Chopped Cheese Rice Cakes

What is a Chopped Cheese?

From the always trusty Wikipedia: “Chopped Cheese, also known as “a chop cheese”, is a type of sandwich originating from New York City. Found in bodegas throughout the Bronx and Harlem, it is made on a grill with ground beef, onions, and topped by melted cheese and served with lettuce, tomatoes, and condiments on a hero roll.”

These rice cakes are inspired by the chopped cheese rice cakes I had at Nowon a few weeks back – it’s a relatively new Korean-influenced restaurant that takes a new twist on Korean classics (think: jajang clams instead of jajang myun). Surprisingly, it wasn’t until a week after my Nowon visit that I finally had a chopped cheese from a neighborhood bodega while battling a v solid hangover. This recipe serves ~3-4 people.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cups rice cakes (I prefer tteokbokki style for this)
  • 4-5 slices of American cheese
  • 10-15 hot + sweet jalapeños (I used the ones from Trader Joe’s)
  • also: salt and pepper, 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. Heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a nonstick wok or skillet
  2. Add onion and cook until translucent over medium heat
  3. Add in ground beef and brown over low-medium heat, breaking it into smaller chunks with the end of your spatula as it cooks. Season with salt, pepper, and sesame oil
  4. Add in rice cakes and mix. Add in 1/2 cup of water and cover and cook until rice cakes are soft, ~5-7 minutes, giving them a stir about halfway through
  5. Turn heat to low and add slices of cheese on top and cover with lid until cheese is melted
  6. Turn off heat and mix to incorporate the melted cheese along with jalapeños. Add more salt to taste


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