Elm Cake(榉叶糕)

Headword

느티떡 ( 榉叶糕 , Neutitteok )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Summer > 4th Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer ImHeesoo(林姬洙)

Neutitteok (Kor. 느티떡) is a special treat eaten on Shakyamuni’s Birthday (the eighth of the fourth lunar month). It is prepared by mixing tender spring elm leaves with rice flour, sprinkling the dough with crushed red beans, and cooking it inside a steamer.

To make rice flour for elm cake, the rice is soaked in water overnight and drained and lightly salted before being milled into fine flour. A small amount of water is added in the flour and a crumbly dough is made by mixing flour and water together by hand. Next, the mixture is sifted using a strainer and sweetened with sugar. Young elm leaves that have been previously gathered and cleaned are added to the mixture. Preparation of the red beans also starts the day before: the beans are soaked in water for twenty-four hours, and when tender, their skin is peeled. The beans are then placed into a steamer to cook. While still hot, the beans are salted and mashed through a coarse sieve. The resulting thick dough is placed in a layer at the bottom of a steamer, followed by a layer of the rice flour dough. The cake becomes a large mound of several alternating layers of red beans and rice flour dough, which is steamed again.

The elm buds and leaves used for nuetitteok are collected in March and April when they are fragrant and safe for human consumption. Steaming the cake fills the house with the pleasing scent of the elm leaves. One of the reasons the cake is usually prepared around the time of Shakyamuni’s Birthday is that the leaves and, consequently, the cake are the most flavorful at this season.

Elm Cake

Elm Cake
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Summer > 4th Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer ImHeesoo(林姬洙)

Neutitteok (Kor. 느티떡) is a special treat eaten on Shakyamuni’s Birthday (the eighth of the fourth lunar month). It is prepared by mixing tender spring elm leaves with rice flour, sprinkling the dough with crushed red beans, and cooking it inside a steamer.

To make rice flour for elm cake, the rice is soaked in water overnight and drained and lightly salted before being milled into fine flour. A small amount of water is added in the flour and a crumbly dough is made by mixing flour and water together by hand. Next, the mixture is sifted using a strainer and sweetened with sugar. Young elm leaves that have been previously gathered and cleaned are added to the mixture. Preparation of the red beans also starts the day before: the beans are soaked in water for twenty-four hours, and when tender, their skin is peeled. The beans are then placed into a steamer to cook. While still hot, the beans are salted and mashed through a coarse sieve. The resulting thick dough is placed in a layer at the bottom of a steamer, followed by a layer of the rice flour dough. The cake becomes a large mound of several alternating layers of red beans and rice flour dough, which is steamed again.

The elm buds and leaves used for nuetitteok are collected in March and April when they are fragrant and safe for human consumption. Steaming the cake fills the house with the pleasing scent of the elm leaves. One of the reasons the cake is usually prepared around the time of Shakyamuni’s Birthday is that the leaves and, consequently, the cake are the most flavorful at this season.