More than a sweet treat, red bean is an ingredient utilized in many Korean dishes that imparts not only a sweet taste but a unique earthiness as well! Its unique taste has entertained and enticed many through various dishes, and some even find the taste of red bean to be their favorite! Are you one of them? Whether it’s your favorite or just a flavor you have a craving for, here’s a list of various dishes that can satisfy your red bean binging!
Delivered in a cute-fish shape, bungeoppang are deliciously sweet pastries that contain mouth-watering fillings! Just as the dough can range from being cake-like to being crisp, depending on the recipe used, the fillings used bungeoppang vary as well! Custard, Nutella, and peanut butter are all possible fillings, but sweetened red bean paste considered the most standard and popular. The delicious red bean paste and delectable dough make for a perfect combination!
Looking for a twist on your typical pancakes? Chalborippang is a dish that consists of two pancakes surrounding a sweet red bean paste filling. However, these pancakes are unique because they are made with glutinous barley flour instead of your common pancake mix. Originating from the North Gyeongsang province, this local specialty is the ideal confection for those who don’t like too much sweetness.
During the summer months, one of the nation’s favorite sweet treats is patbingsu. This dish, which consists of shaved ice with red beans on top, is the perfect way to cool down! With a variety of possible additional toppings, including condensed milk and different fruits, personalized patbingsu is a surefire way to appeal to individual tastes. However, for those who aren’t a fan of red bean, removing the red bean dish makes it a bingsu rather than a patbingsu, as “pat” means “red bean.”
This gem of a confectionery is best recognized by its walnut-like shape and appearance. With a filling of red bean paste, hodu-gwaja is a unique cookie not only because of its filling but because of its uncommon ingredients as well. Unlike your standard flat cookie, hodu-gwaja are spherical and have a walnut-like pattern on the outside! Additionally, hodu-gwaja don’t only look like walnuts, but skinned and pounded walnuts are used within the cookie’s dough as well. Just as chalborippang is a local specialty of the North Gyeongsang province, hodu-gwaja is a dish special to the South Chungcheong province!
For those who don’t mind getting their hands a bit dirty, kkulppang is a seducingly sweet bread that contains red bean paste in its center. Kkulppang, which can be fittingly translated to as “honey bread,” is made by deep frying dough-wrapped red bean paste and then tossing the fried dough in honey. Be careful though! These sweet morsels are sticky, so make sure you have somewhere to wash your hands after eating them!
While the taste of red bean doesn’t often change from its signature mixture of earthiness and sweetness, the many ways that red bean can be enjoyed provide a more personalized method of consuming the delicious ingredients. Not only that, but the function of various dishes as local specialties add a home-like appeal to the dishes as well! Whether you want a bakery-fresh snack or something that can help you beat the heat, there’s a red bean dish suited for what you want!
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Written by Kyle Voong