I am still recovering from the extraction of the wisdom tooth, and able to eat only soft dishes. It is also really hot and tiring in Tokyo at the moment, but as much I would love to eat only (matcha) ice cream, it won’t do. Thus I’m experimenting with different kind of porridges.
This is one of favourite Korean dishes, lightly sweet pumpkin porridge, or hobakjuk in Korean, with azuki bean topping. Whenever I go to Korea, I need to go to eat it at least once, and every time I have the same problem – to take the azuki bean porridge patjuk or the pumpkin one, and always end up choosing the pumpkin. I had never tried to make it at home, and was surprised how easy it was.
Korean Style Pumpkin Congee, Hobakjuk (for 2 persons)
1/4 Japanese pumpkin + 200 cc water
50 g glutinous rice (mochigome) + 75 cc water
400 cc water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp honey
Boiled and sweetened azuki beans
Black sesame seeds
1) Put glutinous rice and 75 cc water in a bowl and mix quickly by hand.
2) Scape off the seed from the pumpkin using for example a spoon. Put in heat-resistant bowl, cover with cling film and steam in microwave (500 W) for 6-7 minutes.
3) Scrape off the orange pulp, be careful not to scoop too much of the green part. Add 200 cc of water and use a hand mixer to make an even mixture.
4) Move the pumpkin purée to a pot, and add the rest 400 cc of water. Turn to high heat and boil 10 min while mixing well to prevent burning.
5) Lower the heat to medium and add the glutinous rice soaked in water. Keep on boiling another 5 min and mix well so that the rice won’t stick together.
6) When the porridge becomes the thickness of your liking, add salt and honey, and bring to boil quickly.
7) Mix with had mixer once more to get an even texture.
8) Garnish with sweetened azuki beans and black sesame seeds.
You can add more honey if you like more sweet dishes, and mochi rice cakes for more filling meal. Hobakjuk is also delicious when served as a cold dessert.