Rice Cakes that Taste Delicious

All Rice Cakes Are Not Created Equal

I’ve eaten my fair share of diet foods over the years (I tipped the scales at 275 pounds at one point) but by far the worst was rice cakes. Hoping to make them more palatable, I envisioned a svelte, sexy body each time I chomped into one but they always just tasted like cardboard. Rice cakes are not fit for human consumption; I’m not even sure they should be fed to hogs. So when I happened upon racks of rice cakes drying in the sun on the banks of the Nam Khan River in Luang Prabang, Laos I wasn’t the least interested in sampling the goods, but I was intrigued.

Can’t view the above YouTube video about making gourmet rice cakes in Luang Prabang, Laos? Click here.

Across the street I spotted additional racks leaning against a dilapidated wood fence surrounding a tin-roofed open air compound. Curious, I stepped inside the dark enclosure. In one corner, steam billowed from wicker baskets set on giant cookers, turning the pseudo-factory into a sauna. A few feet away, a woman scooped golden rice cakes out of sizzling oil and dumped them in jumbo wicker baskets to drain. Behind me, baskets of cooked rice waited to be formed into cakes and two women squatted on their haunches, wrapping the finished product in acetate. I was nonchalantly eavesdropping as a local tour guide explained the process to his clients when one of the tourists offered me a sample. I accepted only to be polite, took a bite, and then another; it was the most scrumptious rice cake I’d ever tasted. Light and crispy, each delicious bite melted in my mouth! For the next week I binged on the gourmet snacks and stuffed every square inch of extra space in my backpack and duffel with rice cakes when I left Luang Prabang. They were soon gone and I went into withdrawal. Golden temples aside, I’d go back just for the rice cakes.

12 Comments on “All Rice Cakes Are Not Created Equal

  1. Love your photo slide shows.
    Sue McCarthy
    Travel Planners Radio

    • Thanks Sue! Just out of curiosity, what is Travel Planners radio?

  2. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that they’re fried. Most of the rice cakes here in Korea look and taste like cardboard too, I’m not a big fan. Great post. 

  3. Or maybe it’s the rice! Never thought about that before.

  4. I wonder what the secret ingredients were. Okay, there’s the oil, but perhaps there’s something in the water the way San Francisco sour dough French bread tastes so much better than sour dough created elsewhere.

  5. Hi Kcostello: Sounds like a perfect excuse to travel to me 🙂

  6. Haha what a wonderful post. You’ve made me quite curious because I’m having trouble understanding how something as basic as a rice cake can be made so differently! Perhaps I will just have to travel there and sample some for myself 🙂

  7. The deserve an award for this feat which is akin to successfully breaking the laws of physics 🙂 Tasty rice cakes!

  8.  Never met — or et – a delicious rice cake. I’m taking your word for it in the meantime. 

  9.  wow – i never knew – you are raising the bar in rice cakes stakes – here in downtown sydney we can only dream 🙂

  10. I think the difference must be in the deep frying….. Laurie in Edmonton, I never met a carbohydrate I didn’t like.

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