Hobakjuk | 호박죽 | Korean Pumpkin Porridge

I make this Hobakjuk somewhere around month of June for my husband who catch a cold, trying to warm up his body with this nutritious meal. Initially I did not plan to share this recipe as I revised it a little to suit my taste. Which I thought since it is not authentic, better don't share it. Though husband tells me he can't really tell the different. However, to my surprise, last month when I watch 집밥 백선생2 (Home Food Rescue 2 - Ep.30), Baek Song Seng is sharing his version of Hobak Juk recipe using cooked rice, similar to mine! Then I am thinking, oh! looks like there is nothing wrong with my recipe, so I am sharing it now with you. 

Hobakjuk or pumpkin porridge is a variety of Korean porridge (죽, read as "juk"), made with steamed pumpkin or squash and glutinous rice or sweet rice flour. Traditionally, glutinous rice has be pre-soak overnight and blend into puree and added into pumpkin paste and make it juk. For some reason, I dont eat hobakjuk as I dislike the taste of sweet rice flour (after added into the hobakjuk). So one day I replace it with fragrant rice that we always eat at home instead. It works and hobakjuk turns out suit my taste and still tasty. I tried glutinous rice before too but I still prefer it with fragrant rice. 

Just an extra info: The fragrant rice that I use here - we have been eating it for years & still find it taste the best. The brand name is "Jasmine Sunwhite AAA Special Fragrant Rice". Husband's peer from his workplace who is also a Korean recommend this brand to us few years ago. Back then, it is pretty popular among many local Koreans, even local Korean mart is selling it too.  

Ingredient (2 Servings):

Pumpkin - 350gm
Uncooked Rice - 1/4 cup
4 cups of water
A pinch of salt
Brown Sugar - 1/2 Tablespoon

How to Cook:

Step 1. 
Obtain pumpkin weight around 350gm. I use organic Japanese pumpkin here, you may also use squash or butternut squash too (depending on what's available according to the season). 

Step 2.
Peel off the skin, use a spoon to scrap off the fibers, then cut it into thin slice. It is around 2 cups worth for pumpkin weight 350gm.  

Step 3. 
In a pot, add the pumpkin slices, 1/4 cup of uncooked fragrant rice, and 4 cups of water, bring to boil on high heat.

Step 4.
When it starts boiling, reduce to medium heat and continue to boil the pumpkin slices and rice until it turn soft - usually it takes about 15-20 minutes. Pork the flesh of the pumpkins to see if it's tender.

Step 5.
Off the fire and let it sit for a while to cool down before puree it in a food processor / blender. 

Step 6. 
In my case my blender is made of glass, I can blend it without having to wait for it to cool down. Blend everything into puree.

Step 7. 
Remove the puree from blender and transfer it to the pot again. Cook the puree on medium heat for 4-5 min until it gets thicken. Keep stirring during the cooking to avoid burn at the bottom.

Step 8.
5 minutes later, add in a pinch of salt and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar (you may adjust according to your taste), cook for another 1 minute and it is done. Usually salt will bring out the sweetness of pumpkin, I would avoid adding brown sugar if it is taste good enough for me. 

Garnish it with chopped walnut or pine nuts and serve warm. Husband like this warm and hearty porridge as breakfast. Hope you like it too.