For dough:

    140 gms non-glutinous rice powder

    60 gms glutinous rice powder

    Salt (to taste)

    Food colouring of choice



    For fillings:

    2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

    2 tbsp sugar (can be changed to taste)

    1 tsp honey (can be changed to taste)


    After cooking:

    2 cups water

    ½ tsp sesame oil

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Ingredient Substitution Guide


Watch how to make sweet, chewy Korean rice cakes Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

For the dough

1. Sift the glutinous and non-glutinous rice powder together with salt.

2. Divide the sifted mix into four separate bowls by measuring five tablespoons each.

3. Add six teaspoons of boiling water one by one into the mix. Do not pour all the water at once, as this makes the dough watery.

4. Add four to six drops of desired food colouring into the bowls reserved for coloured rice cakes. For white, you can continue without.

5. Knead the dough until it does not stick to the palm - the more you knead the chewier the texture will become.

6. Wrap the small ball of dough in a plastic bag to trap moisture.

For the filling

1. Grind roasted sesame seeds using a mortar and pestle, and mix with sugar.

2. Add honey and mix thoroughly with a spoon.

Steaming the songpyeon or rice cake

1. Split each dough into half then further split the halves into two as well.

2. Roll the small pieces of dough (weighing about 15 grams each) into balls, then press the center of each ball with your thumb to make space for the filling.

3. Add the filling to the centre of the dough, just enough for the rice cake edges to stick.

4. Fold over the filling and press the edges to close the rice cake. When it is almost closed, squeeze slightly to release any air inside and then close the final edge to prevent cracks after steaming.

5. Now press on the dough, alternating between your palms, and slowly roll the filled dough into a ball. Press the edges with your fingers on one side to make a half-moon shape with a frill.

6. Set your steam cooker to a boil and place a soft cloth on the grate.

7. Lay the shaped rice cakes on the cloth and steam for 20 minutes with the lid on.

8. Once the cakes are done steaming, remove and add them into a bowl of cold water mixed with drops of sesame oil. This ensures your steamed songpyeon remains soft and chewy.

9. Finally, arrange the colourful songpyeon on a plate, and serve the harvest festive dish complete with hints of soft glutinous rice, sweet sesame and honey.