Chinese rice cakes, or niangao, are made from pounded rice and have a sticky, chewy texture. Niangao’s origin story may date back to as many as 2,500 years ago to Suzhou during a chaoticperiod of war, which lasted from 722 to 481 BC.
The Wu Kingdom’s prime minister was first credited with shaping glutinous rice flour into bricklike shapes and saving his people from starvation when his kingdom was besieged.
Niangao lore also tells of a Beijing custom that involveseating rice cakes on the first day of Lunar New Year back in the Liao dynasty. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, niangao became a common staple, with different varieties developed in the north and south.
One notable recipe found in southern China, particularly in Shanghai, involves stir-frying flat rice cakes with sliced pork, leafy greens and a sweet-savoury sauce consisting of soy sauce and sugar. While rice cakes can be eaten all year round, they are traditionally regarded as special dishes shared during Lunar New Year reunion meals, representing good luck and fortune as niangao is ahomonymfor “higher year”.
Meanwhile, literallytranslated as “stir-fried rice cake”, tteokbokki is a popular Korean street food that is made with small-sized garaetteok. Unlike the Chinese version that is sliced and flat, garaetteok is a long and cylindrically-shaped tteok, or rice cake, and has a significantly chewier bite than its Chinese counterpart.
The first references to tteok appeared in several books about wars between China and Korea that took place between 480 and 222BC. The books told of washed rice that was pounded into a powder and mixed with water, before being shaped into flat discs that were steamed.
To draw focus on the rice cakes’ chewy texture, tteokbokki is served with minimal garnish and side ingredients. The rice cakes are boiled and coated in a red sauce of gochujang (chilli paste), gochugaru (red pepper flakes), soy sauce, sugar and sesame seeds. Some home-made recipes include sliced eomuk (flat fish cake), cabbage and scallions.
Where there have been delays in the final outcome, geological processes involve thousands of factors, so precision is not always possible.
By July, Indica rice prices, the staple for the majority of the population, were about the same level than a year ago.
Different dialects have different speech characteristics, creating a homonym of different customs.
But he did not mean literally to see with your eyes.