Thursday, October 6, 2011
korean pumpkin porridge
i made korean pumpkin porridge - hobakjuk for the first time. all i can remember about my mum's pumpkin porridge is that in the beginning there was a giant pumpkin.
(interestingly even in the huge city where we used to live in korea such a preciousness came as a gift raised by private hands. i don't remind any one that we bought in a store.)
and it always was quite a laborious way to go from there: peeling the big pumpkin, cooking it, making rice cake balls and a red bean paste until finally everything was combined to the most velvety creamy thick (fat and dairy free) soup.
try it and you will instantly know that pumpkin is destined to be cooked in exactly this way.
now i find myself under different circumstances where tasty pumpkins that don't have to be peeled are available everywhere. i made an ultra-fast clumsy version with only pumpkin, glutinous rice flour, water, sugar and salt. lacking experience my rice balls turned out ugly but once dumped in the most forgiving puree, it didn't matter at all. the result was so utterly delicious, so similar to the hobakjuk i had in memory that it felt like cheating :)
if you adore pumpkins as much as i do than there is no better way to enjoy its pure taste!
fast and easy hobakjuk
1) steam the pumpkin in a pot with a little water on the bottom (no special devices needed)
2) make rice cake balls out of 1-2 cups of glutinous rice flour, little hot water and a pinch of salt. i like them rather big, about 1 cm diameter size.
3) mash the steamed pumpkin in the pot with a potato masher. i prefer this to pureeing so that a little bit texture remains.
4) add as much water as you like (i like it not soupy) and bring it again to boil.
5) add the rice cake balls and 1-2 tbsp of glutinous rice flour until the porridge has the consistency wanted
6) add sugar and salt. the amount depends on if it should be served as a dessert or as a main dish. and if refreshing kimchi is on hand.
luckily i had fermented kimchi and i like sweet porridge so mine could be like a salted caramel - salty enough but definitely more sweet :)