grilled, so they had that crackly outer layer, which gave way to a tender and succulent inside. They were also tossed with this fiery red sauce, which forced you to keep a drink close at hand.

Though I worried about recreating this at home, I luckily found this amazing recipe in David Chang's Momofuku cookbook The rice cakes are simply sautéed in oil until lightly browned, then tossed with a sauce. Easy, right?

Well, this being a David Chang recipe, the sauce requires loads of different components and time. And if you don't live close to a Korean market, you might be out of luck. Even I had to jettison the ramen broth (mainly because it required 10 different ingredients and seven hours of simmering), but I kept other elements because they worked so well. Specifically, the onions require a good 30 to 40 minutes to properly caramelize. You could skip this step—they aren't completely essential but add a really important sweetness. Luckily, even with the onions, everything can still be made in under an hour, and you'll never believe rice cakes could taste so good.

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