It’s squash. It’s a porridge. It’s got beans and dduk (or mochi). It’s naturally sweet – you can always add more sweetener of your choice, but I don’t and neither does my mama.
Let’s talk about the beans for a sec. On the right are supermarket Azuki beans. They’re used commonly for desserts in Asian food. The ones on the left are Rio Zape beans from Rancho Gordo, ordered online and delivered via courier. They are pretty much what started the company Rancho Gordo, “This is the bean that started the whole thing! … I was sold on heirloom varieties after just one bite.. [it has] traces of coffee and chocolate and the velvety texture was like nothing else.” – Steve Sando
I’m not a bean person. My mom used to put beans in our rice sometimes and I would always put them to the side and very discreetly carry the bowl to the kitchen, shielding it from view by strategically angling my body, all the while as nonchalant as ever.. and dump them straight into the trash.
BUT these beans. He pretty much says it all. I feel like they’re real beans but without all that beany-ness that one would normally associate with beans. I feel like I’ve been eating copies of beans my whole life. Yeah, them beans is good.
That squash on the left is a Calabaza squash. They are typically sold in pieces. My mom recommended that I get it if the market had them. It’s a good thing I did because that Kabocha squash was not ripe at all. Oh and save the seeds!
He loves squash.
When ready to roll the dduk, oil your hands and the plate well. I like to have a little bowl of oil on the side, then you don’t have to touch your oil bottle with sticky sweet rice dough hands. I’d say about 2-3 T worth.
Also, make sure you cover the dduk balls if you are not immediately cooking them.
You don’t have to use Calabaza squash. You can use just Kabocha. These are the only squash I’ve used so the only ones I recommend. Also, this recipe is very flexible so if your total weight of the squash is more or less than mine, just adjust the thickness with the sweet rice flour as desired.
Azuki beans in general don’t require a long soaking time. My mom doesn’t soak them at all. I just wanted to play it safe.
The Rio Zape beans are so fresh they also didn’t require a long soak but if you are buying store bought beans, you should soak overnight.
Just Azuki beans are fine, too.
The dduk and beans are optional. The very base of this recipe is the Kabocha and sweet rice flour. You can make it with just that.
Korean Kabocha Porridge with Fixin’s
Makes 2 – 4 servings.
Total time varies:
To make storebought pinto beans: overnight soak + a few hours to cook = 12 hours
To make Rio Zape beans: couple hours soak + one hour to cook = 3 hours
To make Azuki beans: couple hours soak + one hour to cook = 3 hours
To make porridge and dduk: about an hour
- 1/2 c. Azuki beans
- 1/2 c. Rio Zape beans
- 1/2 Kabocha (1 lb)
- Calabaza piece (2.4lb)
- 1/3 c. Sweet Rice flour
- 1 c. water
- 1/3 c. Sweet Rice flour
- 3 T. water
- Salt to taste
- Neutral Oil
To make beans:
Place the beans in their own bowls and cover with water by a few inches. Soak according to timeline above. Drain and rinse beans with clean water. Place in pot and cover beans with a couple inches of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Let it boil a few minutes and turn down heat to a hard simmer until soft. Follow times above as a guide. Maintain water level, replenish with boiling water as needed. (I keep a kettle of simmering water ready on the stove.) Store beans until ready to use. You can store in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.
To make porridge:
Cut Kabocha in half and Calabaza in thirds. Arrange in steamer basket in one layer. Place in pot with water just below steamer. Cover with lid. Place over high heat. Cook for about 25 minutes for Kabocha and 35 minutes for Calabaza. They are ready when easily pierced with a fork. Take steamer out of pot. Rinse out pot with clean water. Scoop out flesh with a spoon. You can then blend this in a blender or place back into pot and use an immersion blender. Add a 1/2 c. of water in either case. Bring puree to a simmer.
In a bowl, combine the 1/3 c. Sweet Rice flour and the other 1/2 c. water. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into simmering puree and mix well. Season with salt.
To make dduk:
In a bowl, mix the rest of the Sweet Rice Flour and the water. I use a fork. The mixture should form a sticky ball. If it seems a bit crumbly, you can add another teaspoon or so of water. Oil your hands well and pinch off a piece of dough; roll it between the palms of your hands to form a ball. Place on well oiled plate. Cover loosely with an oiled parchment paper/saran wrap.
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Place dduk balls in pot one by one and swirl the water around in the pot so the balls don’t stick. They are ready when they float to the surface. Drain balls and store in clean cold water till use. You can also store these in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.
Mix in about 1/2 c. (or however much you want! here’s what I did with leftovers) each of the beans with the dduk balls. Simmer for a few minutes. If you made the beans and/or dduk beforehand and they are coming straight out of the fridge, simmer until everything is properly warmed.