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Friday, December 20, 2013

[Information] About Dong-ji, a unique traditional holiday in Korea

As it is known, 22 of December is the day that has the longest night of the year. Koreans have long been celebrating the day as 'Dong-ji' every year. Since the daylight hour is getting longer from this day, some ancient countries designated it as New Year's day.
In Korea, Dong-ji used to be celebrated with ancestral rites as 'the secondary new year's day'.
These days, however, Koreans eat a bowl of red bean porridge putting small round tteok as many as one's age. Koreans considered it making themselves one year older as the same way that a bowl of Ttekguk does now.
This idea was originated from the belief that red beans have a power of scaring away the ghosts which might bring misfortune the following year. Why don't you cook a bowl of red bean porridge for a dinner on the night of Dongji, 22 of December? :-)



[The Recipe of Red Bean Porridge]


-Ingredients(6 Serves)

1 cup sweet red beans (soaked for 2 hours)

3/4 cup rice (soaked for 30 minutes)

2 tsp salt

8 of white round tteok

  1. In a pot, parboil beans for a few minutes and discard the water.
  2. Add 8 cups of water and boil until beans are completely soft (2-3 hours).
  3. Save about 2 cups of liquid and drain the rest of the beans into a strainer.
  4. Add salt to beans and mash the beans in the strainer set on top of a bowl.
  5. Discard skins in strainer.
  6. Add reserved boiled liquid to mashed bean liquid.
  7. Let the liquid stand undisturbed until bean solids settle.
  8. Add rice and most of bean liquid (without bean solids) to a pot.
  9. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to simmer.
  10. Cook about 8 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  11. Add bean solids to the porridge in spoonfuls, stirring often so that it does not burn.
  12. Serve with white round porridge if you want.
  13. Serve hot bowls of porridge with sugar so that diners can adjust it to their own sweetness level (or salt for a savory porridge).

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