Culinary Culture of Korea

Fermented Rice Cake

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Fermented rice cake (pictured) is a kind of rice cake the Korean people like to eat very much.

It is prepared by mixing grain flour and hot water, fermenting the mixture by adding a sweet drink made with rice and malt or liquor and steaming that. It is white and raised like frostwork in shape.

The fermented rice cake has been passed on from the period of Koryo Kingdom, but the detailed recipe for it can be found in the historical records in the period of the feudal Joson dynasty.

One of them is Puinphilji, or “Must-knows for married women”. According to it, rice flour is mixed with boiling water first before adding a small amount of liquor and sesame oil and fully solving them without lumps. The container with the mixture is sealed tight and put in a warm place. When the mixture is properly fermented, a piece of wrapping cloth is spread over the cake steamer and the mixture is ladled on it. The filling is put on it at regular intervals in the size of a walnut and cover them with a layer of the mixture in proper thickness. It is garnished with a mixture of finely chopped jujube, dried persimmon and sliced pine nuts, cooked in a steamer and oiled.

“Our people like it, especially in summer, as the fermented rice cake is sweet and sour and chewy and does not rot in summer,” said Choe Son, a chef in the National Restaurant.

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