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Anheung Jjinbbang Nutritious Traditional Snack

Yellowish Buns with Delicious Red Bean Fillings

I n the winter time, when it snows, many Koreans think about having a special kind of snack: jjinbbang. Jjinbbang are steamed buns with red bean fillings, and they have been enjoyed by people for ages. It is a common to see people on the street blowing the steam off the buns as they eat them.


In recent decades, some food companies have been supplying ready-prepared jjinbbang to corner shops. The problem with these varieties is the artificial sweetenings used in the products. So, more and more people are turning back to the hand-made genuinely traditional jjinbbang. And the most famous variety is that made in Anheung Village in Hoengseong, Gangwon-do Province. Its location is rather remote, 10 kilometers east of a junction of the national arterial road and Yeong-dong High Way at the Saemal Interchange.

‘Anheung Jjinbbang’ Made with Natural Local Ingredients

At the present time, 20 homes in Anheung Village make jjinbbang for commercial purposes. But the first person who started the business and has made the village’s reputation is Ms. Sim Sun-nyoe. 30 years ago she started making and selling twigim (fried snacks), hotteok (small pancakes with syrup filling), Korean-style hotdogs, and jjinbbang. As the jjinbbang became the most popular item among consumers, she dropped the other snacks and in 1992 began concentrating on jjinbbang. 
All the jjinbbang shops stick to the traditional method of making the snack. They make the dough by hand and use red beans, with no artificial sweetenings, which have been boiled for a long time for the filling. To make the dough rise also, a traditional method is employed, and no chemical preservatives are used at all. For the red beans, only varieties cultivated in unpolluted Hoengseong-gun and nearby Pyeongnchang-gun are used. When the red beans are boiled over a low heat for many hours, they attain very pleasant sweetish and nutty qualities.

The following is the recipe for the traditional method of making jjinbbang:
First, wheat flour is kneaded into dough with added makgeolli (roughly refined rice wine). It is left to rise for 1 hour at a temperature of 40℃. In the meantime red beans are boiled for 4 hours or longer till they become very soft. Then each portion of dough is filled with boiled red beans and shaped into buns. Now they are steamed. From making the dough to the steaming, it usually takes 7 hours, though it varies a little, depending on how long it takes the dough to rise.

‘Anheung Jjinbbang’ Exported to North America

In 2000, a total of 160,000 dollars’ worth of ‘Anheung Jjinbbang’ was exported to Canada and America. And, a slightly larger amount of it has since been exported to that area every year. Korean expatriates are the major consumers, but the number of non-Korean consumers is also gradually increasing. Mr. Kwag Seung-shin, the director of Gangwondo Traditional Food Association, contributed greatly to finding markets in the area. Recently he said of the characteristics of ‘Anheung Jjinbbang’: “Many western pastries are colorful, attractively shaped and have a rich taste. But, jjinbbang has a simple color and shape, and also the taste is quite bland. These characteristics make them attractive to western consumers, specially those who are already familiar with oriental food culture.”

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