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|Place of origin||Korea|
|Serving temperature||15–25 °C (59–77 °F)|
(per 8 serving)
|220 kcal (921 kJ)|
|Other information||Food related to Chuseok|
|Cookbook: Songpyeon Media: Songpyeon|
Songpyeon (송편) is a traditional Korean food made of glutinous rice. It is a type of tteok, small rice cakes, traditionally eaten during the Korean autumn harvest festival, Chuseok. It has become a popular symbol of traditional Korean culture. The earliest records of songpyeon date from the Goryeo period.
Songpyeon are half-moon shaped rice cakes that contain different kinds of sweet or semi-sweet fillings, such as sesame seeds and honey, sweet red bean paste, or chestnut paste all steamed over a layer of pine needles, which gives them the fragrant smell of fresh pine trees. The etymology of the name Songpyeon comes from the use of pine needles ("song" in "songpyeon" means pine tree).
Songpyeon is made by kneading rice powder with hot water and stuffing the dough with beans, sesame, chestnuts and other fillings. Songpyeon can be made into many unique colors and flavors using various natural ingredients. The shape, size, and ingredients may vary according to regions throughout the country. Common in Seoul is smaller bite-sized songpyeon, while in other regions, such as the Gang won Province, potatoes and acorn powder are more common because the Gang won Province is known for growing these two.
For Family and Celebration
Songpyeon is also one of the most popular homemade Korean dishes for holiday. Many families will buy supplies and make their own songpyeon. Songpyeon is given to family members and close neighbors as a sign of respect. An old Korean anecdote says that the person who makes beautifully-shaped songpyeon will meet a good spouse or give birth to a beautiful baby. Many Korean families say that Chuseok wouldn't be complete without songpyeon.
Other ingredients that can be added to songpyeon are soybeans, cowpeas, chestnuts, bean powder, jujubes, sesame, and honey.
Songpyeon was used for many ancestral celebrations. Songpyeon and other food were used to show appreciation for the year’s harvest. Koreans also hoped and prayed to help them avoid misfortune. Songpyeon is mainly eaten at Chuseok, at harvest time, but some Korean families like to eat them during the spring.
There are many stories about why songpyeon is in the shape of a half moon. Most believe it is in the shape of the half-moon because Korean ancestors thought the full moon can only wane and a crescent shape/half-moon would fill up.
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