Danhobak-juk, Korean sweet pumpkin porrideg is widely known as a creamy orange treat for winter in Korea, touching all the senses.
It is usually made with Korean sweet pumpkin, also known as kent pumpkin or Kabocha squash.
There is a saying in Korea that goes, “What’s good for your body is bitter to your taste,” but it is not the case with pumpkin porridge.
With its minimized cooking process you can get the full health benefits of pumpkin: it’s great source of vitamin A, C, E, potassium, beta-carotene, all of which enhances the blood flow and immune system.
On top of that, fueled with dietary fiber that modern people lack in their diet, it is low in calories while still filling your stomach. Also known to reduce inflammation, danhobak-juk is usually used to help women to recover after giving birth. Its smooth texture and nutritional value makes it a perfect baby food as well.
Danhobak-juk is truly a food for all from little babies to grandparents. Its heavenly sweet taste is good enough to be serves as dessert but its versatility is well-suited as an appetizer that immediately warms the body and mind. You only need pumpkin and rice flour to make this brilliant food, so why not try it? Make a bowl of warm porridge and serve it for your loved ones. How much you care about them will be dissolved into the food.
It’s relatively easy to make but small details can enhance the flavor to a great degree.
Don’t force yourself to cut that rock hard pumpkin open.
Heating it up in a microwave for 4 to 5 minutes will soften the pumpkin and allow you to cut it more easily. When pumpkin is cut into quadrants, remove all seeds and skin with a knife and/or spoon.
Steam these pieces of pumpkin until they get soft and tender. Mix these cooked pumpkin chunks with water and blend it until it gets velvety smooth. Pour this liquid pumpkin into a medium size pot.
Since it’s already been cooked, it doesn’t need to stay in a pot for too long. The next step is to get the right thickness by adding rice flour. For this, mix rice flour with water in a separated bowl until they’re well mixed together.
Gradually pour this mixture into the pot until the pumpkin porridge gets sticky and gluey. You should constantly stir to keep the food from going lumpy or burning.
When all this was happening on one side, we also made rice cake balls. These rice cake balls are called sae-al in Korean, meaning bird’s egg. They indeed look as cute as bird’s eggs. To make soft chewy balls, we began with combining rice flour and hot water and kneading the dough with our hands. We made a big dough ball and turned it into a long snake shape as thick as a thumb. The pieces were torn from this dough and rolled on our palms.
Ingredients for Danhobak-juk
One medium size Korean sweet pumpkin (kent pumpkin or Kabocha squash), 3 cups of water (for the porridge), 20 gram rice flour,1/2 cup of hot water (to adjust thickness), a pinch of salt, honey or sugar(optional)
Ingredients for sae-al
200gram rice flour, ¼ cup of hot water, a pinch of salt