Korean Pumpkin Porridge (Hobakjuk)
Korean pumpkin porridge (hobakjuk, 호박죽) is versatile dish that you can enjoy as an appetizer, snack, breakfast or even for a dessert. Learn how to make this velvety, satisfying porridge with fresh pumpkin and glutenous rice with this easy recipe.
The beautiful golden-yellow color of pumpkin porridge almost seems to celebrate the autumn harvest season all on it’s own. It is warm, mildly sweet, and so comforting—no wonder it is so popular during the fall and winter seasons in Korea.
Made with fresh pumpkin and sweet rice (aka glutenous rice) with a hint of sugar, you can serve it as a light meal, appetizer before the full main course, or even as a pumpkin dessert after a meal (if you make it sweeter).
The beauty of this Korean pumpkin porridge recipe is that, somehow, leftovers taste even better the next day because the flavors really come together as they sit. The leftover reheats very well after it is chilled in the fridge, so you can enjoy it again s a quick breakfast next day.
So don’t be afraid of making a big batch.
Which pumpkin to use
The generic term for pumpkin in Korean is Hobak (호박), The hobak family includes pumpkin, squash and zucchini. Hobakjuk, the pumpkin porridge, is typically made with aged pumpkin (aka neulgeun hobak, 늙은 호박) that has been matured for a long time. The sweet pumpkin called dan-hobak (단호박) is also widely used as well.
Aged pumpkins are maybe hard to find in U.S but Kabocha (Japanese term for sweet pumpkin) is a type of sweet pumpkin that is widely available in many local groceries. With its deep orange flesh and sweet taste, kabocha is the perfect ingredient for making Korean pumpkin porridge.
If Kabocha is not available, try using butternut squash or any other type of deep orange flesh pumpkin that is available in your area.
Benefits for pumpkin porridge
- For Koreans, pumpkin is known for reducing swelling after surgery or injury. It also makes a great comfort soup for those who are in the recovery stage.
- If you eliminate the sweetener in the porridge, it makes a great baby food as well. High in Vitamin A and carotenoids, it is ideal for boosting immunity.
- Pumpkin is known for being high in fiber. With the addition of sweet rice, they aid the digestion process and even improve gut health.
You will only need 5 ingredients, plus water, for this recipe.
- pumpkin: Typically aged pumpkin is used, but Kabocha pumpkin is a great option for this recipe.
- sweet rice (chapssal): Use white glutenous short grain rice
- sweeteners: Use both white sugar and honey (or light brown sugar) to add sweetness and flavor
- salt: to balance the flavor and season
How to make Korean pumpkin porridge
Step 1. Prep rice and pumpkin
Rinse the sweet glutenous rice several times and soak it in cold water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel off the skin and remove the seeds in the center. Slice the pumpkin into large chunks.
Step 2. Boil pumpkin and sweet rice
Put pumpkin pieces and sweet rice in a large soup pot and add 4 cups of water. Cover with a lid and bring it to boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin and rice are very soft and tender. Stir occasionally.
Step 3. Puree and season
Using a hand blender, puree the pumpkin and rice until smooth (or slightly grainy). Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender to process until smooth. Season the porridge with salt and sugar according to your taste. Garnish porridge with pine nuts (if using) and serve it warm.
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Leftovers (storage & reheating)
Somehow, leftovers taste even better the next day because the flavors really come together as they sit.
Store any leftovers in a container and keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, cover a bowl of porridge with a piece of paper towel loosely and microwave until hot. Or reheat in a pot over the stovetop.
This pumpkin porridge freezes well. For a longer storage, put them in a freezer zip bag and store up to 3 months.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Moist Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
- Korean Pumpkin Pancakes
- Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Rice Donuts
- Pumpkin Mushroom Risotto with Bone Marrow Soup
Korean Pumpkin Porridge (Hobakjuk)
- 1 1/2 lb Kabocha pumpkin, or other deep orange fleshed pumpkin
- 2/3 cup Korean sweet rice (chapssal)
- 4 cup water
- 3-4 tbsp white sugar
- 1-2 tbsp honey, or light brown sugar
- salt , to taste
- 1 tbsp pine nuts, to garnish, optional
- Rinse the sweet glutenous rice several times and soak it in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, peel off the skin and remove the seeds in the center. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks.
- Put pumpkin pieces and sweet rice in a large soup pot and add water. Cover with a lid and bring it to boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin and rice are very soft and tender. Stir occasionally.
- Turn off the heat. Using a hand blender, puree the pumpkin and rice until smooth. Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender to process until smooth (or slightly grainy). Add more water if the consistency seems too thick.
- Season the porridge with sugar and salt according to your taste. Add more sugar if you prefer sweeter taste. Garnish porridge with pine nuts (if using) and serve it warm.
It is deliciousI, I love it!
And I am very excited about the recipe.
My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.
I make this sometimes for breakfast during the fall and winter. It tastes similar to American southern sweet potato casserole. Just thinner consistency and more pumpkiny and not as many nuts on top. It’s a very good dish.
I’ve been watching Korean Dramas on Netflix and wondered about this dish. We were in Korea Town of Los Angeles and found a place that had it part of their Korean BBQ Buffet. Yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
I love pumpkin. Can’t wait to try this recipe out. 🙂
Actually, disregard my last comment. I had some hobakjuk the next day and it was perfect! Thank you so much for the recipe!
Thank you for the recipe. I’ve been dearly missing hobbakjuk since moving back to Canada and your recipe hit the spot. It did taste a little more ricey than I remember. Maybe not enough pumpkin? Or the pumpkin needed to be more ripe? What do you think?
is it okay if i switch the glutinous rice with regular rice?
You can. Will change the texture a little bit.
okay thankyou 😀
I made hobakjuk about 12 days ago and have some left in the refrigerator. I took some out now and tastes still fine. But how long is it good for in the refrigerator, until it’s bad so you shouldn’t consume it?
If it still tastes good, it should be alright. I wouldn’t go more than 2 weeks though.
Hello, I just found your website. I have a kabocha pumpkin that I was wondering what else I could do with it. I believe I have all the ingredients in my pantry. 🙂 now I just need to get brave enough to make kimchi.
For your Kabocha pumpkin, you can try this porridge recipes or dice them in to big bite size chunks then add to the rice to cook together in a rice cooker. Or cook pumpkin and mash, then add to the hotteok batter to make pumpkin flavored hottek, which is very good too. Or simply grate the pumpkin, add some flour, a few pinch salt, and water, mix it up then fry in the oil to make pumpkin pancakes. Kimchi is fun to make and very rewarding. Hope you get to try. 🙂
Do you think I can freeze this after I make it? My pumpkin is about to go bad, so I need to use it right away. But my sister (she loves this stuff and told me to make it) will be at college for 2 more weeks. If I made it and put it in the freezer, would it hold 2 weeks?
Yes, you can freeze this porridge and reheat later to serve.
We just played a little bit with this recipe last nigt, and I’m blogging about it today! Thanks for sharing. It was delicious!
This is exactly how my mum makes it and it's the best! grinding the rice is essential! 🙂
Um, this looks absolutely amazing! I am totally starring this one for future use. I've been trying to get in touch w my roots and cook more korean food lately, but I'd really love to incorporate some produce that's in season. this is perfect. thank you!
Wow, this is creative. I've been trying a lot of pumpkin recipes too, but not as cool as this.
This is interesting! I love your writing style too, it's just so cute. ^-^
Well, I would say it is more likely pumpkin pudding than rice pudding. Although it has thinner consistency than general pudding.
Thanks for visiting. I am sure Italy is a wonderful place to live. Would love to travel there someday.
This is new. Is this like a rice pudding then?
wow, i love your blog! i'm a korean who lives in italy. thats why i cook so strange?!( for example, i did this porridge tonight with some normal '백미').
so nice to find this blog. be back again..
Very nice porridge recipe, have never made or had before, how nice. Perfect for this time of year when there is such a bounty of pumpkins.
A warming and nice porridge, isn't it! I also love making dessert with sticky rice. Habitually, I always add pumpkins or sweet potatoes into the porridge … in chunks : ).
wow your pumpkin porridge looks so gorgeous!! I adore Korean food hehe I'm going to look for a dukboggi recipe on your blog now hee (is that the right spelling?)
I ate this last week in Seoul too…:) Thank you for dropping by. You have a beautiful blog, I will be back for more..
My other favourite korean dishes are Soondubu and Jigae with rice. Simple things.. My colleague said he will take me to eat dog meat next time… 🙁