Rice cakes are a Korean delicacy but there are different variations of rice cakes, especially in America, where there are unique recipes. They are primarily made with rice flour, but can contain other ingredients and can be made into different shapes and sizes.
Also known as Tteokbokki, this delicacy is favored in the traditional Kimchi stew. Rice cakes are usually soft when warm and the level of chewiness depends on the size. But as the rice cake cools down, it gets hard. So, how can you keep your rice cakes fresh, and safe to be eaten later?
Can you freeze rice cakes? Yes, you can. Rice cakes can be frozen for up to 4 months in the freezer. However, there is the problem of texture after freezing. The rice cakes tend to turn into mush after thawing. But, that is nothing that proper freezing procedures won’t take care of.
Rice cakes are best consumed within 3 to 4 months of freezing. Meanwhile, in the refrigerator, their shelf life in the freezer would be about 4 days if you are lucky. The downside of freezing rice cakes is the degradation in texture, but this can be minimized by taking measures to counter it.
How to Freeze Rice Cakes
Most people would tell you not to freeze rice cakes. I beg to differ. Rice cakes can be frozen and enjoyed once thawed. However, rice cakes should not be refrozen. They do not fare well when you refreeze them.
Freezing Cooked Rice Cakes
Here’s a pro tip for you, avoid freezing cooked rice cakes. When everyone laments about how mushy their rice cake gets after thawing, they were referring to the cooked ones. Most online recipes state the number of servings the recipes can cater for. But, you can half that recipe to make sure you have a lesser quantity.
Refrigeration is what works best for cooked rice cakes. If you have any leftover rice cake, transfer them into an airtight container that has a lid you can clamp shut.
Put the container into the fridge. Try to eat your rice cakes within 3 days. If your rice cakes are long and would not fit into containers, feel free to use glass jars.
Since most homemade rice cakes would be cooked, refrigeration is what works best for them. Don’t freeze them unless you can eat the mush that it becomes after thawing.
Freezing Uncooked Rice Cakes
If your rice cakes are store-bought, like the Korean Rice Cakes. Most Korean Rice cakes come in airtight seal packages that are perfect for freezing. But, if you are chanced to buy in bulk, here’s how to go about it.
Step 1: Storage
If you are buying rice cakes in bulk, buying individually wrapped ones is better than buying the ones in a single package. You can freeze rice cakes in their store packages. However, if the package is already open and you have them in bulk, here’s what to do.
Step 2: Flash Freezing (Optional)
Get a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or silicone baking mat, place the rice cakes on the sheet and put them into the freezer, till it freezes solid. This would prevent the rice cakes from sticking together when you put them into the freezer to freeze long term.
Step 3: Storage
When the rice cakes freeze solid, bring them out of the freezer and transfer them into an airtight container or an airtight freezer bag.
In the container, you use plastic wrap to compliment the lid and hold it together with freezer tape. If you would be using a freezer bag, suck out as much air as you can before you seal it.
Vacuum sealing is actually a great way to preserve the rice cakes, as it does a good job of keeping the air and moisture out. But, if you do not have a vacuum sealer you can use the bags or containers.
Don’t forget to label the containers or the bags with the contents, and the date of freezing. This would help you keep track of what you have stored and for how long.
How to Defrost Frozen Rice Cakes
Remove the rice cakes from the freezer and leave them in the refrigerator to thaw for 24hours. After that, you can pan-sear the thawed rice cakes and use them in any sauce of your choice or use as desired in any of your recipes.
How to Recognize Spoiled Rice Cakes
Rice cakes, just like any other food item can go bad. If you notice an odd smell or see that your rice cakes have changed color. This indicates that the rice cakes have gone bad. You should throw it out. Eating Spoiled food can pose serious health risks to one’s body.
How Do You Make Healthy Rice Cakes?
Rice cakes have an effect on blood sugar levels when you eat them alone. So, having too much rice cake to eat could be bad for you. But is there a way you make your rice cakes healthy? Yes, there is.
All you need to do is add some protein, like fish or meat, cheese, and even nut butter. That’s not all. You can also add vitamins in the form of toppings like bananas, or any other sliced fruit.
You can enjoy your rice cakes without any health risk by increasing the nutrients from nothing to healthy with the addition of these toppings.