Today’s recipe is one of the most popular Korean snacks, chapssal doughnuts. They’re a modern Korean treat combining traditional Korean rice cakes with Western style deep fried doughnut balls. On the outside the dough is crispy and chewy, and on the inside there’s soft, lightly sweet red bean paste.
You can find them in many Korean bakeries among the other sweet and savory treats. They’re not hard to make, but the red bean filling takes time and effort to get right. I did many experiments to come up with the best method to make the most delicious and less sweet chapssal doughnuts that have the best chewy-crispy texture. They’re really unique!
Enjoy the recipe and let me know if you try it!
For the dough:
- 1 cup glutinous rice flour (aka sweet rice flour, Mochiko powder, or chapssalgaru)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons hot water
For sweet red bean paste (about 1 pound):
- 1 cup dried azuki beans (aka red beans, or pat) 7 ounces, or 200 grams
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup rice syrup (or corn syrup)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For frying and coating:
- vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar
Make the dough:
- Combine glutinous rice flour, flour, kosher salt, baking soda, and melted butter in a large bowl. Add hot water and mix with a wooden spoon for 1 minute.
- Form it into a lump as it gathers together.
- Knead the lump by hand for 2 minutes, until smooth. Put it in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out.
Make the sweet red bean paste:
- Wash the azuki beans in cold water and strain. Put them into a solid, heavy-bottomed pot.
- Add 7 cups of water. Cover and boil for 30 minutes over medium high heat.
- Turn off the heat and let the beans soak in the hot water for 30 minutes.
- Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 1 hour until the beans are very soft.
- Remove from the heat and mash the beans with a wooden spoon or potato masher.
- Add 3 cups of water and stir into a watery paste.
- Set a strong mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the paste through it to remove the bean skins.
- Use your hands to squeeze every drop out of the skins as best you can. Discard the empty skins and wash the strainer to use it again.
- Put the strainer over an empty bowl and line it with a clean cotton cloth. Strain the paste by pouring it through the cloth and strainer.
- Lift up the edges of the cloth and gently squeeze it to force the all water through.
- When all the water has passed, you’ll be left with a solid lump of finely ground, cooked beans inside the cloth.
- Put it into the pot, and turn the on heat to medium high. Add sugar, rice syrup, kosher salt, and vanilla extract.
- Stir well with a wooden spoon for about 6 to 7 minutes until the bean paste moves together as a lump. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Use about 200 grams (7 ounces) of the red bean paste for this recipe and freeze rest for another day.
Shape the doughnut balls:
- Divide the paste into 10 pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Cover with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out while you work.
- Divide the dough into 10 pieces (each one about 1 ounce, or 28 grams) and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Put one of the dough balls on the cutting board and flatten it out with your hand into a disk about 2½ inches in diameter. Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger and put the disk on top of it.
- With your other hand put one red bean paste ball in the center of the disk and push and pull the dough around it, so the red bean ball is completely covered by the dough.
- Seal the dough gently and tightly around the red bean, and softly roll the ball on your cutting board to smooth out any lumps. Repeat this with the rest of the dough and red beans to make 10 balls.
Fry the doughnuts:
I usually use my 7 inch stainless steel sauce pan with 3 cups of oil and fry 5 balls at a time to save on oil, but you can use more oil and fry them all at once in a larger pan if you want.
- Heat up vegetable oil in a deep pan to 300°F (150°C).
- Fry the balls for 6 to 7 minutes over medium low heat, until light golden brown. As they fry, stir gently with a wooden spoon so they’re cooked evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Strain and let them cool for 1 minute.
- Roll in sugar to coat, and serve. Finish in several hours, for the best chewiness!