Purple Sweet Potato Rice Cakes (Tteok & Mochi)

Ok, so anyone who knows me well knows that I loveeeeee rice cakes. I love em so much I named my cat-baby after them- Mochi.  So when I was strolling around H-mart last week and saw these purple sweet potatoes, I knew what I had to do.  I HAD TO MAKE RICE CAKES AND EAT THEM ALL IN AN HOUR.

Look at that sweet purple goodness.

How could you say no to that sweet purple goodness?

After a quick google search I found a recipe from SBS that was a good starter, but I thought it needed a little something else.  I’ve adapted this recipe  to include coconut milk, vanilla extract, and a little lemon juice for tang and depth of flavor.  It’s pretty similar to tteok, a Korean chewy rice cake pronounced like you’re saying “duck” very forcefully.  Thanks to the method of steaming them in banana leaves, the rice cakes are more chewy and have a delicate  banana flavor. But you can make the traditional mochi out of this recipe too. Included below are the directions for both kinds of rice cake- 1. a more tteok kind and 2. a more traditional mochi kind.  If you want to do the mochi you don’t need banana leaves, btw. Enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato Rice Cakes (Mochi)

 

 

Purple Sweet Potato Rice Cakes (Tteok & Mochi) 

 

For “tteok” consistency rice cakes: 

Ingredients

makes about 8-10 parcels

 

1 pack of banana leaves (available at Asian food markets, usually frozen)

4 medium to large Okinawan sweet potatoes (purple sweet potatoes), or enough for 2 cups mashed purple sweet potato

1 1/4 cups of Mochiko sweet rice flour

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 can coconut milk (only need about 5 tablespoons of this)

a pinch of salt

a squeeze of lemon juice (fresh or from a bottle)

Equipment needed: a rice cooker with steam function or a steamer, rubber bands or twine for tying the banana leaf parcels

 

Instructions

1.  If banana leaves are frozen, take 30 minutes to let them thaw.  If desired, quickly boil them to prevent cracking when wrapping (I didn’t find this necessary, however, but just to make sure)

2. While banana leaves are thawing, add the purple sweet potatoes to a pot and fill with water until they are just covered.  Boil the sweet potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Transfer sweet potatoes to a colander or deep bowl and rinse with cold water.  Let cool and remove skins with a fork.

4.  Mash the sweet potatoes in a large bowl until they are smooth and looking pureed.

5. Add sweet rice flour, sugar, vanilla extract, pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice to the bowl. Mix until the mixture is looking like dough.

6. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut milk at a time and mix thoroughly.  Keep adding a tablespoon of coconut milk until the dough is pliable and at an “earlobe consistency”.

7.  Place a rectangle of dough in the middle of a longer piece of banana leaf and wrap up like you would a burrito, folding over the ends to meet in the middle. Secure with a rubber band or twine.

8.  Place in steamer.  (If using a rice cooker, place a steam basket/small bowl in the rice cooker pot, pour water around the steam basket/bowl into the rice cooker pot, and then place your banana parcels in the steam basket/small bowl.)

9.  Steam for 20 minutes.  Serve either warm or at room temperature.

 

 

For mochi-like rice cakes:

Ingredients

makes about 15-20 cakes, depending on size

4 medium to large Okinawan sweet potatoes (purple sweet potatoes), or enough for 2 cups mashed purple sweet potato

1 1/4 cups of Mochiko sweet rice flour

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup water

1/4 cup coconut milk

a pinch of salt

a squeeze of lemon juice (fresh or from a bottle)

cornstarch or potato starch  for rolling/shaping

Equipment needed: steamer/rice cooker or microwave

 

Instructions

1. Add the purple sweet potatoes to a pot and fill with water until they are just covered.  Boil the sweet potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Transfer sweet potatoes to a colander or deep bowl and rinse with cold water.  Let cool and remove skins with a fork.

3.  Mash the sweet potatoes in the microwavable bowl/ dish until they are smooth and looking pureed.

4. Add sweet rice flour, sugar, vanilla extract, pinch of salt, water, and coconut milk and a squeeze of lemon juice to the bowl. Mix well.

5. Steam dough in a bowl for 15 minutes.  (If using a rice cooker, place a small bowl in the rice cooker pot, pour water around the steam basket/bowl into the rice cooker pot, and then place your dough in the steam basket/small bowl.) You might need to do this in 2 rounds if you have a smaller rice cooker or steamer.

or

5.  Microwave in a microwave safe bowl or dish for 2 minutes, stir, and repeat until the mixture is slightly translucent and thick.

6.  After steaming or microwaving,  dust  a serving board with cornstarch or potato starch and shape the dough into balls, or whatever shape you’d like. The dough will be hot, so you’ll need to wait until the dough is slightly cooled (but still pretty warm) to do this. Or you could wear gloves. Just be careful!

P.s. I didn’t take any pictures of the mochi because they were quite ugly :) so don’t be discouraged if yours are too, they still taste good!

 

Purple Sweet Potato Rice Cakes (Mochi)

 

 

Purple Sweet Potato Rice Cakes (Mochi)

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Purple Sweet Potato Rice Cakes (Mochi)

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