Injeolmi (인절미) is a Korean sweet rice cake made from glutinous rice flour and finely ground roasted soybean flour with sugar. The main ingredient of the rice cake is the starch extracted from the fermented soybeans.
These are tasty little cakes that are great for breakfast, dessert, as a snack, and for dipping in tea or coffee. The flavor of Injeolmi is a sort of sweet, mild, nutty flavor, and they really are not very hard to make at home.
So, what is Injeolmi? Injeolmi is mainly thought of as a Korean dish but the Japanese, kinako mochi (きなこ餅), is essentially the same. Thus, Injeolmi rice cake is also sometimes called Japanese rice cake.
What makes Injeolmi different from other rice cakes is their texture. They are a chewy bite of rice cake, covered in powdered sugar. The main ingredient of the rice cake is the starch extracted from the fermented soybeans. It is then mixed with wheat flour, sugar, salt, and other spices and mixed into dough. The dough is then flattened into small rice cakes and microwaved or steamed. The steaming process causes the starch to expand and become brittle. The resulting cakes are often eaten at breakfast or as a snack.
This cake is made to make the Korean and Japanese food more healthy. This cake contains very low amount of oil and cholesterol, high in fiber. It also is a good source of iron, manganese and magnesium. The cake is also rich in calcium and zinc. It also contains vitamin B1, E and C.
Storing Injeolmi Rice Cakes
Injeolmi is really best served fresh, but you can store them for a couple of days in an airtight container. To reuse, steam them for a couple of minutes in a regular steamer or the microwave.
For microwave steaming, be sure to add water. Otherwise the cakes will not reheat well and instead will dry out.
What to Serve with Korean Sweet Rice Cakes
Injeolmi rice cakes are often served on their own for breakfast or as a snack or sweet dessert.
They go well with companion beverages. Give these a try:
Dalgona Whipped Coffee (very trendy right now)
Korean Rice Cake Recipe
This recipe is made to make the process of making the sweet rice cakes as easy as possible.
Although the cakes are often steamed, microwaving works just as well and is easier.
The process involves a lot of pounding. This is crucial to get the Injeolmi dough as smooth and stretchy as possible and to get the correct texture. I pound mine with a pestle, but anything will do. For example, you can use a heavy spoon or a can from your pantry.
You can use regular sugar to powdered sugar for dusting. Below are cakes with regular sugar. because of the sugar coating the cake recipe is sometimes referred to as Korean sticky rice cake.
Here are some made with powdered sugar:
Below is the recipe:
- 1 cup glutinous rice flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup + 1 tbsp water
- ½ cup Roasted soybean powder, fine soybean flour, or konggaru
- 1 additional tbsp sugar or powdered sugar
- Empty a cup of rice flour into a bowl, along with sugar, salt as well as water into it and stir them all together until well combined.
- Wrap the surface of the bowl with a cling film and cook the mixture at microwave for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the cling film and beat the hot rice dough for about half a minute, using wooden spoon and place the cling film back on.
- Cook further for another minute in the microwave oven and spoon it into a mortar.
- Pulse the mixture for a minute, pounding it with the pestle for at least 50 times, until bubbles begins to pop and the rice dough becomes elastic and chewy.
- Sprinkle the soybean flour, powder, or konggarru across your working surface and place half of the pounded rice dough onto it.
- Roll it over the powder to coat the cakes lightly, yet evenly with it and slice them into bite-sized chunks.
- Shake off any excess.
- Arrange the cakes on the same serving plate and dust with sugar or powdered sugar.
- Serve right away.
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