Yakshik is a traditional Korean sticky sweet rice that is translated as "medicinal food." It tastes kind of like the dim sum that is sticky rice wrapped in leaves, but sweet and with fruit stuffings.
5 cups of sweet rice (chapssal 찹쌀)
1 cup of brown sugar
10 dates (daechu 대추)
2 tbsp pine nuts
6 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp warm water
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp honey
1/3 cup date jam/juice*
½ tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup sesame oil
Wash the sweet rice thoroughly and soak for 5 hours. Set aside.
Using a steamer pot, boil ½ pot of water and spread damp cheese cloth on the tray of the steamer. Spread soaked rice evenly and cover with the cheese cloth. Steam the rice for an hour stirring two or three times during that time. Set aside.
Caramelize the brown sugar -- add 6 tbsp of brown sugar and 3 tbsp of water into the pot and boil over a low heat. When the color begins to turn to darker brown, lower the heat and quickly add the 3 tbsp of warm water in. Stir constantly to prevent from hardening. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Peel off the chestnut skins and quarter them. Remove the seeds from the dates and cut into three pieces. Remove very end of the pine nuts.
Add the peeled dates into a small saucepan and add enough water to cover. Boil until tender, then separate the dates from the boiled water. Boil the remaining liquid until it is as thick as honey.
To make the seasoning: mix 3 tbsp of soy sauce, 4 tbsp of honey, 1/3 cup date jam, ½ tbsp cinnamon powder, 1 tsp ground black pepper and 1/3 cup sesame oil. Stir well.
Remove the rice from the steamer and put into a large bowl. While the rice is still hot, add 1 cup of brown sugar, mixing thoroughly.
Add the caramel sauce and seasoning into the rice, mixing carefully so that the rice doesn’t form any lumps. Add the chestnuts and the boiled dates and mix well. Cover with a damp cheese cloth for 2 hours and allow it to cool.
Boil more water in the steamer pot. Spread a damp cheesecloth on the steamer tray and place the cool rice mixture on it. Cook for one hour. Turn the heat on low and cook for another 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with pine nuts and mold into a small rectangular shape or any other preferred shape. Serve while hot.
You can store leftovers in a the refrigerator. To warm leftovers, steam.
* Note: make date jam by covering the dates/jujubes with enough water in a pot, and boiling until tender. Strain the jujubes and boil the remaining liquid until it is as thick as honey.