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5 from 1 vote

Korean Pumpkin Soup with Sticky "Rice" Balls (Hobakjuk)

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins



  • 1 medium kabocha squash (about 2-3lbs)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp tapioca stach
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pumpkin seeds and cinnamon, for garnish

"Rice" balls

  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3 tbsp potato starch
  • 1/4 cup water + more, if needed



  • Cut the squash in half, then peel and seed it. Cut the squash into 2 inch pieces.
  • Place the squash in a saucepan with 2 cups of water.
  • Let the whole thing come to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • While the squash is simmering, make the "rice" balls using the instructions below.
  • Once the squash is cooked through and soft, use an immersion blender to blend everything together until creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the contents into a regular blender to blend. Bring back to heat.
  • In a bowl, whisk together tapioca starch and 1/4 cup of water, then stir the mixture well into the soup to thicken.
  • Add salt and honey, and bring back to boil.
  • Add rice balls and cook on boil for 5 minutes, while stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat to serve. Top with pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. You can add more salt or honey, to taste, depending on your taste buds.

Rice balls

  • In a bowl combine all ingredients and stir until a dough is formed. Add more water if the dough is too dry. Make small balls with the dough, about 1/2 inch wide. Set aside until ready to cook.