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Monday, October 1, 2012

KOREAN RECIPES: Pine Needle-Scented Rice Cakes (Songpyeon)

Songpyeon (송편

Koreans use new crop rice to make Songpyeon for a Korean Thanksgiving Day (Hangawi or Chuseok) feast. But Korean-Americans couldn't afford a luxury such as that.  This year, I was too busy to drive to the Korean grocery store, located too far away from home (approx. 40-minute drive away), to purchase frozen rice flour. Besides, my family members (but me) are not big fans of stuffed rice cakes so we chose to celebrate Korean Thanksgiving Day without Songpyeon. Today, I’m going to translate my friend Kye Kim’s recipe with her permission.





WHITE SONGPYEON

Ingredients:     2 cups frozen rice flour + ¼ tsp salt
                        1 TBSP honey
                        4 TBSP boiling hot water
4 TBSP toasted sesame seeds + 2 tsp honey + ⅛ tsp salt
4 cups pine needles

Sift the thawed rice flour through the strainer, add in salt and honey and mix thoroughly with hands.




Add in boiling hot water and hand-knead the rice dough.
Filling: Slightly grind toasted sesame seeds. Add in salt and honey.
Divide the dough into 20 balls and cover with wet cheesecloth and set aside.




Take a rice ball from under the clot. Press your thumb in the center of the ball to make a hole and fill with sesame seed filling.  Seal it while expelling the air and make it into a rugby ball shape. Shape the ball into a crescent, pressing the dough lightly.




Make a bed of pine needles in a boiling steamer, place the raw rice cakes on top, and steam for 30 minutes. Prepare cold water in a large bowl and add in a drop or two of sesame oil.  Get steamed songpyeons together with the pine needle bed out onto the plate and briefly dip each rice cake in the cold water. Let them cool off on the plate.


GREEN TEA SONGPYEON

Ingredients:     2 cups frozen rice flour + ½ tsp green tea powder
                        1 TBSP honey
                        4 TBSP boiling hot water
10 chestnuts (small) + 2 tsp sugar + salt to taste
2 Korean dates, pitted and sliced (optional)
1 TBSP sesame seed oil + 1 TBSP water

Sift together the thawed rice flour and green tea powder through the strainer, add in salt and honey and mix thoroughly with hands. Add boiling hot water and hand-knead the rice dough.

Filling: Divide each chestnut into four. Add in salt and honey and mix.

Divide the dough into 20 balls and cover with wet cheesecloth and set aside.

Take a rice ball from under the clot. Press your thumb in the center of the ball to make a hole and fill with sesame seed filling.  Seal it while expelling the air and make it into a rugby ball shape. Shape the ball into a crescent, pressing the dough lightly.

Make a bed of pine needles in a boiling steamer, place the raw rice cakes on top, and steam for 30 minutes. Prepare cold water in a large bowl and add in a drop or two of sesame oil. Get steamed songpyeons together with the pine needle bed out onto the plate and briefly dip each rice cake in the cold water. Let them cool off on the plate.


Kye's Hangawi Table: (clockwise from top left) Songpyeon, Shrimp Fish Vegetable Pancakes,
Taro Soup, Mung Bean Pancakes, Raw Songpyeon, Braised Short Ribs, Taro Soup,

Rice Cakes with Vegetables and Beef, and Platter of Nine Delicacies (Gujeolpan)


Related Post:
Three Korean/Asian Cookbooks by Kye Kim 

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post! It's hard to find good English recipes for this. I love ddeok in all its forms but have never had songpyeon. I'll have to try making it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, ShanghaiSue! The recipe is my friend Kye's and it's very easy to follow. Hope your songpyeons turn out beautifully. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yummy. I've tasted this particular dish once when me and my parents ate at a Korean restaurant.

    ReplyDelete

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