What’s up, duk?

I’m usually not a big fan of rice cakes—those Styrofoam pucks of self-inflicted denial. But recently I discovered a different kind of rice cake that I think I could love. It’s called duk in Korean. Instead of puffy nothingness, these are chewy sticks made of glutinous rice that’s been beaten and formed. You can get them in coins, stars, hearts and all kinds of sizes. A haul over to Vinh Phat Market (6105 Stockton Boulevard) was successful. I found a 2.2-pound bag of “Korean rice cakes” for just under $4 that look like little solid penne. I pan-toasted them and tossed them with ssamjang sauce and green onions for a so-so version of dukboki—a popular Korean street food. Next time I’ll try Smile Food Mart (2948 Bradshaw Road) to see if I can get the bigger, sausage-sized duk. A new obsession is born.