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Citron Hwachae with Gyeongdan

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 10 min

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 cups melon balls (watermelon plus mix of whichever you prefer), chilled

  • 2 cans lemon/lime sparkling water, chilled

  • 1/2 cup honey citron/ cha/ tea/ compote

  • 1 lemon, juiced

For Gyeongdan (rice cakes):

  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1/2 tsp butterfly pea flower powder

  • 1/4 cup boiling water

  • 2-3 tsp cornflour


  1. Prepare rice cakes: in a medium mixing bowl, mix together rice flour, sugar, and butterfly pea flower powder.

  2. Mix together 1 tsp lemon juice and boiling water.

  3. Slowly pour the water into the rice flour mixture using a spatula/spoon to stir. Start with about 1/2 of the water and add a little at a time. Mix with a spatula for a few minutes then switch to using hands to bring the dough together.

  4. You can use the cornflour in small quantities if the dough is too sticky. Massage the dough until you get a smooth, soft ball.

  5. Dust a cutting board with some cornflour and roll the dough into 1/2" thick logs. Cut the logs into inch-long pieces.

  6. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

  7. Start rolling pieces of dough into 1/2" round balls. Once the water comes to a boil, add the rest of the lemon juice to it and gently put the dough balls into the boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, gently nudge the balls so they don't stick to the bottom.

  8. Prepare an ice bath for the rice balls and keep it ready. Once the rice balls are cooked, they will rise to the surface. Take them out using the slotted spoon and dunk them into the ice bath. Set aside until required. The chilled rice balls will be a gorgeous purple color with a wonderfully chewy texture.

  9. To assemble the dish, take 4 decorative glasses/bowls. Divide the melon balls and rice balls into them equally.

  10. Place the citron cha in a pitcher, break it up using a wooden spoon. Pour in the sparkling water and stir. Immediately pour over the dished up melon and rice balls and serve.

**Note: this dish takes best when served cold so keep the components as cold as you can. It is a refreshing summer treat for the taste buds and a colorful treat for the eyes.

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