Healthy Snack Favoured by Locals and Visitors Alike
Omegi ddeok is local treat that had become a popular souvenir for tourists. The rice cake is made with glutinous millet and sweet rice. You can also find traces of dark green mugworts in the dough. Once you take a bite, you will discover the red bean filling inside. The outer layer is coated with whole red beans (adzuki beans).
“Omegi” is Jeju dialect for “millet”. In mainland Korea, white rice is often used as main ingredient for rice cakes. However, it is difficult to cultivate rice on rocky terrains of Jeju Island. Millet, or chajo, is one of the grains that had the ability to sustain itself through tough climate and soil condition.
Unlike most rice cakes you can find in big cities in Korea, omegi rice cake is not too sweet. The flavour of the grains and beans is subtle and does not overpower each other. The contrast between different textures–sticky rice cake, soft filling, and chunks of whole beans–makes it more fun to nibble on these humble treats.
Traditional Omegi Ddeok at Jina
Jina Ddeokjib is one of the well-known rice cake shops in Jeju. It is located on the alleyway of Dongmun Market. It is a place to try authentic Jeju omegi ddeok. I stood in line for about ten minutes before I got my hands on a pack of eight rice cakes for W6,000. Definitely worth the wait.
One or two of the rice cakes are enough to satisfy your hunger. Leftover rice cakes can be frozen and enjoyed later. Do not store the rice cake in the fridge as they will become hard as rocks.
Jina Ddeokjib 진아떡집
7-1 Dongmun-ro 4-gil, Ildo 1(il)-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do (Inside Dongmun Market)