Type Tteok
Place of origin Korea
Serving temperature 15–25 °C (59–77 °F)
Food energy
(per 8 serving)
220 kcal (921 kJ)[1]
Other information Food related to Chuseok
Cookbook: Songpyeon  Media: Songpyeon
Korean name
Hangul 송편
Hanja -
Revised Romanization songpyeon
McCune–Reischauer songp'yŏn
IPA [soŋ.pʰjʌn]

Songpyeon (송편) is a traditional Korean food made of glutinous rice. It is a type of tteok, small rice cakes, traditionally eaten during the Korean autumn harvest festival, Chuseok. It became a popular symbol of traditional Korean culture. The earliest records of songpyeon date from the Goryeo period.


Songpyeon are half-moon shaped rice cakes that contain sweet or semi-sweet fillings, such as sesame seeds and honey, sweet red bean paste or chestnut paste, all steamed over a layer of pine needles, which gives them the fragrant smell of fresh pine trees. The name Songpyeon comes from the use of pine needles ("song" in "songpyeon" means pine tree).[2]


Songpyeon is made by kneading rice powder with hot water and stuffing the dough with beans, sesame, chestnuts and other fillings. Songpyeon can be made into many unique colors and flavors using natural ingredients. The shape, size and ingredients may vary by region. Common in Seoul are smaller bite-sized songpyeon, while in other regions, such as Gangwon Province, potatoes and acorn powder are more common because Gangwon Province is known for growing these two. Other ingredients that can be added to songpyeon are soybeans, cowpeas, chestnuts, bean powder, jujubes, sesame and honey.


Songpyeon is one of the most popular homemade Korean dishes for holidays. Many families make their own songpyeon. Songpyeon is given to family members and close neighbors as a sign of respect. An old Korean anecdote says that the person who makes beautifully-shaped songpyeon will meet a good spouse or give birth to a beautiful baby.[3] Many Korean families say that Chuseok would not be complete without songpyeon.

Songpyeon was used for ancestral celebrations. Songpyeon and other foods were used to show appreciation for the year's harvest. Koreans hoped and prayed to help them avoid misfortune. Songpyeon is mainly eaten at Chuseok, at harvest time, but some Korean families like to eat them during the spring.

Many stories describe why songpyeon is in the shape of a half moon. Most believe it is because Korean ancestors thought the full moon could only wane while a crescent shape/half-moon would fill up.

See also


  1. "Korean Food Recipes - Songpyeon" 송편. Korean Food Foundation. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  2. "Songpyeon (Half-moon Shaped Rice Cake)". September 29, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  3. "Traditional Korean Holiday, Chuseok". Korea Tourism Organization. August 7, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
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