Today let’s make squash rice cake (Hobaktteok), using a small ceramic bowl or cup. I’m so excited to release this recipe because with it you can easily make fluffy rice cake and sweet squash filling. Ramekins work well, but you could try any other kind of similar-sized, heat-resistant bowl or cup, too. The nice thing about ramekins is that the final result looks pretty on the table.
I like the contrast between the clean, white rice cake and the sweet, tangy, lemon-flavored, gooey, golden squash filling. Add more filling if you want. I use squash but you could use kabocha, too.
Serve one small bowl per person as a light dessert or snack. It’s fun to scoop and eat, and the perfect size for one person.
Enjoy the recipe, and let me know if you make it at home!
- ½ cup cooked butternut squash
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon
- 2 cups rice flour (frozen rice flour sold at a Korean grocery store or make your own)
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Run the zester across the lemon in long threads. Set aside.
Make squash filling
- Wash 1 small butternut squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stringy stuff. Cut the halves crosswise and put them in a heavy pot. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pot.
- Cover and cook for 30 to 35 minutes over medium low heat, until the squash turns soft and tender. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and transfer it to a bowl, discarding the skins. Mash the squash with a wooden spoon.
- Put ½ cup of the squash into a small pot. The remainder can be frozen for up to 1 month in a plastic bag, for later use.
- Add the honey and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Heat up the pot and boil for about 5 minutes over medium high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the consistency turns into something a little thicker than apple sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Make Rice cake
- Put the rice flour into a coarse sieve over a large bowl. Sift through the sieve and stir with a wooden spoon so that rice flour goes through and gets well aired. Remove any hard solids left over in the sieve.
- Sift and stir the rice flour a second time.
- Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, kosher salt, and sugar.
- Mix it all up between your palms, gently pressing out any wet lumps, until the rice flour is uniformly wet. Sift the rice flour again.
- Bring 6 cups of water in a steamer and boil.
- Put 1 to 2 teaspoons squash filling into the bottom of each ramekin.
- Use a spoon to fill each ramekin ⅔ full with rice flour, then add another dollop of squash filling. Top it up with some more rice flour, and garnish with the lemon zest.
- When the water in the steamer starts to boil, put the ramekins into the steamer. Cover and steam for 30 minutes over medium high heat.
- Serve right away. The rice cake will be fluffy for about 5 to 7 hours at room temperature.
- If you want to save some to serve later, let the rice cake cool for 30 minutes and then wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze. When you want serve it later, first thaw it out at room temperature. The rice cake will still be fluffy, but you could also microwave or steam again to refresh it.