Chestnuts with Dates and Sweet Rice
A common belief in Korea is that honey and dates have the power to soothe and heal the body. Since they are used in this dessert to sweeten the rice, we call it ‘medicinal food’ which is the literal translation of the word Yaksik. In this case I’ve made it more delectable as a dessert by increasing the quantity of chestnut and dates. Rice is added as a binding agent. It is essential to use a nonstick sauce pan or pot.
180g/0.4 lb ready cooked and peeled CHESTNUTS
4 Medjool DATES, seeded and quartered
(or 12 dried red dates, soaked in water for 30 minutes)
2 heaped tbsp PINE NUTS, brown caps removed
1 tbsp dark brown SUGAR
½ tsp CINNAMON
1 round tbsp HONEY
½ cup short grain SWEET RICE
¾ cup WATER
1. Wash the rice in a swirling motion until the water is clear. Add the water and wait 30 minutes while preparing other ingredients. Put all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
2. Cook the rice on a medium high heat. When it boils vigorously, lower the heat to medium and add cinnamon and honey with all the dry ingredients. Sprinkle 1 tbsp water over them and cover. Turn off the heat 5 minutes later and let it sit for 10 minutes to finish cooking.
3. Grease a wooden spoon and mix together while still warm. The mixture is ready to to be pressed in any shape you choose. Oil the inside of a small cup with sesame oil, fill it with the Yaksik, gently press then remove by turning the cup upside down. Serve at room temperature.