Alcohol-Fermented Rice Bread
Gijutteok (Kor. 기주떡, Chin. 起酒餠, lit. cake rising on alcohol) is bread made by adding alcohol to rice flour dough for fermentation and then steaming it. The dish has a sweet and sour taste and does not spoil even in high temperatures, which makes it a popular summer specialty. This kind of rice bread is also known by other names including jeungpyeon (Kor. 증편, Chin. 蒸片, lit. steamed cake), gijeungbyeong (Kor. 기증병, Chin. 起蒸餠, lit. fermented and steamed cake), isikbyeong (Kor. 이식병, Chin. 酏食餠, lit. alcohol-fermented cake), sultteok (Kor. 술떡, lit. wine cake), and beonggeojitteok (Kor. 벙거지떡, lit. soldier’s hat cake). The dish probably appeared first in the Goryeo period (918-1392) when wheat flour was rare and expensive, and therefore rice flour was used as a substitute.
To make gijutteok, one needs to mix rice flour with warm water that has been blended with a fermented rice-based wine, makkeolli (Kor. 막걸리). The mixture is then left in a warm place to ferment. The risen dough is put on a special frame, topped with sliced dates, manna lichen, and pine nuts, and then steamed. An alternative recipe consists of placing a scoop of dough on the bottom of the frame, covering it with honey, red beans and cinnamon powder, and then pouring another scoop of dough and topping it with dates, manna lichen, and pine nuts.