Baekseolgi (백설기)  open the window of AOD

2018-05-04

Main Ingredients :
10 cups non-glutinous rice powder, 2 tbsp water, 1/2 cup sugar

Spices :
Garnish: A few jujubes, chestnuts, or walnuts
Cherry-flavored or cocoa-flavored baekseolgi: 1/2 tsp cherry powder or 1/2 tsp cocoa powder per 1 cup non-glutinous rice powder
As the old Korean saying goes, “Rice cake is better than cooked rice,” rice cake was considered a very precious food when rice was scarce in the past. Therefore, rice cakes were served on special days or for memorial services. Among numerous kinds of rice cakes called “tteok” in Korean, “baekseolgi” was cooked by steaming only non-glutinous rice powder in a siru, a traditional earthenware steamer. The name is made up of three Chinese characters: baek meaning white; seol snow; and gi rice cake. So, it meant that baekseolgi resembled white snow. Traditionally people believed that serving baekseolgi to 100 people to mark a new born baby’s hundredth day would ensure a long and healthy life for the baby.

Direction :

Fully soak non-glutinous rice for about a day; drain completely; and finely grind.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of water in the rice powder; rub the mixture with your hands. Then sift.

Add sugar; mix well; and sift again.

Layer a damp cloth inside a steamer and place inside a mold of any shape. Put the rice powder mix into the mold and spread it evenly.

Pour 1 liter of water into a steamer. When the water is brought to a boil, place a damp cloth over the mold and put on the lid. Make sure the steam doesn’t escape from around the edge of the steamer.

Steam it over high heat for about 25 minutes; then quickly turn off the gas. Open the lid and take out the mold and flip it to take out the rice cake.

Top it with garnishes such as flower-shaped jujubes, walnuts, or pine nuts.

☑ When making fine non-glutinous rice powder at home, repeat the process of grinding and sifting several times.
☑ Non-glutinous rice powder requires an appropriate amount of moisture to be cooked. So, after adding water, rub the powder with both hands. When the handprints form clearly on the dough and the mix forms a lump, the rice cake will be well-steamed.
☑ After adding sugar sift again. That way the ingredients will mix well.
☑ The same method is used when adding color to baekseolgi with cherry or cocoa powder. But you can chose not to add sugar.
☑ When filling the mold with the rice powder mix remember not to press it.
☑ If steam escapes around the edge of the steamer the rice cake won’t be fully cooked.
Kim Su-jinHansik Researcher

- Director of Association for Research on Taste of Korea
- Head Director of Food & Culture Korea Academy
- Nation’s First Film Food Director
(Major works: “Ssanghwajeom”, “The Painter of Wind”, “King and the Clown”, “Best Chef”)
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