Rice cake

Injeolmi 인절미

Injeolmi is rice cake made with sweet rice (glutinous rice). It’s one of the most popular and common Korean rice cakes and it’s made on special occasions and Festival days. The rice cake is chewy and sticky, so traditionally it was given to newly wedded couples to wish that they get along and ‘stick together’ forever. The bride’s mother also makes this rice cake for the groom’s family in the hopes that her daughter will get along with the  groom’s family.

When the newly wedded couple share the rice cake, they say, “let’s stick to each other forever, just like this injeolmi” : )

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Traditionally it’s made with a mortar and pestle. Soaked sweet rice is steamed and pounded until all the cooked rice grains are mashed. Then it’s  coated in roasted soy bean powder or other things like black sesame seed powder, mashed red beans, chopped pine nuts, chestnuts, and jujubes.

It’s most commonly made with soybean powder; yes, I mean roasted soybean powder, or konggaru (kong means beans and garu means powder).

I remember my grandmother used to make injeolmi at home and usually all adult family members (especially male members) helped.

“Ok, let me help you!”

“It’s my turn, take a rest!”

I was always excited to see them making rice cake, and so happy when I ate the freshly made rice cake, coated with lots of delicious soybean powder.These days almost everybody buys or orders injeolmi from a rice cake store rather than making it at home with a mortar and pestle.

I’ve often been told by my readers that they cook together with their children. I think cooking together with your mom is fun and a great experience. Children will keep those good memories in their hearts forever.

I used to make my own injeolmi without pounding, but the taste always lacked something. It wasn’t chewy enough and I didn’t like the taste at all. So a few years ago when I lived in Canada, I did an experiment to make this rice cake by pounding, like I saw my grandmothers in Korea do it. It turned out so delicious! I took my injeolmi to work and shared it with my coworkers, and they said it was awesome.

Instead of sweet rice, I use sweet rice flour, cook it in a microwave oven, and pound the dough with my small mortar and pestle. It works perfectly! What makes this rice cake perfect is that it’s super chewy just like my grandmother’s homemade injeolmi!

Enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients

Sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour), kosher salt, sugar, roasted soybean powder (and mugwort powder for ssuk injeolmi)

Directions

  1. Place 1 cup of sweet rice flour, ¼ ts kosher salt, 1 tbs sugar, and ¾ cup of water in a microwavable bowl. Mix it well to make rice cake dough.
  2. Cover it with Saran wrap, and cook it in a microwave oven for 3 minutes.
  3. Mix the hot dough with a wooden spoon for about 20 seconds. Put the Saran wrap back on and cook 1 more minute in the microwave.



  4. Transfer the rice cake dough into a mortar and pound it for about 1 minute (pound 50 times). You’ll make bubbles and then hear the bubbles popping out while you pound, which mean the consistency of the rice cake is just right: chewy and elastic.
    *tip: Put a little cold water on your hands when you want to touch the dough so that it won’t stick to your fingers and will keep you from burning yourself.
  5. Spread ½ cup roasted soybean powder on a cutting board and place your pounded rice cake in the powder. Roll it around a bit to cover it with a light dusting of powder.
  6. Cut into bite size pieces.
  7. Coat each piece of the rice cake with the roasted soy bean powder and transfer to a serving plate.

Sprinkle with  sugar when you serve.

Ssuk injeolmi

Same directions as above, and add 1 tbs ssukgaru (mugwort powder) and 1 tbs water to the dough water you mix it.




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86 Comments:

  1. sl100048 Singapore joined 6/11 & has 15 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    Thanks for sharing a brilliant recipe again. The traditional method was to steam but this one is so easy. I tried this to give to my girls after school. It was a perfect snack. I didn’t have roasted soybean powder so substituted with multigrain powder (misoo karu) and added more sugar. My husband was surprised at such a quick fix! Have a great day and hope your area was not impacted by the earth quake. JY

  2. funcooking Ontario joined 8/11 & has 5 comments

    Awesome looking rice cakes~! 쑥떡 is one of my favorites because it has got a special aroma, and it’s healthy too. Also love the way you made these rice cakes by pounding. I am sure they must taste really good~!!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe and always making us sweet^^*

  3. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

    Just before New Year, my family pounds sweet rice into mochi just like your grandmother did with our usu/motar and kine/pestle. But this! You make it seem so easy that I’ll be trying it out soon! I have a sweetened version of it, but your recipe looks much neater to do. I usually have cornstarch all over the kitchen w/the other! As for left-over (plain) mochi, my family likes it when I broil it in the toaster oven. Make sure to coat the pan’s surface w/oil or else there’s gonna be trouble. It tastes ‘nutty’ and is very crunchy on the outside … yummy~! Thanks for sharing … :D

  4. katiaannabel California joined 8/11 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the super delicious, authentic recipes in English. You’re amazing!

  5. julialow Melbourne, Australia joined 8/10 & has 4 comments

    Hi maangchi,

    We have this as well in Malaysia. But instead of sesame seeds powder, we use roasted peanut powder and sugar.

    I am so excited to try the korean version as well :)

  6. Cheonyong Indonesia joined 4/11 & has 28 comments

    Maangchiii!!!!!!
    aaaaa, I miss u sooo much!!
    I went to borneo Island for 5 month and I can’t acces your site…
    very very busy!
    but now I can see tour site and see many new dish!
    aaa

    but..
    I don’t have microwave here maangchi…
    can I steam the dough?
    or shall I do something?
    umm

  7. docpark US joined 5/10 & has 17 comments

    Link below are pictures from my injeolmi this morning. Thank you Maangchi for bringing a childhood favorite into a single serving size makeable in about 15 minutes. A miracle!

    http://golfism.org/2011/08/18/injeolmi-a-kind-of-manna-from-childhood/

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

      wow, you made it!
      I love your description about this rice cake on your blog, “Traditionally made from steamed rice which is pounded into an elastic paste with a forty pound hammer, shaped and cut unto lady finger sized pieces and rolled in toasted soybean powder”

  8. oksipak California joined 1/11 & has 72 comments

    How did you know I was waiting for this recipe Maangchi? Just this past weekend I was salivating for this (I used to buy it in an Asian market long ago). Made it for dinner tonight, Wednesday, 8/17/11. Only made the Roasted Soybean Powder (may try using a batch of freshly grown Mugwort from my garden soon).

    The shapes are not perfect but all that matters of your recipe is that it’s SCRUMPTIOUS! DELICIOUS! AND IT ONLY TAKES MINUTES! Thank you for another tasty recipe of which I will make often just like your Kimchi and Mandu and Chopjae (yep, these are my regular Korean staples because of you). :) August 17, 2011

  9. kiki85 canada joined 8/11 & has 1 comment

    this looks so good!! love rice cake ^_^
    maangchi, do you know how to make Hangwa? I saw it on korean show Family outing and it looks delicious as a snack

  10. powerplantop Louisiana joined 6/09 & has 70 comments

    Really nice! My wife and girls would love this.

    But I am going to be away for awhile.

  11. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09 & has 101 comments

    What power level did you use on your microwave? In Watts?

  12. neshiki joined 3/11 & has 5 comments

    Hi Maangchi, would steaming be a good alternative to the microwave? Thanks for the recipe =)

  13. Soju123 New York, NY joined 3/11 & has 21 comments

    Wow, how great that you can make this with a microwave! Looks easy and delicious.

  14. Emixiongmao Lyon, France joined 2/11 & has 4 comments

    Hey hey Maangchi!
    I’ve been thinking for several weeks about making these, so it’s perfect timing, yay! I’ll do these tomorrow.
    Once they are done, how and how long can I store them?

    Thanks, byebyyye ;D

  15. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09 & has 101 comments

    Nice one! I used to buy mochi from asian store, this is about the same right? Now i can make myself! Wooohoo

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