Spicy Korean Rice Cakes with Rhubarb & Asparagus

Spicy Korean Rice Cakes

with Rhubarb & Asparagus

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

A medley of late-spring produce puts a fresh spin on tonight’s “tteok,” or Korean rice cakes. At the base of the dish are crunchy carrots and celery finished in a savory, spicy combination of black bean sauce and gochujang, a popular Korean paste of fermented red chiles. Bites of asparagus add a crisp, verdant layer of texture and flavor, while—for a unique twist—rhubarb sautéed with a bit of ginger and vinegar balances it all out with refreshing tartness.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    630 Cals (est.)
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any rhubarb leaves or woody stem ends; medium dice. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Cut off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus. Cut into 1-inch pieces on an angle, leaving the pointed tips intact. Peel the carrots; thinly slice on an angle. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Thinly slice the celery on an angle. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Roughly chop the peanuts.

Cook the rhubarb:
2 Cook the rhubarb:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the rhubarb and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and the liquid has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Blanch the asparagus:
3 Blanch the asparagus:

Fill a medium bowl with ice water; add a pinch of salt. Set aside. To the pot of boiling water, add the asparagus and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly softened. Leaving the pot of water boiling, using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until cool; drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

Make the sauce:
4 Make the sauce:

While the asparagus cools, in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the garlic, celery, and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the black bean sauce, ¼ cup of water, and as much of the gochujang as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined.

Cook the rice cakes:
5 Cook the rice cakes:

While the sauce cooks, add the rice cakes to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

Finish & plate your dish:
6 Finish & plate your dish:

To the pan of sauce, add the cooked rice cakes, shocked asparagus, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through and the rice cakes are thoroughly coated. Turn off the heat and add the cooked rhubarb and crème fraîche. Stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes. Garnish with the peanuts and green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any rhubarb leaves or woody stem ends; medium dice. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Cut off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus. Cut into 1-inch pieces on an angle, leaving the pointed tips intact. Peel the carrots; thinly slice on an angle. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Thinly slice the celery on an angle. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Roughly chop the peanuts.

2 Cook the rhubarb:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the rhubarb and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and the liquid has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Cook the rhubarb:
3 Blanch the asparagus:

Fill a medium bowl with ice water; add a pinch of salt. Set aside. To the pot of boiling water, add the asparagus and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly softened. Leaving the pot of water boiling, using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until cool; drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

4 Make the sauce:

While the asparagus cools, in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the garlic, celery, and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the black bean sauce, ¼ cup of water, and as much of the gochujang as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined.

Make the sauce:
Cook the rice cakes:
5 Cook the rice cakes:

While the sauce cooks, add the rice cakes to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

6 Finish & plate your dish:

To the pan of sauce, add the cooked rice cakes, shocked asparagus, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through and the rice cakes are thoroughly coated. Turn off the heat and add the cooked rhubarb and crème fraîche. Stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes. Garnish with the peanuts and green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Finish & plate your dish:
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