This Korean Pumpkin porridge, which is naturally sweet and rich in flavors, is a wonderful dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or a light meal! Give this delicious and nutritious porridge a try and you will find out why it’s so loved by many!!
the pumpkin story…
When my family moved to the States from Korea, we had never seen an orange pumpkin before! It was a very mysterious looking orange thing, and talk about it’s massive size!! One fall, our family decided to buy the American pumpkin and give it a try. My brother and I watched in excitement as my dad cut the pumpkin. My dad gave it a big heave and ‘Crack’ went the pumpkin in half! All four of us stared at the pumpkin in silence. My brother exclaimed, “why is it orange!” I soon followed, “why are there so many big seeds?”. This was a new world of pumpkin for all of us. Long story short, my dad did “try” to make Korean style pumpkin porridge with it. lol From that day on, we decided to leave that to Kabocha pumpkins…
kabocha? dan hobak?
I am glad that Kabocha, also called Dan Hobak, pumpkins are available all year round. In Japanese it’s called Kabocha pumpkin and in Korean it’s called Dan Hobak. Dan means sweet and hobak means pumpkin. They are typically dark green color with hard and textured skin outside. The inside color is very vibrant yellow-orange and very dense. They tend to taste much sweeter than other pumpkins with different texture. The inside texture resembles a sweet potato, so once steamed, they mash very well. They taste very sweet inside, and literally melt in your mouth after being steamed!! No sugar needed!! I used to feed my kids steamed Kabocha pumpkins all the time when they were toddlers and they would go crazy over it! Maybe it was just my kids!
what can you pair this porrige with?
After all these years, I decided to write down my Pumpkin porridge recipe. Koreans like to eat this as a porridge, meaning that it’s sweet rice mixed into the soup. To make things easier, I used Mochiko sweet rice powder. As an extra option, you can also make these mochi balls that are great for toppings!! Very good for little tummies and keep you full and satisfied without the gluten!! Drizzling with honey and garnishing with pine nuts are also very popular.
can you boil the pumpkin instead of steaming?
Typically when you steam vegetables, you are able to retain more of the nutrients and the flavor. If you are planning to steam and eat the pumpkin by itself, I highly recommend steaming vs. boiling. I have eaten both ways and a big difference in the texture and flavor!! But for this porridge, I use both boil and steam method to reduce time and resource. Instead of tossing the steamed water, the recipe uses this water to make the porridge, so the flavor is never lost. Last tip is to really give the pumpkin a good wash before it goes into the pot!!
How long does it last in the fridge?
The porridge can last up to 2-3 days in the fridge. You can either reheat a small portion at a time in the microwave (with a wrap) or a pot on the stovetop in low heat. Since it has the sweet rice powder, you need to give it a good stir. The rice cake toppings can be saved for later but will need to be reboiled before serving. They will get rock hard in the fridge.
Is this good for toddlers and babies?
It’s very good for little ones, they love the taste of sweet goodness from the pumpkin, but I would recommend not adding the sweet rice powder if you plan to freeze. You can freeze this in the ice trays and then save them in freezer ziplock bags. Even after they defrost, the taste will still remain.
any benefits for this porridge?
Koreans love giving this porridge to anyone who have had a surgery or gone through pregnancy labor and delivery. It is believed that this porridge helps speed up the healing process and bring down the swelling in your body. It is also known to help with digestive issues and great for dietary supplement for people who can’t chew well. Hope this was helpful!!
- Sweet rice powder: Mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour)
- Pine nuts: Trader Joe’s Dry Toasted Pignolias – Pine Nuts
- Honey: Taylor Pass Honey Co Artisan Honey
Did you try making this tasty, comforting Hobak Jook? If you liked it, please tag me on my Instagram Account! @Seasonedbyjin I would love to see your creation!!
Korean Sweet Pumpkin Porridge/Dan Hobak Jook
- 3 lb Kabocha pumpkin whole
- 3 cup water to steam boil the pumpkin
- ¼ cup Mochiko powder
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
- ¾ cup Mochiko Powder
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 7-8 Tbsp hot water for the rice balls
- 3 cup water boil in the pot
- pine nuts
- chopped dried jujube
- Wash Kabocha pumpkin skin really well. Cut the pumpkin in half, then scrap out the seeds. Slice the pumpkins into wedges, about 8-10 pieces. Cut small enough to fit into the stock pot and be able to close the lid.
- In a large stock pot, bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add the Kabocha wedged and put on the lid. Simmer in medium heat for about 20min or until fork goes in easily.
- Take out the pumpkin wedges on a tray to cool. Reserve the water in the pot. Once cooled separate the pumpkin from the skin and put it back into the stock pot. The pumpkin skin is edible, can be consumed as is or use for later.
- Mash the pumpkin until smooth. Doesn't have to be totally smooth.
- Make the mochi round toppings. Mix the mochi powder, sugar and salt. Then add a Tbsp of hot water into the bowl at a time, mixing as you go. The consistency should be not sticky but not dry. The final mix should be done hand. Make into 1/2" round balls, set aside. Makes about 3 dozens.
- Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Drop the mochi round into the pot one at a time. Once they float on top of the pot, give it a minute and drain on a strainer.
- Mix 1/4 Mochiko powder and 1 cup cold water and give it a good stir, set it aside. Turn the heat back on for the pot with the pumpkin. Once the pumpkin bubbles, lower the heat to low and slowly pour in the rice water mix while stirring. Stir and simmer for about 2 minutes and add salt and sugar to taste. Turn heat off.
- Garnish with honey, pine nuts, and jujube.