Thursday, December 4, 2008


I made Korean Pumpkin Porridge (hobakjuk) last weekend. It was good. I made it more like pumpkin soup rather than porridge, and that was a mistake. I'll know for next time. I used this video by maangchi. She used butternut squash for her video. The boys helped me make the mochi balls. It takes a long time to make those. Maangchi says that when you see larger rice cake balls, that means they were made by lazy people. Not wanting to be lazy, I tried to keep them small. It takes a long time.

Each of the boys came by to see what I was doing, and since it looks like playdough, they all were interested in making some. They'd make about half a dozen until they realized it wasn't as much fun as it looked. Those little hands made nice small, round rice cakes though. I followed the directions on Maangchi's video. She takes two cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and puts it in a big mixing bowl. Then she adds 3/4 cups of boiling water. She mixes it for quite a while with a big rice spoon. Then she uses her hands to "knead" it. She's so cute. She says that the "dough" should feel like an earlobe. Then wrap it up in some plastic wrap and set aside while you put together the hobakjuk.

So, here's how I made my hobakjuk. I took one of the pumpkins that we bought at the pumpkin patch and baked it on the oven until it the flesh was soft. I let it cool and then just peeled off the skin (rind?). It mashed easily with a hand blender in a soup pot. At that point I should have left it simple and added some sugar, and salt and pepper (and maybe some ginger), and a little water to thin it a little. Instead I added too much organic chicken broth, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, a little maple syrup, and white pepper, and then I added the mochi balls. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't hobakjuk. It was pumpkin soup. Greg made curry pumpkin soup a couple weeks ago, and it was good, but I wasn't really wanting that kind of thing again. We still have some pumpkin left, so I might try again. Sometimes hobakjuk is served with sweet red beans on top. It sounds weird, but trust me, it's good.

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