If I had to pick one word to describe ddeok, I'd go with chewy. Two words? Chewy, insipid. All the flavor of ddeokbokki comes from the sauce. Ddeok itself tastes like nothing.
It's traditional in Korea for new hires to buy ddeok for everyone after they receive their first paycheck. I don't know if this occurs outside education but it's definitely the rule at my school. This semester there were several new teachers and I received a ridiculous amount of first-paycheck ddeok. Two, three times a week I'd return to my desk after a class and find a little gift-wrapped box of glutinous blandness waiting for me.
|Slab of nut-impregnated ddeok dusted with crushed red beans. Flavorless but chewy. I received 4 of these.|
|The white things are ddeok mixed with some other kind of grain. Like a muffin but flavorless and spongy, quite vile really. The green things were also spongy but not homogenous. Under the green shell was a somewhat tasty pinky-purple paste.|
|A potato-like ddeok thing and three flavorless, nutty sticks.|
|It's like a ddeok bun stuffed with red bean paste. Actually worth eating.|