Korean pumpkin porridge (hobakjuk) is made with pumpkin and rice. It is gently sweet and easy to make. This delicious porridge makes a perfect breakfast.

Korean Pumpkin Porridge is served in a stone pot surrounded by pumpkins.

We all know the story, “Goldilocks and the three bears”. Too big, too small…, too hot, too cold…,  after all the ordeal Goldilocks finally finds her perfect “just right” things in the bear family house, and gets comfy. The story sometimes makes me compare Goldilocks as my own image in life. Yes, there is some lesson we learn from the story, though. Respecting other people’s possessions or importance of having a good manner…

I realize that I often find myself becoming like Goldilocks, looking for my “just right” everything around the house. Dress, shoes, mattress, food, house, marriage, kids, friends, camera, lenses, pots and pans…, and even spatulas. I am not a picky person but I do have my “just right” taste on everything, not too much of this or not too little of that…

I learned that finding the ultimate “just right”of everything in life really depends on how you handle it. Life is not perfect and it is not supposed to be. To gain the “just right” on everything we seek for, we just have to get it to work.

Today’s recipe, “Korean pumpkin porridge, 호박죽(Hobaak Jook)”, is your Goldilocks challenge. Not too sweet and not too bland. But the good side is; this is perhaps the simplest Korean porridge you will find. All you need is a slice of aged pumpkin, rice, some sugars, and salt to taste.
The hardest part? Finding your “just right” sweetness…
It really depends on your personal taste.

What kind of pumpkin to use? Well, any kind that has deep bright orange color in the flesh. Pumpkins are in season now. So grab one that you like and let’s make some good old porridge, in Korean style!

You will need;

Look at this gorgeous pumpkin slice.

I use sweet rice, which is glutenous short grain rice.
We call it “찹쌀(Chapssal)”

You can use regular short grain instead if you can’t find the sweet kind.

Rinse the rice several times, and soak them in the water for at least 1 hour.

Not too long and not too short…

 Scrape off all the fibers and the seeds out of the pumpkin with a spoon.

Cut into chunks and slice them

 Boil the pumpkin slices in the water until they get very tender and soft.
If you are lucky to have a hand blender,

that will be the “just right” tool for pureeing these pumpkin in the pot.

 If you are the unfortunate one like myself,
either mash with fork or use regular blender to puree them.

Keep the pumpkin broth in the pot.

Drain the rice and put them in a food processor or blender with a little bit of water.
Blender will create smoother texture.

Puree until foamy and the rice gets granulated.


Mix pumpkin puree and the broth over medium heat, add the pureed rice.

 Stirring often with whisk so that the rice granules won’t stick to the bottom of pan.
Continue to cook for 5 minutes in gentle boil over medium heat.

Add more water if your porridge seems too thick.

 Add sugars, both white and light brown.
You can use all brown sugar if you prefer…
(Brown sugar gives nice flavor but can darken the color of the soup)
Find your “just right” sweetness according to your taste.
You can add more sugars but I wouldn’t make it too sweet.
Remember! not too sweet, not too bland…


Cook for 5 more minutes until the rice granules feels “just right” soft with a little body.
Season with some salt.
Do not overcook the porridge.

 It can develop weird smell.

That’s all!
Serve with some chopped walnuts or pine nuts on top as garnish.
This porridge reheats beautifully in the microwave.

So make a batch and keep them in the fridge.

Perfect for mid-night snack or quick breakfast.
Or simply when you need “just right” comfort…
 I had my bowl of pumpkin porridge.
It was not too hot, or not too cold,

not too sweet, not too bland, …just right for me.

I need to find my “just right” bed to take a nap…

z z z z…



Korean pumpkin porridge is served in a stone pot surrounded by pumpkins

Korean Pumpkin Porridge (hobak-jook)

5 from 1 rating


  • 1 1/2 -2 lb pumpkin, seeded and peeled
  • 3/4 C sweet rice or short grain rice
  • 4-5 C water
  • 3-4 Tbsp white sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • chopped walnuts or pine nuts for garnish, optional


  • Rinse the rice a few times and soak in a big bowl for at least 1 hour (overnight is even better).
  • Slice the pumpkin and put them in a big pot with 4 cup of water. Boil and cook until the pumpkin gets very soft and tender. Puree them with hand blender or in a food processor (Do not discard the broth).
  • When the rice is fully soaked and hydrated, drain them. Put rice in a blender or food processor with a little bit of water and puree them until they get finely granulated.
  • Combine the rice puree, pumpkin puree with its broth in a big pot over medium heat, Keep stirring so the rice won't stick to the bottom of the pot, cook for about 5 minutes. Add more broth(water) if the porridge feels too thick. Add sugars and salt to taste, cook for 5-7 more minutes stirring often until the rice granules feels soft.
  • Taste the porridge and adjust sweetness according to your taste. Do not overcook the porridge.
  • Garnish with some chopped nuts and serve warm.
Serving: 6g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.