Rice cake JongChun Ikseon

I have always loved rice cakes and until last year, I have only tasted savoury rice cakes. As an avid lover of red bean paste, I have always been very interested in all traditional snacks with red bean filling so when I saw Redmart offering sweet traditional Korean rice cakes with red bean filling, I knew I had to get them

The sad thing is that Redmart no longer carries this type of rice cake from Maumiga. I tried asking my Korean colleague if they sell this in Korea and it seems that they were created for export only so when I was going to Seoul, I made sure to do my research for all the traditional rice cake shops in Seoul to buy something similar to Maumiga

Once I was in Seoul, I realised my research has gone down the drain as the traditional rice cake shops, were selling very different kinds of rice cakes and while they were nice, they were not the ones I really liked. By coincidence, I chanced upon one store in Ikseon-dong when I was walking around the area and decided to pop into the store to take a look

I was so glad that I came into the store as they had a wide variety of rice cakes, traditional and the modern ones which were similar to the Maumiga ones I tried in Singapore. The store itself is quite big and functions as both a shop selling rice cakes and a cafe so there are seats where customers can order a drink and enjoy some rice cakes and desserts

There are many different kinds of rice cakes ( tteok). Steamed rice cakes which were colourful like the rainbow in the picture above, are usually used for weddings and birthdays and are soft and crumbly when you bite into them. They are generally less sweet in taste and while they are pretty to look at, I wasn’t particularly taken by them

This section features the more traditional rice cakes including the Songpyeon which is largely eaten during Chuseok celebrations. Most of these traditional-looking ones are pounded or shaped rice cakes where the rice cake is pounded to form a sticky chewy texture which is similar to the Singapore version of Nonya kuehs. Most of these rice cakes have a red bean or sesame filling wrap inside. These are ok in taste as I bought 1 type for tasting but the rice cake texture tends to be stiffer and chewy

The last section which is right in the front of the store is the modern-looking ones which I love eating as they are soft and chewy with a good balance of sweetness from the fillings. They have different flavours from red bean, sesame, pumpkin, sweet potato, mugwort and injeolmi. I bought many flavours from the store and while most of them taste pretty good, I still liked the red bean and injeolmi ones.

As I bought some of them back home, I realised that the traditional ones cannot be kept for long as they harden further when placed in the fridge and do not taste as good as freshly bought from the store. The separately packed ones, however, remained soft even after storing them in the fridge for a week. So those considering getting some Korean rice cake as gifts can consider getting the individually packed ones

Address: 34-6 Donhwamun-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Operating hours: 11 am to 10 pm

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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