Butternut squash porridge

Hobakjuk 호박죽

Many people think the Korean word hobak (호박) means pumpkin, but it actually means squash. A pumpkin is really a kind of squash. So in Korea, we make this recipe with pumpkins. But here in the West I can’t easily find the kind of pumpkin Koreans use for hobakjuk. So I learned to make it out of butternut squash, which is available everywhere here.

The recipe for Hobakjuk needs only a few ingredients. But making the small rice cake balls takes some time. I recommend you make the rice cake balls with your family members or friends together. Whenever I make this porridge, I remember my grandmother and my family members. We all made the rice cake balls together. I miss them and all of us who had a great time while making the rice cake balls!



2 or 3 small butternut squash, water, salt, sugar, sweet rice flour.

How to prepare butternut squash:

  1. Wash the exterior of the butternut squashes in cold water.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and stringy stuff with a spoon.
  3. Place the butternut squash in a large pot. Pour 3 cups of water over them and bring to a boil over medium high heat for 30 minutes, until the contents become soft.
  4. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  5. When it’s cooled down, scrape the cooked insides out with a spoon.
  6. Place 3 cups of the cooked squash insides into a large pot and add 4 or 5 cups of water and boil

Make rice cake balls:

  1. Boil some water.
  2. Make rice cake dough by mixing 2 cups of sweet rice flour, ¼ ts salt, and ¾ cup of hot water. Mix it up with a wooden spoon at first, and then knead it for a few minutes with your hand after it cools down.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set it aside for about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Put about 3 tbs of sweet rice flour into a large bowl (this will prevent the rice cake balls from sticking together).
  5. Take a bit of dough and roll a rice cake ball (the size should be a little larger than soy bean). Put it into the bowl with the sweet rice flour.riceballs
    *tip: to prevent the dough from getting dried out, always wrap the dough in plastic wrap while you are making the rice cake balls

Let’s make porridge!

  1. When the mixture of squash and water starts boiling, add the rice cake balls to the pot. Stir it with a wooden spoon and cook it for a few more minutes.
    *tip: when it’s cooked, all the rice cake balls will be floating on the surface of the porridge.
  2. Turn off the heat and add 1 ts salt and ¼ cup of sugar and stir it for a few seconds before serving.

Yayee! You made butternut squash porridge!




  1. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13
    Posted May 29th, 2015 at 7:07 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I ended up coming back to your site to double check this recipe. Yesterday i went to market and found a great big pumpkin with thick flesh, so I bought it. I cut it into 4 and roast it in the oven with a sprinkle of brown sugar for 2 full hours at 200 degrees centigrade. The result was amazing. After getting a whole lot of pumpkin flesh, i freeze some, use some for pumpkin pie and the leftover pumpkin flesh went into this recipe. My goodness it was so good. I use store bought rice balls for my hobakjuk. It was still tasty.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with the world.

    Btw last week my korean friend came over with an onggi and gave me some money then he told me to fill up his onggi with kimchi i make using your recipe. Isn’t that funny? I ended up making him 10kg of kimchi. I also gave him 2 servings of this juk and have his driver to pick them all up. He was happy when he called me this morning. He said that my online korean mom a.k.a you Maangchi has taught me well.

    So now I adopt you as my korean mom as well…lol

    Thanks again


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 30th, 2015 at 10:48 am | # |

      Hi Ima,
      I heard from a few of my readers that they make and sell kimchi. Sounds like you have a new korean food-making business! :) I love the fact that you gave a bonus hobakjuk. From the sounds of it, you have a warm heart and treat your customers well, I think you’ll be very successful!

  2. ipontchi indonesia joined 5/14
    Posted May 29th, 2014 at 12:36 am | # |

    Hi maangchi, what if I change the water with milk, it will taste good? Thank you :))

    • Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13
      Posted May 29th, 2015 at 7:09 am | # |

      Don’t use milk. It tastes strange. It taste better with coconut milk if you want to try it. Replace the sugar with palm sugar too. It’s divine.

  3. weirdingway San Diego, CA joined 11/11
    Posted February 1st, 2014 at 11:20 pm | # |

    I was feeling homey tonight, so instead of going out I decided to make hobakjuk. I used kabocha for this one. It finally got a little cool in San Diego today so it was perfect for dinner!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2014 at 3:20 pm | # |

      “I was feeling homey tonight, so instead of going out I decided to make hobakjuk.” I love it! : )

  4. brooks540 Virginia joined 9/12
    Posted September 21st, 2013 at 8:35 pm | # |

    A friend just gave me a Korean pumpkin that she grew this year, now I know what to make. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 23rd, 2013 at 6:03 am | # |

      What a precious gift it is! You have a nice friend!

  5. purpleshammrock california joined 9/12
    Posted September 25th, 2012 at 2:40 pm | # |

    so glad to find this recipe. A friend gave me 2 of this large butternut squash and I had no idea what to do with it. I can’t wait to try this! BTW, I have made cubed radishes and Kimchi over the weekend and it looked and smelled so good. Can’t wait to taste it, my family is really impressed. Thank you so much Maangchi for sharing your cooking.


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 23rd, 2013 at 6:06 am | # |

      I feel like hobakjuk now! : ) Good luck with your Korean cooking.

  6. ijil Maine joined 9/12
    Posted September 16th, 2012 at 2:06 pm | # |

    How much sweet rice flour should I use and how if I wanted to skip the rice cake balls?

  7. janicedale Australia joined 2/12
    Posted May 3rd, 2012 at 7:48 pm | # |

    I’ve tasted this similar to this recipe which is pumpkin soup. The pumpkin soup has croutons to add texture for the soup. It’ll be my first time to try butternut squash porridge with the main ingredients is a rice cake ball. I guess the taste would be the same, the only different is the rice cake ball.

  8. lovekpop2689 murrieta joined 1/12
    Posted January 28th, 2012 at 2:15 am | # |

    hi maangchi !!!
    I were dying from looking at your yummy soup but there no way for me to get the porridge, can i use sweet potatoes instead. i will tried to find the porridge, i’ve been looking for it like 3 days already soooo ^ ( ^

    Thanks A Lot

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 28th, 2012 at 4:04 pm | # |

      hmm, I don’t know. hope it turns out good. If you make it, let me know the result. : )

      • lovekpop2689 murrieta joined 1/12
        Posted January 29th, 2012 at 12:46 am | # |

        Hi Maangchi !!!

        i will make it tomorrow, hopefully that it will turn out nicely.
        thanks a lot ^>^

  9. jordanmattes Arlington, WA, USA joined 11/11
    Posted December 28th, 2011 at 1:48 am | # |


    Is this the same as the “hobak” in Korea? It’s easy to find here in Washington, I hope you eventually found it where you are!

  10. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09
    Posted October 16th, 2011 at 9:56 am | # |

    I just love this recipe and make it a lot in the fall, but I am not really satisfied with my ddeok. I think I am making the dough too wet because they just don’t seem to have the right texture after I cook them. I think they are too wet and not chewy enough. My husband says that his mother made hobak jook with wheat flour sometimes–she made the dumplings flat, like in sujebi. I tried that once and it was good. The ddeok in hobak jook and kimchi jeon are just two dishes I have a lot of trouble with and can’t seem to master. My husband does these much better than me, so maybe I should just let them be his thing, but truthfully–it really bothers me!

  11. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10
    Posted September 24th, 2011 at 2:37 pm | # |

    Oh I love squash and pumpkin :) it reminds me to autumn. This porridge is a really nice harvest food, I think :D
    I’ve got a question: could you post, someday, how to make hobaktteok?
    Thank you really much and 감사합니다 :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 25th, 2011 at 11:14 am | # |

      ” This porridge is a really nice harvest food, I think :D” yeah, that’s true! I’m always excited to see different kinds, colors, and sizes of pumpkins and squashes in the fall.

      Hobaktteok (pumpkin rice cake) is included in the list of my upcoming recipes. Thanks!

  12. mochilliboo joined 5/11
    Posted May 18th, 2011 at 12:11 am | # |

    thank you maangchi! i love hobakjuk…but i must admit…when i’m lazy i use jarred butternut squash babyfood! it works pretty well! i have one question…

    i had some mochiko (japanese brand)flour at home so i made it with that…but after the porridge sits in the fridge…the rice flour thins out and its not thick anymore, even when i heat it back up again! what am i doing wrong and how do i prevent this? thanks so much!

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