Danpatjuk (Korean Adzuki Bean Porridge)
Danpatjuk is a popular Korean porridge that is commonly eaten during the winter season. This porridge is made with pureed adzuki beans and rice flour and it’s typically served with small rice balls called ‘Saealsim’. Traditionally this porridge is made by boiling dried adzuki beans for about an hour and then passing them through a sieve, but who has all that time for a porridge?! I created a super quick, easy and delicious Danpatjuk recipe which skips these steps so it's ready in less than 5 minutes! This porridge is nutritious, refined sugar-free, high in protein, gluten-free and incredibly quick and easy to prepare!
This porridge is deliciously silky and smooth and it can be eaten hot or cold! You can use any sweetener of your choice but for my recipe I’ve used carob syrup since it is a much healthier alternative than sugar. This recipe also works well with date molasses or agave syrup. I’ve added some lotus nuts as a topping but you can add different nuts to give this porridge some extra texture and crunch.
FOLKLORE AND TRADITIONS
'Danpatjuk' is usually eaten in Korea on Winter solstice, which marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. After the solstice, the days get longer and the nights shorter, so Koreans see it as something to celebrate. In Korea, this porridge is made year-round as a popular snack or dessert. It's usually served with little rice cake balls which look like small birds’ eggs and symbolize new life, but I served mine with lotus nuts as they're much higher in nutrients. As for the dark red/maroon colour, Koreans believed that the colour red wards off bad luck, diseases and evil spirits, so this red porridge brings good luck for the new year.
TYPES OF PATJUK
There are two types of adzuki bean porridge in Korea – savoury (Patjuk) and sweet (Dan-patjuk). Traditionally, savoury patjuk is eaten as a main meal as it’s very filling. It’s made with cooked short grain rice and it’s served with a variety of savoury side dishes. The sweet version (danpatjuk) is a smooth porridge which is prepared without rice and sweetened with honey or sugar.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Blender or a hand blender
HOW TO MAKE DANPATJUK
Drain the adzuki beans (reserve 1 TBSP of the beans for garnish) and place them in a medium pot with 400ml of hot water, the cinnamon, salt, rice flour and carob syrup and let it simmer for about 4 minutes at a medium-high heat.
Remove the pot from the heat and use a hand blender or transfer the mixture to a regular blender to blend it until it’s completely smooth. At this point you could pass the porridge through a sieve if you would like it to be extra smooth. Taste it to make any adjustments to the sweetness.
Ladle some porridge into a serving bowl. Serve hot or cold with any toppings of your choice.