For those who read my last post about making your own flower fragrant wax tablets and for those who actually read the bio that followed, you may recall that I like meat. That may tell you that I have a certain affinity towards food and things too adorable for words. So when our good friend Trazy.com, an English-friendly tour booking website, offered to sponsor a class for me to make my own Korean Rice Cakes With Sweet Bean Filling, I figured why not? Rice cakes are food. Good food.
Once again, I took my partner-in-crime Ali with me and we headed for Sunny’s Dining Studio in Mapo. It’s located right outside Gongdeok Station Exit 1 inside a tall building next to the exit. You go inside, find the elevator, and go up to the 18th floor.
Now the thing to remember here is that the studio is technically in an apartment unit, meaning you basically walk through an apartment corridor to get to it. Ali and I actually thought we were in the wrong building but persisted on. Luckily there was a sign hanging on the door.
We walk in and the studio itself was small but cozy, and it looked just like someone’s home (again, apartment unit). We were greeted by two teachers whom I believe were sisters. While one prepared the materials, the other teacher chatted with us about the different models that were displayed on one side. They weren’t actual rice cakes, as those could go bad, but made with Styrofoam and sugar powder. Her English was very good and she explained that she actually lived in Germany for a while where her two children were born.
Onto making the rice cakes! She first showed us the bean fillings which would go into our rice cakes. Fun fact: you can actually make red bean paste that is not red by taking off the red bean shells and simply using the filling inside the beans. The process takes much longer, to quote the teacher, “Many, many days,” but it’s equally good. Actually, I’m much more of a fan of this sort of bean filling because I didn’t have to deal with the annoying outer parts, so we were off to a good start.
The Art of Making Korean Rice Cakes
The cute thing about this rice cake class was that we made each rice cake into a shape of the fruit. She would hand us balls of edible dough colored differently based on the fruit we were making; green for apple, orange for persimmon, and two multi-colored pumpkins.
The fun part was definitely shaping the fruits, though I admit I was kind of awful at it. There’s a lot of pinching and squeezing. The teachers explained this technique was actually better in making them into balls, but I couldn’t seem to do it properly. Luckily, it was just me and Ali so we had two incredibly attentive teachers to help us all to ourselves. When we were placing the ball of filling into the dough, I had to remind myself not to eat them. That would come later!
I would say making the pumpkins were the most fun but hardest to make. The pumpkins were two colors each: yellow and purple, and pink and blue. You put the two colors together and then created a ball, with one side being each color. Then came the fun part – pressing the pumpkin lines into the ball. But that was also the tricky part because as we made them into balls, we were not allowed to blend the line and mix the two colors together. The idea was we’d have a pumpkin that was half of each color exactly, but that’s easier said than done.
Again, I was not good at this and with both pumpkins, the teacher took mine and helped me fixed them. She joked that she was performing “cosmetic surgery” and we all laughed. Honestly, it felt more like four friends making rice cakes. All four us just sitting around a dining room table, shaping rice cakes. It helped that the teachers made small talk with us as we pinched and squeezed the dough balls. It made the entire evening feel friendlier and more comfortable.
And of course came the best part – we got to eat them right after! There was no need to bake or cook or steam them – we could just pop them into our mouths. But first, the teachers packed them into see-through plastic boxes so we could move them more easily. Good thing, too, because I fully intended to have mine with a cup of tea afterwards.
The class surprisingly did not take that long – just barely an hour. However, Ali and I had fun during that hour and considering it was getting cold outside and we were eager to try our rice cakes, the quickness of the class was a blessing. Thank you Trazy for giving us this opportunity. Now we can fully appreciate the labor that goes behind making Korean Rice Cake With Sweet Bean Filling as we eat them and more rice cakes!
Check out our other Trazy adventures below!
This experience was sponsored by Trazy, but all opinions are our own.