Name of EventHarvest Moon Festival
Cuisine FromSouth Korea
|Preparation time||30 mins + 30 mins resting time|
|Cooking time||30-40 mins.|
|Main Ingredient||Rice Sesame seeds|
Dough (makes about 20 rice cakes)
2 cups of frozen rice powder*, thawed to room temperature
4 tbs plus 1 or 2 tsp boiling hot water
(*You can find bags of wet rice powder usually in the freezer section at a Korean market. Be sure to buy rice powder, not sweet rice powder. The bags are usually labeled 쌀가루 or 쌀떡가루.)
1/3 cup roasted sesame seeds
1-1/2 tbs sugar (adjust to your taste)
1 tbs honey
about 50 grams pine needles, rinsed 2 - 3 times and air or pat dry (optional)
about 1 – 2 teaspoons sesame oil
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Roughly grind the sesame seeds in a grinder or blender. Add the sugar, honey and pinch of salt. Mix everything together well.
Sift the rice powder into a bowl. Add the water to the rice powder, quickly stirring it 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.
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.
Steam and finish:
Boil water in a steamer. Place a thin layer of pine needles or a damp kitchen cloth on the steamer insert. Boil the water over high heat. When it starts to steam, place the rice cakes on the steamer insert without the pieces touching one another. Cover with a thin layer of pine needles, if available. Cover and steam for about 20 minutes.
Prepare a big bowl of cold water. Using a long-handled spoon or tong, remove the rice cakes from the steamer. Drop them in the cold water for a quick rinse, removing all the pine needles. Transfer the rice cakes to a colander to drain. Lightly coat your hands with the sesame oil and rub the oil on the rice cakes in batches. Serve warm or at room temperature.