Songpyeon, a traditional Chuseok delicacy

Learn about these special rice cakes prepared during Korean Thanksgiving!

The Chuseok celebration is just around the corner. A vast majority of people in South Korea right now are making their way to their hometowns to celebrate this holiday with their families. Chuseok this year falls on September 21, Tuesday. Although the date of the celebration changes from year to year, what remains the same is the food traditionally prepared year after year. One of the traditional delicacies prepared on Chuseok is songpyeon. They make songpyeon from the fresh rice harvested in autumn. 


Songpyeon, also known as pine cakes, are small crescent-shaped rice cakes filled with roasted sesame seeds, sugar, or sweet red bean filling. Traditionally, they are steamed on pine needles. They are slightly sweet, chewy, with a hint of flavor from the pine needles. They are naturally colored pink, green, yellow, or brown. They are one of the most popular foods eaten on Chuseok. They are meant to represent and attract prosperity. There are also other variations like beet songpyeon that you can enjoy. 


Here’s a recipe for making songpyeon that is relatively easy to follow: 




There are also shops in Korea where you can buy songpyeon. You can visit markets like Suwon Market that sell them in packs. The good thing about purchasing rice cakes is that they make them to sell on that day itself, so you can always rely on its freshness. It’s wonderful to bite into these tender rice cakes and get a mouthful of the sweet filling inside. 


Songpyeon is not just a tasty treat, but it also packs a lot of cultural significance. The next time you go to Korea, make sure to sample this delicacy. 




Christine Morales

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