10 Popular Korean Desserts

Hey guys, it’s Vanessa.

Based on what I know, everyone loves food. I mean, why wouldn’t you, food keeps you alive. And some people, like me, who is both into Korean culture and food, will want to know the types of food that Koreans eat typically. And I figured sweets is a fine way to start off this topic so here we go, 10 popular Korean desserts.

1. Subak Hwachae (Watermelon Punch)


Subak Hwachae, hwachae meaning fruit punch, is a traditional sweet dessert made with refreshing diced watermelons. This dessert is the most widely consumed hwachae in the summer throughout Korea and is the best kind of food to eat when you’re trying to cool yourself down in the hot temperature. To prepare this punch, a watermelon is cut in half and the interior is scooped out with a melon baller. The excess rind of the watermelon will then acts as the container to fill up with the watermelon, its juice, other varieties of fruits, and ice.

2. Hotteok (Pancake with Cinnamon Peanut Filling)


Hotteook is a popular street food that can be found practically anywhere in Korea. It has a variety of filling flavors, however the most often one is cinnamon and peanut filling. Other flavors could include green tea, pink bokbunja (Korean raspberry), corn, and many others! The dough for hotteok is made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and yeast. To prepare this sweet, handfuls of the dough are stuffed with a sweet mixture which could include brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. This is then placed on a greased pan and flattened to make a circle as it bakes into a golden brown.

3. Makgeolli Sool Bbang (Steamed Cake with Korean Rice Wine)


To be honest, it was hard to find information about this dessert but I’ll try my best! (Please correct me if I’m wrong in some parts!) Anyway, Makgeolli Sool Bbang is a traditional steam bun in Korea that is made with Korean rice wine. The cake itself is soft and rises easily, it’ll give off a slight scent and taste of alcohol as you bite into the sweet. To prepare this, mix the makgeolli (rice wine), eggs, vanilla and brown sugar in a large bowl until slightly frothy. Then sift flour and baking powder over the mix and fold until everything is equally balanced. Pour the batter into a steamer basket and steam the bread for 35-40 minutes. This is best eaten when hot!

4. Shikhye (Sweet Rice Punch)


Shikhye is a traditional Korean rice beverage which, including its liquid ingredients, contains grains of cooked rice and in some cases, pine nuts. There are many variations of shikhye depending on the area it is made in. Andong shikhye made in the Gangwon Province, differs in that is includes radishes, carrots, and powdered red peppers. It is also fermented for several days as opposed to the the shikhye typically being boiled. Compared to the usual shikhye in restaurants that is enjoyed as a dessert beverage, Andong shikhye is appreciated as a digestive aid as it contains lactobacillus.

5. Songpyeon (Half-Moon Shaped Rice Cakes)


Songpyeon is a traditional Korean dessert made of glutinous rice. It is a variation of tteok, which consists multiple small rice cakes that are typically and traditionally eaten on Chuseok, the Korean Autumn Harvest Festival. Songpyeon are half-moon-shaped rice cakes that contain different kinds of sweet or semi-sweet fillings, which may include sesame seeds with honey, sweet red bean paste, and chestnut paste steamed over a layer of pine needles. Songpyeon is a type of rice cake that is made by kneading rice powder with hot water and stuffing the dough with an assortment of fillings of your choosing, such as the ones listed above. The different colors can then be arranged in beautiful patterns and each will have its own unique taste.

6. Sujeonggwa (Persimmon Punch)


Sujeonggwa is a traditional Korean cinnamon punch that is made with dried persimmons, cinnamon, ginger, and is often garnished with pine nuts. This punch is made by first brewing the cinnamon and ginger at a slow boil. The remaining solid cinnamon and ginger is then removed and the liquid is boiled again after adding either honey or brown sugar. The dried persimmons are then cut into chunks and left to soak and soften in the punch after the brew has completely cooled.

7. Yakwa (Honey Pastry)


Yakwa is a Korean traditional treat that was originally considered a dessert and more recently as a confectionary because of its sweet taste and flower biscuit shape. Yakwa is mainly made out of honey, sesame oil, and wheat flour. However, manufacturers recently have been adding in extra ingredients to improve the pastry’s taste.

8. Yaksik/Yakbap (Sweet Rice Dessert)


Yaksik, literally medicinal food, is a sweet Korean dish made with glutinous rice and mixed with chestnuts, jujubes, and pine nuts. This dessert is then seasoned with honey or brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sometimes cinnamon. This sweet is traditionally eaten on Jeongwol Daeboreum, a Korean holiday that falls on every 15th of January on the lunar calendar, weddings, and hwangap festivals.

9. Baejjim (Steamed Pear


Unfortunately, information about this dessert is also scarce *cries*. But there are two types of baejjim, steamed whole pear and cooked punch like the sujeonggwa. Bae meaning pear and jjim meaning steamed. Baejjim is often eaten in the winter as it is a great remedy for colds, especially sore throats and coughs. To prepare this dessert, first rinse the pear in cold water and pat dry. Then make a sort of lid by slicing off an inch of the top. Scoop out the seeds and inside with a spoon and fill it up with honey, ginger, cinnamon powder, and jujubes. Then put the lid back on and steam the pear for about one hour over medium high heat.

10. Gyeongdan (Rice Cake Balls)


If you hadn’t noticed yet, rice cake is a familiar food for Koreans and Gyeongdan is just a prime example. Gyeongdan is a Korean rice cake dessert that is eaten often in Korea. The filling is typically sweet red bean paste with beans that are soaked overnight and boiled the next day. The dough is made with sweet rice flour with salt and sugar mixed together in boiling water until it becomes firm. The toppings of the rice cakes can vary from green tea and sugar to black sesame seeds to shredded coconut.

Okay! That will be the end of the list! So please feel free to comment down below if I made any mistakes in my information or if you want to request a topic that I should do next, it’ll be really appreciated! Thank you guys and if you ever get the chance, please try some of these desserts, I guarantee that they’ll be delicious!


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