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A typical snack enjoyed on Deborum (대보름), or the full moon festival, is yakshik (약식). Yakshik (약식) is brown in color and sweet in taste. Today, we are going to learn how to make yakshik (약식).
First, soak about two cups of chapssal (찹쌀) or glutinous rice in cold water for a day. If you don’t soak the chapssal (찹쌀), it won’t turn out soft and sticky, so make sure to soak, soak, soak. Then, take a cup of brown sugar and a cup of cinnamon and mix it together. Add two cups of water and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Next, mix in a half cup of raisins.
Then, open a can of bam (밤). Let me give you a hint as to what bam (밤) is. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” If you haven’t guessed alreay, bam is the Korean word for chestnut. Drain the water out of the can of bam (밤). If you don’t want the canned variety, you can buy some raw chestnuts. However, it takes more work with raw chestnuts because you have to peel off the hard skin.
Then get about a fourth of a cup of song kwa (송과). Song kwas (송과) are pine nuts. They are yellowish in color and used in American recipes as well. For example, pine nut oil is used in making brownies. Pine nuts come from pine cones. I guess you could look for some pine cones and try to shake out some pine nuts, but a better use of your time might be to buy it at the store.
Next, grab a handful of dechu (대추). Dechu (대추) is a type of date or jujube. (Jujube as in the type that grows on trees, not the candy.) Dechus (대추) are red and look like dried raisins. Dechus (대추) give the yakshik (약식) a natural sweetness. Dechu (대추) is used not just in yakshik (약식) but in Korean teas and medicine as well.
Put everything in the rice cooker and wait for it to cook. When it’s done, it’s ready to be served! So dig in!