Hobakjuk (Kabocha Porridge) and Winners

Fall is in full swing! The leaves are turning colors, and pumpkins are everywhere. Luckily, I am taking some time off from work this week and simply enjoying this beautiful season. With the weather getting cool, I wanted to make some warm comfort foods for my family. For Koreans, juk (porridge) is a popular comfort food either as a light meal or snack.

This variety, hobakjuk (or hobakjook), is made with pumpkin or winter squash and glutinous rice (aka sweet rice). Hobak is a generic term for all types of pumpkins and squash. Hobakjuk is typically made with danhobak (meaning sweet pumpkin/squash), which is known as its Japanese name, kabocha, here in the U.S.

Typically, the squash is peeled, cubed and boiled. I find it much easier to cook the squash first and then either scoop out the flesh or peel off the skin.

Traditionally, there are two ways to incorporate the sweet rice into this porridge. One is in the form of small rice cake balls made with rice powder, and the other is simply mixing in finely ground soaked rice. I like the consistency of the latter.

hobakjuk recipe

Traditionally, there are two ways to incorporate the sweet rice into this porridge. One is in the form of small rice cake balls made with rice powder, and the other is simply mixing in finely ground soaked rice. I like the consistency of the latter.

This beautifully golden-yellow and velvety porridge will surely warm your heart. Not to mention, it’s good for you!

6 – 8 servings
1 danhobak (kabocha), or small pumpkin, about 2 pounds
1/2 cup glutinous rice, soaked in water for at least an hour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar (adjust to your liking)

1/4 cup red beans, soaked and boiled* (optional)
(* or use canned red beans)

Cut the squash into halves (or quarters). Remove the seeds. Place them in a large pot, the cut side up. Add water about one-third way up the squash, about 6 cups. Cover and boil over medium heat until the squash turns fork tender, about 25 – 30 minutes. Discard the water and let the squash cool. (I sometimes cut the squash in halves and bake in the oven, the cut side down, at 400ºF for about 45 – 50 minutes.)
When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh (or peel the skin off).



You can purée the cooked squash at this point if you want, using a blender (make sure to use some of the 3 cups of water required below). I usually just mash it with a spoon or potato masher while cooking. I like a little bit of squash lumps in my porridge.

In a blender, grind the soaked glutinous rice with 1 cup of water as finely as possible.



Pour the ground sweet rice into the pot of the prepared squash. Add 3 cups of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring and mashing the chunks of squash, until the rice starts to turn translucent and the porridge becomes thick. Cover, and reduce the heat to low. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. (Adjust the consistency of the porridge to your taste by adding more water.) Stir in the salt, sugar, and the optional cooked red beans. Cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes.


And now, the winners are:

First, I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my review of CJ Mini Wontons. It was fun to read your favorite Korean dishes! I know it was rather difficult for you all to pick one, but bibimbap and galbi seem to be among the most popular. Using the randomly generated numbers, the lucky winners are: Eugene and Sara!

Eugene and Sara – Please send your address to my email ([email protected]) so I can forward them to CJ Foods. Thanks again!

Leave a Comment



  1. Yummy...i love hobakjuk and almost all Korean dishes... this dish is one that I have never tried making though...it seems easy enough...I'll have to try making this one...thanks for sharing
  2. This looks so pretty! This reminds me of some of the Cantonese 'sweet soups' that we eat as desserts :)
  3. Mmmm, I just came back from Korea and this was by far my favourite soup there. My boyfriend and I attempted to make it for Thanksgiving while being there, but we made it with squash, and didn't use rice since we didn't have a blender (used the sweet rice, doct or however you say it). Ahh I miss Korea already!

  4. Hi! I found your blog through the pretty pictures posted on foodgawker. I love hobakjuk, especially with the small rice cakes. Thank you for the recipe!
  5. Oh yum! I have been on a pumpkin kick lately and can't get enough! I was lucky enough to get a Chinese-style pumpkin from a friend's garden recently, and it was unlike anything I've had before--it was so good! I even made a hobakjuk with it (the kind with the little dumplings in it). Though my friends' harvest is over, I am hoping the kabocha might just be the kind of flavor I am longing for. I've never tried that kind of squash before, but now I'm excited to give it a try! Thanks for the post!
  6. I LOVE Kabocha! I had never put both kabocha and rice together and this is quite interesting. Kabocha's mild taste will be a nice compliment to the rice. Asian's comfort food for sure!
  7. That sounds delicious! I was wondering if it would be the same if I substituted the ground sweet rice with glutinous rice flour instead?
    This reminds me of something similar that I made with pumpkin before, but I add coconut milk and sago/tapioca pearls instead and serve it as a sweet dessert :)
  8. Thank you, everyone! Hope you get to try the recipe.

    Fern - It's common to use glutinous rice flour instead. I do that sometimes too, but the soaked sweet rice is traditional and, I think, it tastes better.
  9. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I tried it on my own, and it tasted just like the one I buy pre-made at H-mart! http://accordingtomaria.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/hobakjuk-korean-pumpkin-porridge/
  10. Maria - Your porridge looks great. I like your tweak with soy milk. Thanks for trying out my recipe!
  11. Cannot WAIT to make this for Thanksgiving for my friends. THANK YOU!
  12. Sooji - You will like it. We've been eating this a lot lately. Michelle loves it!
  13. Gosh! I love this. one of my favourite dessert.
  14. amazing stuff, I will try everything on your website. Thank you so much. I have tried it more sweet or more salty and love both versions :)
  15. I tasted pumpkin porridge at my H-Mart store this weekend and loved it, so I thought I'd visit your site to see if you have the recipe for it. I'm glad to see this here. It will make a wonderful dish to eat during the cold months. Thank you.
  16. I just tried your recipe and it's delicious! This is one of my dad's favorite recipes and I will be sending him a batch tonight. =) Thank you for the recipe!
  17. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Looks delicious!!
  18. muchas gracias for a fine looking simple recipe.