Korean
Danpatjuk garnished with injeolmi and nuts in a serving bowl.

Danpatjuk is a hot, sweet Korean red bean soup, typically enjoyed as a dessert. Also known as sweet red bean porridge due to its thick texture, this slightly sweet delicacy is especially comforting and popular during the winter months.

Danpatjuk garnished with injeolmi and nuts in a serving bowl.Danpatjuk garnished with injeolmi and nuts in a serving bowl.

Danpatjuk is a cozy sweet Korean red bean soup, perfect for cold winter days. It's a simple, not too sweet dessert made from red beans (also known as adzuki beans) that's full of flavor.

Although the recipe is simple, it requires a little cooking time. This warm and comforting soup is a favorite during the colder months and is sure to be a delicious addition to your winter recipes!

Korean sweet red bean soup in a serving bowl.Korean sweet red bean soup in a serving bowl.

Red kidney beans (Pat) in Asian cuisine

Red kidney beans, known as “Pat” in Korean and “adzuki beans” in Japan, are popular in Asian desserts. These small reddish beans are healthy, rich in protein, fiber and essential minerals.

Red beans are a versatile ingredient in Asian cuisine. They feature prominently in sweet dishes such as Japanese mochi, dorayaki and anko, a sweet pastry. In China, these beans are a key component of mooncakes.

In Korean cuisine, red beans are used in both sweet and savory dishes. They are the favorite topping for summer patbingsu, a shaved ice dessert, and are included in steamed rice cakes and bungeoppang, a fish-shaped dessert, in the colder months.

Red beans also add flavor and nutrition to savory rice dishes such as patbap (red bean rice), japgokbap (multigrain rice), and ogokbap (five-grain rice).

A spoonful of sweet Korean red bean soup with injeolmi garnish.A spoonful of sweet Korean red bean soup with injeolmi garnish.

Patjuk varieties

Patjuk is a traditional Korean porridge made from red azuki beans. It is available in two main types: savory and sweet.

Savory patjuk is a hearty main meal, often eaten with side dishes such as kimchi. Made with short grain rice, it is a winter favorite, especially on the winter solstice (dongji). It includes glutinous rice balls called “Saelsim” (새알심), a tradition believed to protect against evil spirits.

Danpatjuk, the sweet variety, primarily incorporates red beans sweetened with honey or sugar. It is often added with injeolmi (sweet rice cakes) or nuts and is more of a dessert than a meal.

You can make it thin like soup or thick like porridge. This recipe gives you a slightly dense and textured danpatjuk, similar to what you might find in Korean dessert shops.

Ingredients Danpatjuk

Ingredients for the danpatjuk recipe.Ingredients for the danpatjuk recipe.
  • Red Beans (Azuki Beans): Azuki beans are essential for their distinctive taste and texture.
  • Sweet rice flour: Used to thicken soup, it helps achieve the perfect consistency, whether you prefer it as a thicker soup or porridge.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the overall aromatic profile, balancing the sweetness.
  • Sugar or honey: To sweeten the dish you can adjust the quantity according to your taste preferences.
  • Ground cinnamon: A hint of cinnamon adds a subtle heat and depth to the dish, complementing the sweet red beans.
  • Gasket (optional): Injeolmi (sweet rice cake) and dried fruits such as walnuts, pine nuts or chestnuts add texture and richness. You can choose your favorite nuts or a combination to top.

How to Make Danpatjuk (Korean Sweet Red Bean Soup)

Preparation of red beans

Rinse the red beans well and place them in a large pot, covering them with plenty of water.
Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 10 minutes.
Drain and discard the water, then return the beans to the pot.

Cook's Note: It is important to boil the red beans briefly and discard the water before continuing to cook them. This step eliminates unwanted substances and breaks down an enzyme called phytohemagglutinin, which is present in many beans and can cause stomach upset if not cooked enough. Boiling and then discarding the water makes the beans safer and easier to digest.

Cooking red bean soup

Add 8 cups of water to the beans in the pot and bring them to a boil again. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, then 50 minutes over low heat.

If necessary, add more water to keep the beans covered. Cook the beans until they are tender enough to press easily with your finger.

Remove the pan from the heat. Mash the beans with a potato masher until the desired consistency.

For a coarser, runnier soup, leave a few pieces of beans without crushing them. For a smoother porridge, use an immersion blender to completely blend the beans in the pot.

Return the pot to low heat. Add sugar or honey (or a mixture of both), 1 teaspoon salt and ground cinnamon. Mix well. Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste preferences.

In a small bowl, mix the sweet rice flour with the water to create a dough. Gradually add this mixture to the pan, stirring constantly, until you reach the desired density.

Garnish the soup or porridge with injeolmi and nuts, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy your meal!

A bowl of danpatjuk garnished with injeolmi and nuts.A bowl of danpatjuk garnished with injeolmi and nuts.

Related recipes

Danpatjuk garnished with injeolmi and nuts in a serving bowl.Danpatjuk garnished with injeolmi and nuts in a serving bowl.

Danpatjuk (Korean sweet red bean soup)

Danpatjuk is a hot and sweet Korean red bean soup, often enjoyed as a dessert. This slightly sweet dish, also known as red bean porridge due to its thick texture, is a winter favorite.

  • 10 ounces (300 g) small red beans, adzuki beans
  • 2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 8 cups (2 liters) waterfall
  • 4-6 table spoon sugar, or honey (or a mix of both)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • salt, taste

Sweet rice flour slurry

  • 2 table spoon sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup waterfall

Optional seal

  • injeolmi, walnut, almond or pine nut, cut into pieces
  • Start by rinsing the red beans well and placing them in a large pot. Cover them with plenty of water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. After boiling for 10 minutes, drain and discard the water, then return the beans to the pot.

  • Next, add 8 cups of water to the beans and bring them to a boil again. Cover and let the beans cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Then lower the heat and cook for another 50 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep the beans covered. Cook until the beans are tender enough to easily press with a finger.

  • Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Mash the beans with a potato masher until the desired consistency; leave a few bits for a coarser soup or blend with an immersion blender for a smooth porridge.

  • Place the pan back on low heat. Add your choice of sugar or honey (or a mix of both), another teaspoon of salt and ground cinnamon. Mix everything well and adjust the sugar to your taste.

  • To thicken the soup, mix sweet rice flour with water in a separate bowl to create a slurry. Gradually add this mixture to the pan, stirring constantly, until you obtain the desired density.

  • When serving, garnish the soup or porridge with injeolmi and walnuts, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy your meal!

Calories: 150kcal, Carbohydrates: 29G, Protein: 8G, Fat: 0.4G, Saturated fats: 0.1G, Polyunsaturated fats: 0.2G, Monounsaturated fat: 0.04G, Sodium: 598mg, Potassium: 484mg, Fiber: 5G, Sugar: 7G, Vitamin A: 0.4UI, C vitamin: 2mg, Soccer: 39mg, Iron: 2mg

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