Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Red Bean Porridge (팥죽)

Hey, so it has been a while since I have posted a recipe hasn't it?

Well in that time the weather still hasn't warmed up very much, it is still pretty much hovering around the 20's, no where near where a typical summer would be like. So I'm going to stick to writing recipes for the people in the Northern hemisphere, that it is where it is winter at the moment.

Let's see, today is the 21st so that means that the Winter Solstice is tomorrow on the 22nd. That is good, it means that I will have posted this post up in time for all those who are hurriedly looking for the recipe.

Today I am going to be posting up the recipe for Red Bean Porridge, or PatJuk(팥죽). Here is a brief history of the dish, and the Winter Solstice.
A traditional Korean winter solstice event is making and eating red bean paste porridge (called ‘patjuk’ in Korean). Red beans are boiled and small balls of glutinous rice are added, making a thick and sweet porridge. Red beans symbolize the chasing away of evil spirits, and the rice balls symbolize new life. Therefore, eating a delicious bowl of patjuk on winter solstice was believed to chase away all illnesses. Also eating the same number of rice balls as one’s age symbolizes the successfully passing of the year.

In the olden days, Koreans would sprinkling red bean paste porridge around the yard and share the dish with neighbors to chase away evil spirits. At the time, many also believed that a warm winter solstice meant the coming of disease and death while a cold, snowy winter solstice meant a prosperous New Year.

Although the winter solstice is not a major Korean holiday like Chuseok or Lunar New Year’s Day, Korean families do get together to enjoy a sweet bowl of red bean paste porridge and wish each other a healthy and prosperous New Year.

And now, I will move on to the recipe for this dish. It is quite simple and you are bound to want to have another bowl.

½ cups non-glutinous rice
1⅓ cups sweet red bean
4 cups scalding water
12 cups boiling water
rice ball
1 cup glutinous rice powder
⅛ tsp sugar
1½ tbsp water
1 tsp sugar

1. Wash the rice, soak in water for 2 hours, drain water on a strainer for 10 min.
2. Wash the red bean and remove dirt, drain water on a strainer for 10 min.
3. Put red bean and scalding water into the pot, heat it up for 4 min. on high heat. When it boils, continue to boil it for another 3 min. Discard the water, add new boiling water into the pot, heat it up for 10 min. on high heat. Lower the heat to medium, boil it for 1 hour and 20 min. for the red bean to be deeply cooked.
4. While the cooked red bean is still hot, put it on a strainer, strain the red bean by mashing with wooden scoop. Reserve 8 sups of red bean water. Settle the mashed red bean for 30 min.
5. Sprinkle sugar on the glutinous rice powder, knead with hot water. Shape rice balls so that you get 25 from the mixture.
6. Put 4 cups of red bean water and soaked rice into a pot, heat it up for 4 min. on high heat. When it boils, lower the heat to medium, boil for another 20 min. with stirring.
7. When the rice is cooked, add the red bean paste. When it boils again, continue to boil for 10 more min. and add rice balls, wait for 1 min. When the rice balls float on, season with sugar and bring it to a boil.

And there you have it, a nice sweet dessert that is going to warm you up this winter and make you forget about how cold it is outside.

I hope that you all have fun making it for tomorrow, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and be healthy and happy. I'll try to post again before Christmas ^^

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