Got to enjoy some old-school danpatjuk (sweet red bean porridge) thanks to the lady friend last week to celebrate donjinal (the winter solstice). I don’t usually let her cook when it comes to recipes for the blog, but she was quite adamant about wanting to cook this particular dish after our little quarrel about who could cook it better. Being the obedient boyfriend, I let her do her thing and I was relegated as sous chef for the day (which worked out great because it made taking pictures that much easier). And just as we decided who would cook for the night, she calls her mom for some cooking advice. Lol. Anyways, I have to say the end result was a whole lot of deliciousness going on with the porridge turning out to be creamy, sweet, and delicious. This was definitely one of the better home cooked meals that I’ve had in a long time, and seeing my girlfriend firsthand put her heart and soul into the dish made it that much more special. 😀
Danpatjuk 101: sweet porridge perfect for a light snack or mid-afternoon meal, made with red beans and sweet rice flour for the saeal (bird’s eggs). Danpatjuk is traditionally eaten on dongjinal (the winter solstice), the day with the longest night of the year. On this particular day, the porridge is eaten with family members or people in the village—and as past rituals go—some porridge is splashed on the doors outside the house to chase away evil spirits. Although the tradition is in decline, some rural areas still celebrate donjinal with a hearty bowl of danpatjuk.
- 3 cups dry red beans
- 4, 5 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cups glutinous rice powder
- ½ cup water
- salt to taste
- any type of nuts for garnish
- In a large bowl, soak the beans in water for at least an hour to soften them before cooking.
- Cook the red beans in a rice cooker with extra water, about two inches covered. When finished, remove to a pot and then boil again with added water for about 30 minutes.
- Using a strainer over a bowl, mash the red beans with a wooden spatula to get the wanted bean paste. The skin will not be used so discard after mashing the beans thoroughly. Running some water will help in this process.
- Bring back to the pot: about one cup of rice, 4 tbsp of sugar, and another cup of water with the extracted red bean paste. Cook on medium heat for a minimum of 30 minutes until the rice cooks through and a creamy consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust the sweetness accordingly.
- While red beans are being cooked, make the sweet rice balls. Mix about two cups of glutinous rice flour with one cup of water (adding some salt and sugar is optional). Knead until the mixture becomes firm and hardens into a dough. Add more water if necessary.Put the dough in a plastic wrap and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Breaking off small pieces at a time, roll by hand into bite-sized pieces until the dough is used up. Boil the dough pieces in the porridge itself or separately in water for about 10 minutes. The balls should rise to the top when cooked through.
- Ladle the soup into a bowl, add a few rice balls, and top with available garnish. Enjoy!