Korean sweet rice cake

(Yaksik )

SERVES: 10

PREP TIME: 45 MINUTES

COOKS IN: 45 MINUTES

Ingredients

2 cups (400g) glutinous rice
6–7 chestnuts, peeled and cut into quarters (or substitute with any nuts of your favourite)
6–7 dried jujubes
2 teaspoons (8g) pine nuts
1/2 cup (90g) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons (12g) sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons (12g) soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons (40g) jujube paste (recipe below)
1 1/2 tablespoons (30g) honey
1/2 teaspoon (1g) cinnamon
2 tablespoons (30g) raisins

Jujube Paste
10 dried jujubes

Method

1. Wash the sweet rice and soak in a generous amount of water for at least 5 hours or overnight. 

2. Drain the sweet rice well. Pour 6-7 cups of water into a deep pot. Depending on what type of steamer basket you have, place it inside or on top of the pot. Line the basket with a wet cheesecloth or muslin and let the excess cloth hang over the edge of the steamer pot. Place the sweet rice inside the basket and on top of the cheesecloth. If using fresh chestnuts, mix them into the rice. Cover the sweet rice with the excess cloth. The rice should be bundled inside the steamer basket. Cover the pot with its lid, and place over high heat. Set a timer for 30-35 minutes. When steam starts to release vigorously through the sides of the lid, about 7-10 minutes later, reduce heat to medium. 

3. Meanwhile remove the seeds of the jujubes and cut into swirls (see image above) or into 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) slivers. Reserve a few pieces to use as decoration. If desired, cut the brown tips off the pine nuts. Set aside. 

4. When the sweet rice has finished cooking for 30-35 minutes, transfer to a large bowl. While still hot, add the brown sugar. Using a wooden spatula, mix well. Make sure the brown sugar melts and evenly coats each grain of rice. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, jujube paste, honey, and cinnamon, and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the prepared jujubes, pine nuts, and raisins. If using canned chestnuts, add them now. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for at 1-2 hours. 

5. Add 1-2 cups of water to the pot, and place everything back into the steamer basket lined with cloth. Wrap the edges of the cloth over the top of the rice like before. Place over high heat and set a timer for 15-20 minutes. 

6. Meanwhile, line a quarter sheet pan or 8×8 inch baking pan with plastic wrap.

7. When the rice has finished cooking for 15-20 minutes, remove from heat and place inside the prepared quarter sheet pan or baking pan. Press the mixture down firmly to make sure everything sticks together. Decorate with the reserved jujube pieces. Let cool for about 15 minutes. 

8. Once cooled, flip the pan over onto a cutting board and cut into desired shapes and sizes using a knife or cookie cutter brushed with oil to prevent sticking. 

9. Eat immediately or wrap individual portions tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or the freezer for up to 6 months. To reheat, remove from plastic wrap and steam or microwave.  

Jujube Paste
1. Place the dried jujubes in a small pot with 1-2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn off heat. Steap for 5 minutes. 

2. Drain the water. When cool enough to handle, remove the seeds and place the meat into a small food processor. Make sure to scrape all the meat from the seeds. Process until finely chopped, then pass through a sieve. Use immediately or place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

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