Hobakjuk (Pumpkin Porridge)

Hobakjuk is a golden-yellow and velvety porridge made with pumpkin and glutinous rice! Make this delicious comfort food with this easy recipe!

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Fall is in full swing! The leaves are turning colors, and pumpkins are everywhere. 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 recipe is hobakjuk (or hobakjook), which is made with pumpkin 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.

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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!

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Hobakjuk (Pumpkin Porridge)

4.34 from 6 votes
Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Print Recipe


  • 1 danhobak kabocha, or small pumpkin, about 2 pounds
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice, soaked in water for at least an hour or use glutinous powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar adjust to your liking
  • 1/4 cup red beans, pat (팥), soaked and boiled - optional or use canned sweetened 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. See notes for other cooking methods.
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  • When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh (or peel the skin off).
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  • 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.
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  • In a blender, grind the soaked glutinous rice with 1 cup of water as finely as possible.
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  • 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.
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You can microwave the kabocha halves in Microwave by placing cut side down on a plate and cook uncovered on high for 10-15 minutes until soft.
Also, you can bake the kabocha halves in the oven, the cut side down, at 400ºF for about 45 - 50 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!