K-recipe: An Alcoholic Rice Cake?! A Traditional Summer Favourite

by Larissa Tsui

Jeungpyeon (증편) is a traditional rice cake that is steamed and made with makgeolli (fermented rice wine, 막걸리) Yes, it’s made with alcohol! Thus, it is also known as 술떡 (sultteok, alcohol rice cake). But don’t worry, you won’t get drunk off it making it perfect to eat with everyone! This type of rice cake is enjoyed especially in summer because it’s made out of fermented rice wine so it doesn’t go bad quickly even in hot weather 🥵 Records of jeungpyeon date back to the first Korean cookbook written in the 17th century. They say that this type of rice cake was a summer favourite since it can withstand the heat without spoiling.


Jeungpyeon, a rice cake that is fermented with alcohol to create a light, fluffy texture, is often a round-shaped steamed type of rice cake. It’s made from glutinous rice, sugar, and of course, the most important ingredient fermented rice wine 🍚  It is known for its soft, bubbly texture inside with a unique rice wine aroma. It can also be garnished with jujubes, pine nuts, chestnuts and various seeds. Let's get into the the recipe ⬇️



500g Rice Flour

100g Sugar

170ml Water

170ml Makgeolli (can be found in Korean supermarkets)


Jujube (optional)

Black Sesame Seeds (optional)


  1. Sift rice flour in a sieve.
  2. Dissolve sugar in the water.
  3. Add room-temperature makgeolli to the mixture and stir.
  4. Mix in the water, sugar and makgeolli mixture with rice flour in a large bowl. Make sure to combine until there are no lumps.
  5. Cover the mixture with wrapping and let it ferment at 30-35 degrees for 4 hours. If the temperature is not warm enough, ferment it by putting the bowl in warm water.
  6. After 1st fermentation, mix the fermented dough well and let the air out.
  7. Cover the fermented dough and ferment again at 30-35 degrees for 2 hours.
  8. After this 2nd fermentation, mix the fermented dough well and let the air out.
  9. Cover the fermented dough and ferment for the 3rd time at 30-35 degrees for 1 hour.
  10. After 3rd fermentation, mix the fermented dough well and let the air out.
  11. Apply a thin layer of oil to small muffin pan or cups to shape the rice cakes. 
  12. Fill the moulds with the dough to 70%, so the rice cake doesn’t overflow as it cooks.
  13. Top the mixture with seeds, sliced jujube, edible flowers or any garnish of your choice.
  14. To cook, steam on low heat for 5 minutes, steam on high heat for 10 minutes, and then steam on low heat for 5 minutes.
  15. Let it cool then remove the rice cakes from the moulds.
  16. Oil the surface with a thin layer of oil, and enjoy!


The recipe may sound really difficult with the various degrees to ferment and multiple steps but it's actually quite simple. There's a reason why this recipe is better to make in the summer, it's the perfect temperature for it. Have it fermenting in room temperature during the summer or in the oven if the weather is a bit colder 😊 Soft and bouncy texture like bread that is super moist is the result! It has a mild sweetness to it with a subtly faint sourness from the fermentation. Its texture makes it not too heavy and will have you reaching for more. The texture also stays this way for much longer than other rice cakes too, so you don’t need to worry about needing to finish it all in one sitting before it loses its bounce and hardens 👍

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