Korean Danhobak (kabocha squash) Porridge

Kabocha squash fall porridge with red dates, pine nuts, and mochi
Korean Hobakjuk

In Korean this dish is called “hobakjuk,” which can technically refer to zucchini or winter squash porridge. However, it most commonly refers to a porridge that celebrates the sweet winter squash called danhobak (it is also known as kabocha squash). The short-grain brown rice in this dish is a plant-based way to enhance its silky creamy texture.

MIND diet foods: Vegetables, Whole Grains, Nuts

Korean Pumpkin Porridge
Author: 
Recipe type: Porridge, Soup, Starter, Side
Cuisine: Korean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cups
 
This mild-mannered and comforting porridge celebrates the subtle sweetness naturally found in kabocha squash.
Ingredients
For the Porridge
  • ½ cup sweet brown rice
  • 1 medium kabocha squash, about 4 lbs measured whole
  • 6 cups of water, ½ cup of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Recommended garnishes: jujube (red dates), sliced; pine nuts, roasted sesame seeds
  • Optional: honey
For the Mochi
  • ½ cup sweet rice flour
  • 5 tablespoons of water
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain brown rice in cool water 3 to 5 times. Soak rice in clean water for at least 1 hour (can be done a day ahead).
  2. Preheat oven to 400F, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, soften the squash. Wash squash well, then pierce several times with a fork or knife and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 3 inches of water. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip the squash over, and cook for another 4 minutes. Let squash rest until cool enough to handle, then cut into 2-4 pieces and toss with a neutral oil, then place cut side down on a lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then remove skins. It's 6-8 cups.
  4. While squash is roasting, make the thickening liquid. Drain soaked rice and add to blender with ½ cup of water. Blend on high until liquified, and set aside until ready to use. Quickly rinse out the blender.
  5. Blend the squash in batches, gradually adding 6 cups of water, until smooth. Move blended squash to a large pot and heat on low.
  6. Slowly stir in brown rice-water mixture and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and salt to taste.
  7. Meanwhile, make the rice cake dumplings. Start a medium pot of water to boil, and set up a large bowl of cold ice water.
  8. Heat 5 tablespoons of water, e.g. in microwave or tea kettle.
  9. Place rice flour in a medium bowl and stir in hot water gradually until cool enough to handle, then knead dough for a few minutes.
  10. Pinch off a ½ teaspoon at a time and roll dough between palms to form small balls (makes about 30 of them)
  11. Drop into boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until they float
  12. Remove rice cake dumplings with a slotted spoon and place in cold water bath until ready to use
Plate it
  1. Pour soup into bowls, add a few rice cake dumplings to each, and garnish as desired. Drizzle with honey if using. Enjoy.

 

Nectarine Gazpacho with California Avocado and Lime

I love summer for the bounty of stone fruit. In my excitement, sometimes I buy too much, and it gets overripe for my taste as a snack on its own. If this happens to you too, don’t throw it out, do what chefs have done throughout time with still-ok-but-overripe produce: make soup. Don’t forget to taste along the way to get the flavor you want.

 

MIND foods: Wine, Olive Oil

Yield: 6-8 servings

Time: 10 minutes plus chilling time (at least 30 minutes)

Difficulty: Easy

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium ripe yellow nectarines, cored and large chopped
  • 1/2 ripe California avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp sweet vermouth
  • 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or salt to taste
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-4 cups cold water
  • 4 ice cubes, blended (optional)

Optional garnishes:

  • 1 clove shallot, thinly sliced, soaked for 5+ minutes in rice wine vinegar and a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 avocado, thinly sliced

 

Directions: 

Wash and dry all fresh produce before beginning. Prep and measure all ingredients. In a large blender, combine nectarines, avocado, garlic, lime juice, sweet vermouth, vinegars, and salt, and blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue to blend. Optional: to speed up cooling, crush ice cubes in a food processor then add to main mixture. Add cold water a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let flavors meld. Garnish just before serving.

Nutrition: 125 calories, 9 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Nutrition information based on addition of 2 cups of cold water, and 6 servings yield; ice and garnishes not accounted for.