Patjuk (Adzuki Bean Porridge with Sweet Rice Dumplings)
Celebrate the winter solstice with this savory Korean bowl.
4 hours 40 minutes
Dongji (동지, 冬至) is the Korean celebration of the winter solstice. The longest night of the year is widely considered a time of transition and in early Korean history, the holiday was considered the start of the new year, which ushered in the return of sunnier days. To celebrate, we eat patjuk (팥죽), a porridge made with dried adzuki beans. According to Korea’s shamanistic traditions, these red beans are believed to ward off ghosts and evil energy. The porridge also includes sweet rice dumplings named after birds eggs, ssae al shim (새알심), which symbolize birth and the coming spring.
While sweetened patjuk is also popular, this version is savory, like the one my mother always made. She used to make huge pots at a time, filling old glass kimchi jars with the velvety, purple-tinged porridge. Serve it like she did, with our family’s favorite winter kimchi, dongchimi (radish water kimchi).
Featured in: "Korea Celebrates Winter Solstice with Pots of Patjuk."
- 2 cups (12 oz.) dried adzuki beans
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
- Dongchimi (radish water kimchi) or another kimchi, for serving