How do you beat the heat? Basic methods like wearing light clothing and staying indoors might sound like the best bet, but to Koreans, clever, low-cost tricks such as eating cold dishes helps a lot when trying to keep cool. Unique to Korea, bingsoo(빙수), is a popular summer dessert which is made from shaved ice and various toppings.
Among many different kinds of bingsoo, majority of Koreans will agree that patbingsoo(팥빙수) is the most-loved one. Pat means red bean, so patbingsoo is shaved ice that is served with sweet red bean paste on the top. In fact, Koreans do seem to have special affection for sweet red beans; their love for pat is widespread from meals, such as patjook (red bean soup) or pattteok (red bean rice cake), to dessert. Now, we will introduce you to the world of sweet red bean desserts in Korea that is enjoyable throughout the year, especially summer.
As already introduced, patbingsoo makes the best option for summer dessert. Patbingsoo is usually served with sweet red bean paste, little pieces of rice cake and roast grain powder. Many dessert shops, bakeries and café offer patbingsoo menu for summer, but, there is one dessert café which sells and specializes year-round bingsoo menu, called Sulbing. It is one of the most popular dessert cafés in Korea, and its best menu is Milk Pat Sulbing. Sweet red bean paste is put on the top of finely shaved ice made of milk and decorated with roasted grain powder, some pieces of injulmi tteok (rice cake powdered with roast grain) and small pieces of dried jujube. Have a big scoop of it, and you will be able to escape from the sizzling heat while tasting the deliciousness of traditional patbingsoo.
正如剛才的介紹，Patbingsoo是夏天最佳的甜品。Patbingsoo通常配以紅豆醬和少許年糕及烤穀物粉。很多甜品店、麵包房和café都會在夏天提供Patbingsoo。有一間名為Sulbing的韓國café主要出售Bingsoo，而且一年四季都會推出不同口味。它亦是韓國其中一間最受歡迎的甜品café，而它最著名的是Milk Pat Sulbing，以牛奶製作而成的刨冰再配以紅豆醬，再加上少許烤穀物粉、injulmi tteok(以年糕沾上烤穀物粉)和棗子。你可以慢慢品嚐一大碗美味的傳統Patbingsoo，讓它帶你逃離炎熱的天氣吧！
Patppang is a form of bread stuffed with red bean paste inside. Danpatppang(단팥빵) in Korean means sweet patppang; it is a sweeter version of red bean bun. One of the qualities that make patppang good for summer dessert is that it is better to be eaten cold; in fact, it tastes sweeter after cooling down. Patppang is easily found in many bakeries in Korea, in Tous Les Jour and Paris Baguette. Soft and chewy bread dough goes even better with a cup of milk.
Patppang是一種釀滿紅豆的包。Danpatppang（단팥빵）在韓文是指甜的豆醬包子，是甜的紅豆包。其中一個令Patppang成為夏天受歡迎甜品之一的原因是它冷吃味道更佳。事實上，它冷吃味道會變得更加甜。Patppang很容易就能在韓國的麵包店買到，例如Tous Les Jour和Paris Baguette。柔軟又煙韌的紅豆包最適合配上一杯牛奶進食。
Chapssaltteok, mozzi 麻糬（찹쌀떡, 모찌）
Chapssaltteok is a sweet sticky, glutinous form of rice, which is also the major ingredient for Japanese mozzi. Soft sweetened red bean paste is stuffed inside a white chewy rice cake, mozzi. It has many variations. Firstly, green tea powder or coffee extract could be added to mozzi for colorings. Secondly, there are many options for fillings, for example, oranges and strawberries, and even ice cream. As mozzi loses its shape and becomes extremely sticky when it is heated, it is better to keep it in a cool, dry place.
Hwangnamppang is a special local bread of Gyeongju, one of the oldest cities located in the southeastern part of North Gyeongsang Province. Hwangnamppang is a round pastry of a palm size, filled with sweet red bean. The best way to enjoy hwangnamppang is to put it in the refrigerator and have it cold. If served along with warm tea or milk, the sweetness will be doubled.
Bungeoppang is a fish-shaped grilled bread with red bean jam stuffed inside. The filling varies from red bean paste to custard cream. As it is crispy outside and hot inside, it is widely popular as a winter dessert. Yet, when it is served cool, you can take bungeoppang to a whole new level. Street snack bungeoppang might be hard to buy, however, dessert café Azabu serves great buneooppangs. The best part for café Azabu is that you can have the very cold red bean dessert patbingsoo with the very hot pat dessert bungeoppang. Croissant Taiyaki serves a croissant version of bungeoppang. You can buy them hot, and have them cold so as to enjoy sweet red bean during the summer.
Sweet red bean can be found in many other dish as well, such as soup or porridge. Red bean is also good for women; nutritious, specifically high in potassium, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Enjoying red bean desserts will be the sweetest way to keep you strong and healthy throughout the hot summer weather, or even throughout the year!