What is dduk?
What is it?
Dduk is a Korean delicacy: for a snack, tea times or dessert.
It's a part of Korean tradition, culture and history,
They can be a gift for celebrations, birthdays and feasts, shared with friends, family, neighbours.
Or not. It can be just for you!
For many Koreans, it's a happy memory and nostalgia.
They can be a convenient breakfast, or an easy to carry and hearty snack, or for moments of indulgence with tea or coffee, or a sweet ending to a meal. They can be sweet, savoury, or blandly satisfying.
There are so many varieties of dduk, it's a jack of all trades, and master of them all!
The history of dduk is over a thousand years old, so it's certainly had time to become fit for all occasions, coming in all shapes and sizes, colours and flavours.
In essence, it's rice.
Milled, steamed, pounded, coloured, shaped, with various combinations of ingredients, making over 300 varieties. All from rice!
You can say similar things about all the different types of bread, cakes, pastries, biscuits that can be made from a few different grains, or the huge varieties of cheese all from a few varieties of milk (cow/buffalo, sheep, goat), or wine from grapes.
It's also called rice cake, but that's not fair to dduks, or cakes!
Just as people woke up to get their freshly baked bread, croissant hot from the oven, or birthday cakes from bakeries, Koreans woke up to get their freshly steamed dduk from dduk-jips.
And we all still do.
In essence, it's rice. In many ways, it's an essence of many Koreans, fit for all occasions and tastes!
There are over 300 varieties of dduk in Korea, with regional differences, town specialties. with 4 broad categories of making: steamed, pounded, kneaded & shaped, and fried shallow and deep.
The most loved, common, widely seen are beksulgi, injullmi, songpyun, and jooak, for each of those 4 methods.
Pronounciation? Bek-sull-gi, in-jull-mi, song-pyun, joo-ak.