HobakJuk (Korean Pumpkin Porridge) made from Kabocha Squash

Hobakjuk - Korean Pumpkin Porridge (Instant Pot and Regular Recipe)

Hobakjuk or Korean Pumpkin Porridge is the perfect food for a cold winter day or any day. It is also a yummy healing food, light on the stomach and very nutritious!
Course Porridge
Cuisine Korean
Keyword baby food, easy to digest, good for patient
KoreanCategory Juk (죽)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 cups
Calories 56kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 1 kabocha squash (1 kg or 2.2 lbs)

For Instant Pot

  • 6 cups water

For Regular Cooking

  • 7 cups water

Sweet Rice Balls

  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour (mochi flour)
  • 3 Tbs hot boiling water

Sweet Rice Slurry

  • 6 Tbs sweet rice flour (mochi flour)
  • 8 Tbs water


  • 3 Tbs sugar (optional or use less for soup)
  • 0.75 tsp Sea Salt (Trader Joe's) Trader Joe's


  • If you have a whole Kabocha Squash, rinse and microwave on high for 5 – 6 minutes. It is much easier to cut and peel when cooked slightly. Cut Kabocha Squash into big chunks after peeling them.


  • Add Kabocha Squash pieces to Instant Pot and add water. (2 cups per 1 Kabocha Squash) Cook it at Manual High for 5 minutes. Natural release if you have extra time otherwise you can do manual release which should take about 10 minutes or so.

For Regular Cooking Method

  • Boil cut kabocha in a pot (bring to boil then reduce to medium heat) with water. (3 cups water per 1 Kabocha Squash) Cook for 25-30 minutes until fork goes in really easily and breaks apart.

Make Sweet Rice Balls (SaeAlShim) - OPTIONAL

  • While the squash/pumpkin is cooking, make mini sweet rice balls (chapssal sae-al-shim 새알심) to add to porridge. Start boiling a pot of water to cook the rice balls in.  Make dough by mixing 1/2 cup sweet rice flour and 3 Tbs HOT water.
  • First mix with a spoon because it’s so hot! After it’s cooled a bit, gather with your hands and make it into a dough ball.
  • Tear off a little of the dough and make cute mini sweet rice balls. I made each of mine about 1.5 cm (1/2 in) in diameter. 
  • Cook mini rice balls in boiling water. Cook for about 2 minutes and rice balls should float to the top when cooked.
  • Take rice balls out of the boiling water and drain, let them cool. Keep them covered so they don’t dry out.


  • Once the squash or pumpkin pieces are fully cooked, get a blender or chopper to blend it as smoothly as you’d like. Divided  pumpkins into 2 or more batches depending on the size of your blender.
  • For each 1 cooked Kabocha Squash, blend the squash + remaining liquid from pot + 4 cups water.
  • You can either put the blended pumpkin mix back into your Instant Pot or into a large pot. Season with sugar and sea salt to taste. Mix.


  • Turn on Sauté button and choose LESS or whatever button combination that will simmer.


  • Turn heat on low to simmer.

Make Sweet Flour Slurry

  • Make a sweet flour slurry of (6 Tbs sweet rice flour + 8 Tbs water per 1 Kabocha) to thicken up the Pumpkin soup to turn into Pumpkin Porridge. Using a whisk, mix quickly as you pour the slurry in. Simmer for another 5 min. SERVE warm.


Serving Suggestions
  • Serve with no garnishes or with any or all of the following: toasted or raw pumpkin seeds, sweet rice balls, dried cranberries, dried jujube (daechu) and even some cooked azuki red beans.
  • To cook the azuki red beans, just soak them in water for several hours and then cook them in water until soft.


Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.3mg