Crescent Moon Rice Cake Cooking Class for Filipino Families

Last week the Agency for Traditional Market Administration sponsored a market tour and a Crescent Moon Rice Cake Cooking Class with O’ngo Food Communications for Filipino Mothers and children currently married to Korean spouses in Korea. It was a great day and we started off with a market tour and then we went to a cooking studio to make the chuseok treats: Songpyeon. Songpyeon, or Crescent Moon Rice Cakes, are often eaten during this Korean holiday to signify the coming of Autumn and to commemorate the relationship of the Earth and the moon.

Market Tour in Korea

The mothers and the children really enjoyed the market tour and the shop owners were very kind for every step of the way, they kept on giving food the children and the mothers. I think they had quite a lot of kimchi, whole baby crabs, crispy bindaetteok and other specialty Korean foods before they got to the cooking studio.

Filipino Mothers and Children in the Korean Market
Say Cheese!
Pumpkin, Chestnuts, Chive Juice, sesame seeds: Fillings for the Rice Cakes

At the cooking studio we made a variety of different rice cakes filled with sesame seeds and honey, pumpkin, and chestnuts. The class was led by Professor Jia Choi in English, but she did teach the Filipino mothers a few Korean words that they could then use at home with their Korean husbands.

pine needles for rice cakes

We steamed the rice cakes with pine needles which added a fragrant aroma and it kept the rice cakes from sticking together.

Professor Jia Choi teaches Korean cooking

Jia and Kids Making Songpyeon

Professor Choi first taught how to color the dough with a bit of pumpkin to make it orange or with green chive juice to make it green.

A Two Year Old makes Rice Cake
filling the dough

Filling the dough and making the shapes seemed to be the most fun thing for everyone.

Isn’t she cute!
“Mom, I love Korean food!”

Songpyeon is more of a dessert, so the Agency for Traditional Market Administration was kind enough to provide Japchae (Glass Noodles), Bulgogi, and Kimbap for everyone. The kids really enjoyed the japchae the most.

Yum! Japchae
Songpyeon: Crescent Moon Rice Cakes

Here are some of the finished Crescent Moon Cakes.

Everyone, say cheese!

I think everyone had a great time and everyone seemed to enjoy learning about Korean markets and Korean food.

It was a great day! Thank you Agency for Traditional Market Administration.

I would like to thank the Agency for Traditional Market Administration for sponsoring this event and their support for making it a success.


Daniel Gray

Daniel Gray is a Korean adoptee and entrepreneur that returned to Korean in 2005 because he wanted to try and find his birth mother and to learn about Korean culture. He started a restaurant review blog in 2007,, that became a local and international hit. He and his blog has been featured in the New York Times, Monocle Magazine, The Kimchi Chronicles, Bizarre Foods, Rudy Maxa, Olive Magazine, Euronews and much more. He now is a partner at O’ngo Food Communications (, which is a culinary tourism and consulting company that offers Korean cooking classes and restaurant tours to travelers. In 2013, he started Brew 3.14 Pizza Pub. His food tours, cooking classes, and restaurant are ranked as some of the top attractions in Seoul according to the website tripadvisor. He lives in Korea with his wife.

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