Yaksik (약식)  open the window of AOD

2018-05-25

Main Ingredients :
3 cups glutinous rice, 3 tbsp sesame oil, 2/3 tsp salt, 3 tbsp aged soy sauce, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, 2 tbsp honey

Spices :
Other ingredients: 8 dry jujubes, 10 chestnuts, 70 g walnuts, 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1.5 tbsp pine nuts
Honey was regarded as a medicine during the Joseon era. Liquor with honey was called yakju, cooked rice with honey was called yakban or yaksik, and traditional fried cookies made with honey were named yakgwa. According to “Dongguksesigi” written by Hong Seok-mu in around 1800, a unique folk tale related to the first lunar year, and yaksik existed in the ancient kingdom. As the legend goes, King Soji of the Silla Dynasty avoided an assignation attempt by his retainers in the year 488 thanks to a crow’s warning. Therefore, a special ritual was held on “ogi-il”, the 15th of January in the lunar calendar, to show gratitude to the crows and serve them yaksik.

Direction :

Soak the glutinous rice for a quarter of a day and drain.

Cut the jujube flesh around the seed and remove it. Slice into 1-cm-wide pieces. Skin the chestnuts and quarter them; halve the walnuts. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts will be used as is.

In a mixing bowl blend aged soy sauce, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and cinnamon powder.

Place the pot on gas while layering a damp cloth inside the steamer. Put the prepared rice inside and plane the surface. Cover it with a damp cotton cloth. Steam for about 50 minutes on medium high.

Mix the steamed glutinous rice, the sweet seasoning sauce and all other ingredients – jujubes, chestnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and pine nuts. Blend well so that the rice is evenly colored with the spices. Layer a damp cotton cloth in a steamer and put in the mix. Steam for about 20 minutes on medium high gas.

Put the cooked yaksik in a deep container coated with sesame oil. Let it cool; slice; and serve on a plate.

☑ If the glutinous rice is soaked for more than a day, the rice could become brittle. Soak the rice for only quarter of a day.
☑ The rice shouldn’t be cooked until it’s too soft because the rice will be steamed and re-steamed with the seasoning sauce and other ingredients.
☑ The final dish coated with sesame oil will not only have a gloss, but will brim with sesame oil aroma and a savory taste.
Seon Dong-juHead Chef of the Menu Development & Consulting Division of CJ Freshway

Head Chef of the Menu Development & Consulting Division of CJ Freshway
Head Instructor of CJ Cooks / Host of Hansik Cooking Class
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