Saturday, 3 September 2011

Korean cooking: Songpyeon

Chusok is coming. I have written at least 2 times about how Korean people spend their Chusok. But here I will give a glympse on what they cook.

The video above shows a detailed receipe on how to prepare rice cakes which are eaten very often in Korea, but they are especially done during Chusok.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of rice flour (ssalgaru 쌀가루) this often is in the frozen section of a Korean grocery,
  • but if you are somewhere in the West go to your oriental shop and they will give you rice flower over there. More and more often network chains also have it, like Euroshop or Real. 
  • 2/3 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • glug of sesame oil
  • Sesame seed stuffing
  • 1 cup of chamkae (roasted crushed sesame seed)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey - if you are in Eastern Europe, you are lucky, real honey is exactly what you have not far from your home, unlike anywhere else in the world
  • 14 tablespoons of salt
White bean stuffing - white bean paste can be served in variety of forms, but for this we need a sweet version:
  • 1 cup of white beans (navy beans)
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • a pinch of salt

Recipe Steps:

  • For the white bean stuffing, soak the white beans for 1 hr or longer and boil until it gets very tender. Strain, then crush it with a potato masher. Strain again to remove any liquid. Mix the mashed white bean with walnuts, salt and honey. Set aside.
  • Make the sesame seed stuffing by crushing the roasted sesame seeds and mix with salt and honey. You can put this into a blender or food processor for a short burst. Set it aside.
  • Slowly pour 1 cup hot water into 8 cups of rice flour and knead to make a smooth dough. Now you're ready to stuff the dough.
  • Pull off a small piece (about 2 tablespoons) of the rice flour dough and roll it into a small ball. Push it down in the middle to make a small cave and put a teaspoonful of stuffing mix. Press down edges to close it, and make into a half-moon shape, or whichever shape you want to make it into. You can make half sesame seed stuff and half white bean stuffing.
  • When you're finished stuffing, get a steamer pot ready. Fill water to reach about the half of the pot and bring to a boil. Place a damp cheese cloth on the tray of the steamer, and place the stuffed rice balls on the tray. Steam for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for five minutes.
  • Coat your hands with some sesame oil and then move each songpyeon (steamed rice balls) carefully to a serving dish. Serve warm or cold. It's best to eat songpyeon fresh. However, if you do have leftovers, you can store in the refrigerator (it will get hard). You'll need to resteam or microwave it to get it soft again.
Serving Size: 15
Preparation Time: 45 minutes

I will let you know how my rice cakes were soon :)

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