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+ servings
pumpkin porridge in a white bowl with a spoon to show its thickness

Korean Pumpkin Porridge with Rice Dumplings

This vegan, gluten free Korean pumpkin porridge (hobakjuk) is super easy to make and is the perfect comfort food that can be enjoyed cold or hot. If you're looking for a healthy porridge recipe for your baby, give this one a try!
Course Breakfast, Main, Snack, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Korean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 134kcal


  • 1 kabocha about 2-3 lbs.
  • 4 cups water
  • cup sweet rice flour + 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs honey or maple syrup (omit for babies under 1) adjust to liking
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For rice dumplings (makes about 40)

  • ¾ cup sweet rice flour
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Wash kabocha, wipe dry, and cook in microwave for about 5-10 minutes until exterior softened. When cooled, cut it in half and remove seeds and strings with a spoon. Using a pairing knife, peel the skin. Cube the squash and place in a large pot. Mash it with a spoon or masher (See note).
  • Add 4 cups of water and bring pot to a boil. Lower heat and continue to stir and mash chunks of squash until smooth, about 25-30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir together ⅓ cup sweet rice flour with 1 cup of water. Pour mixture into the pot, quickly stirring to prevent lumps from forming. The porridge will start to thicken very quickly.
  • Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally (make sure to scrape the bottom), about 10 minutes. Adjust consistency to your liking by adding more water if too thick.
  • While the porridge is simmering, prepare the rice cake balls. Mix all the ingredients and knead until nice and stretchy. Shape into ½ in balls. *
  • Add honey and salt to pot and stir in. Add rice cake balls and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent them from sticking to the bottom. When cooked, the balls will float to the top.
  • Turn off heat and season with more salt and honey if desired.


To prevent the rice balls from drying out, keep them covered with plastic wrap as you work.
To modify for babies:
  • If your baby is just starting solids and you feel more doing purees (rather than baby led weaning) then cook the pumpkin and blend with water until completely smooth. Then add to the pot and follow the rest of the recipe instructions.
  • Super important - DO NOT offer honey to babies under 12 months of age.
  • The recommendation for added sugars is to avoid until 2 years of age. Having said that, the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons and your baby will eat a small portion of the porridge at a time so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
  • Same goes for salt. If you decide to leave both of them out, it will still taste great and I have a feeling your baby will love it ;).


Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1538IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg