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KOCIS yakgwa, honey cookies (4646996556).jpg
Type Hangwa
Place of origin Korea
Main ingredients Wheat flour, honey, sesame oil
Cookbook: Yakgwa  Media: Yakgwa
Hangul 약과
Revised Romanization yakgwa
McCune–Reischauer yakgwa

Yakgwa is a Korean traditional dish. It was originally considered as a dessert and more recently as a confectionery (hangwa), because of its sweet taste and flower biscuit shape. Yakgwa is made mainly from honey, sesame oil, and wheat flour.[1][2][3]


The origin of yakgwa is not clear, since this food had many different names. However, it seems that Korean people started to eat it during the Unified Shilla era. During the Goryeo Dynasty, yakgwa was known even in China by the name Goryeo mandu. By the Joseon Dynasty era, it was being called yakgwa.[citation needed] It was an essential dessert in the Goryeo royal court.[4]

Literally, yakgwa means the medicinal () confectionery (). This name came from the main ingredients it is made of. In Korea, during the Joseon Dynasty era, honey was considered as a medicine good for health. That is why it was called a medicinal confectionery.[5]


Yakgwa is traditionally made of honey, sesame oil, and wheat flour. Recently, Yakgwa has been manufactured by corporations, who add more ingredients in order to improve the taste of the biscuit.


The Yakgwa gets its shape by being either pressed into wooden molds, or flattened on decorative tiles. Both the pistol and molds must be greased with sesame oil.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "약과" (in Korean). Doopedia. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  2. ^ "How to Make Yakgwa, Korean Honey Cookies". About.com. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  3. ^ Timothy G. Roufs, Kathleen Smyth Roufs (2014). Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 213. ISBN 9781610692212. 
  4. ^ "Traditional Snacks". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  5. ^ 재미있는 한국어읽기2급,연세대학교 출판부, 제1과 음식 p. 13
  6. ^ Chef Sue Lee, Embessey Chefs "Korea" 2003