Korean Rice Cakes with Honey (Songpyeon)

Korean Rice Cake

Korean Rice Cake (Songpyeon)
Korean rice cakes, known as songpyeon, are half moon-shaped dumplings that are stuffed with fillings like sweet potatoes, chestnuts, red beans, or nuts, and then steamed and served with honey. Get the recipe for Korean Rice Cake »Matt Taylor-Gross

These savory–sweet snacks—stuffed with chestnuts, adzuki beans, and sesame—are a popular treat in South Korea. This recipe comes from chef David Kang.

Korean Rice Cakes with Honey (Songpyeon)
These savory–sweet snacks—stuffed with chestnuts, adzuki beans and sesame—are a popular treat in South Korea.
Yield: makes 40 cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 12 cups rice flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 14 cup dried adzuki (red beans), rinsed
  • 3 tbsp. honey, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 14 cup roasted and peeled chestnuts
  • 14 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

Instructions

  1. To make the dough, mix the rice flour with 1 14 cups hot tap water in a medium bowl and knead until a smooth dough comes together. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic until ready to use.
  2. In a 1-qt. saucepan, bring the red beans and 2 cups of water to a simmer and cook until tender, 30 minutes. Drain the beans and spread onto a baking sheet; let dry for 1 hour. Transfer beans to a mini food processor with 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon sugar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of nutmeg and grind into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe the food processor clean and add the chestnuts with another 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon sugar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of nutmeg and grind into a paste. Transfer to another bowl and set aside. In a spice grinder, grind the sesame seeds into a paste, transfer to a bowl and mix with the remaining 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of nutmeg until incorporated.
  3. Divide the dough into 40 tablespoon-size balls, about 1-inch in diameter, and using your thumb, push in the center of each ball to make a well. Scoop 1 teaspoon of one of the three fillings into the center and close it back up into a ball. Using your hands, mold the ball into a half-moon. Repeat this process alternating between the three fillings; you should end up with 10 sesame-filled cakes, 10 chestnut-filled cakes, and 20 red bean-filled cakes.
  4. Using a bamboo steamer set in a pan of simmering water, steam the rice cakes in batches until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a platter and brush with sesame oil. Serve with honey for dipping.