This recipe is a very special one, made for a very special occasion in Korean culture. It's rice cake called songpyeon, which Koreans make for Chuseok, the Korean harvest moon festival. On that day, Koreans traditionally give thanks for the harvest and make songpyeon with the new rice from that years' crop.
Songpyeon is a little sweet, chewy, and nutty, with a subtle pine tree flavor that from steaming the rice cakes in fresh pine needles.
For this recipe you'll need ssalgaru: 쌀가루 (aka mepssalgaru: 멥쌀가루, or short grain rice flour), a special kind of rice flour made from finely milled rice, soaked in water for hours. The rice flour is a little wet, so to keep it from spoiling it's sold frozen in the Korean grocery store. Be careful not to buy chapssalgaru (찹쌀가루) which is also sold in the freezer section at a Korean grocery store. Chapssalgaru is made from sweet rice (aka glutinous rice) and it won't work for this recipe. If you can't find ssalgaru you can make your own with my recipe.
I used all natural food colorings to make this songpyeon, including the water from yellow gardenia fruits (chija) to make the yellow dough. I crushed a few gardenia fruits, added a few tablespoons of water and let it sit overnight. By the morning the water had turned a dark orange yellow. If you can't find gardenia fruits, you can substitute it with orange Jell-O powder. Just mix some powder with water.
You can also do some creative experiments to create your own colors. I often use mugwort powder for green, and you could try strawberries for red. For filling, toasted sesame seeds, fresh beans, pine nuts, and sweet mung bean paste are usually used, but you can try to create your own fillings, too!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, which I first introduced to you nine years ago! I remade the video in HD and rewrote the recipe, just in time for Chuseok this year.