Yaksik - Korean sweet rice dessert

Korean Sweet Rice Dessert (Yaksik)

A dessert filled with health-promoting ingredients like jujube, chestnuts, and pine nuts. This version uses a pressure cooker and can be done quicker than most traditional recipes.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Korean
Keyword gluten free, healthy, korean sweet snack, sweet, sweet rice
KoreanCategory Hankwa (한과)
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 266kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 4 cups sweet rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/3-1 1/2 cups sugar + 3 Tbs honey (or1 1/2 C dark brown sugar)
  • 4 Tbs soy sauce
  • 4 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
  • 13 oz canned chestnuts (uncooked or 1 1/2 C peeled chestnuts)
  • 1 cup dried jujubes aka dried red dates
  • 2 Tbs pine nuts


  • You need: a pressure cooker (pressure rice cooker works best), 8×8 cake pan or 12 or more cupcake liners or remekins.
  • Measure the sweet rice and soak in cold water for 1 hour (soak 5 hours if you are cooking in the microwave instead of a pressure cooker).
  • Measure and prepare the pine nuts, chestnuts and jujubes. Drain the syrup from the canned chestnuts and set aside. Canned chestnuts work best but you can also use uncooked peeled chestnuts.
  • Wash the dried jujubes, making sure the dust in between the wrinkles are completely washed away. Dry them with a towel. If they are seeded, cut around the seed. If they are seedless, one less thing to do! Cut the flesh into small squares (1/2 inch) or strips.
  • Save the seeds and make some jujube water by boiling and then simmering the seeds in 2 cups of water for 10 min. Now you have jujube tea (대추차 daechucha) which you can drink with some honey and also use some to cook the rice later. Jujube water adds much more flavor.
  • After the sweet rice has soaked for an hour, drain the water from the rice. Cook the rice in a pressure rice cooker by adding 2 cups of water (use 1/2 cup of the jujube water from earlier if you can) and follow the instructions for cooking regular white rice. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook the rice in the microwave – add about 1 cup of water and cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • When the rice is cooked (the rice will be very sticky but should not be too mushy), add the sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and cinnamon powder. Mix the rice well but not too much because it will become too starchy. Stir only until the rice is evenly seasoned.
  • Add the jujubes, chestnuts and pine nuts. Fold them into the rice.
  • Put everything back in the pressure cooker and if you have a ‘steam’ option, steam for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a ‘steam’ option, just choose the shortest rice cook time and cook it again.
  • You are ready to serve Yaksik now (or later). Fill a 8×8 cake pan with the Yaksik and let it cool. Once it’s cool to touch, cover it to keep it from drying. Cut it into small squares or 2/3 in thick slices and serve. You can also spoon them into cupcake cups or ramekins. Again, when it’s cooled, cover with some plastic wrap.


  • Some recipes add caramel sauce instead of honey. My sister #1 actually adds about 2 T of molasses instead of honey.
  • Sister #1 also likes to add other dried fruits (apricots, raisins) and I think that’s a great way to add more fiber to the dish.


Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.6mg