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2018.07.16 ( Mon )
K-FOOD
Songpyeon (half-moon shaped rice cakes)

기사입력 2013-10-01 14:10

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As chuseok has arrived this year, a must-have chuseok delicacy is songpyeon - a small, half-moon shaped rice cakes - that are stuffed with sweetfillings and steamed on a bed of pine needles. The name songpyeon stems from the use of pine needles(“song” in “songpyeon” means pine tree).


Traditionally, short grain rice was soaked overnight and drained before being ground into a fine powder in a gristmill. These days, you can easily find bagsof wet rice powder that is specifically made for making rice cakes in the fridge or freezer section in grocery stores. I used frozen rice powder for this recipe. The rice powder is mixed with boiling hot water and kneaded into soft dough. The longer you knead, the chewier the texture of the rice cakes will be. Songpyeon dough is typically flavored and colored with natural ingredients. here, I added ssukgaru (mugwort) and steamed danhobak (kabocha) to make green and yellow dough. Making songpyeon is a good way for the family to spend time together during this special holiday.

 


Each batch yields about 20 rice cakes.


Ingredients:
Basic (white) dough

• 2 cups of frozen rice powder (ssalgaru), thawed to room temperature
• 4 tablespoons plus 1 or 2 teaspoons boiling hot water


Green dough
• 2 cups of frozen rice powder, thawed to room temperature
• 2 tablespoons ssukgaru (mugwort powder) (or matcha/green tea powder)
• 5 tablespoons plus 1 or 2 teaspoons boiling hot water


Yellow dough
• 2 cups of frozen rice powder, thawed to room temperature
• 1/3 cup steaming hot danhobak* (kabocha)
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 or 2 teaspoons boiling hot water(*1/2 small danhobak steamed in the microwave for about 5 minutes)


Filling (Fills about 60 rice cakes - 3 batches):
• 1 cup roasted sesame seeds (crushed)
• 4 tablespoons sugar (adjust to taste)
• 2 tablespoons honey
• Pinch of salt (Mix everything together well.)
About 120 grams pine needles, rinsed 2-3 times and air or pat dried (optional)
About 1 tablespoon sesame oil


Making Dough:
For each type of dough, sift the rice powder into a bowl. Add the water and the flavoring/coloring ingredients to the rice powder, quickly stirring them in with a spoon. The moisture level in the rice powder may vary, so adjust the amount of water accordingly. Make sure the water is boiling hot. Knead, pressing and stretching with the heel of the hand. Fold and rotate the dough. Repeat the kneading process for at least 5 minutes. (If the dough sticks to your hands or the bowl after some kneading, it’s too wet. Add more rice powder in 1 tablespoon increments. If the dough breaks easily or is too stiff, it’s too dry. Add more boiling hot water in 1 teaspoon increments.)cover the dough with plastic wrap or a wet towel. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes.


Assemble:
Tear off a small piece of the dough to form a roughly 3-centimeter ball. Roll tightly
between the palms of your hands to shape the ball.Make a well in the ball by pressing into it with your thumb, and press outwards, with both of your thumbs, on the inside walls of the well to slightly expand the opening.Place 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the well. Seal tightly by squeezing the edges together. Squeeze the whole rice cake lightly in your palm to firm it up. Shape it to resemble a half moon. Repeat until all the dough or filling is used.

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