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Baesuk (Korean Pear Dessert, Two Ways)

Baesuk is a Korean pear dessert that can be either poached or steamed. It’s also a popular natural cough remedy! 

Baesuk (Honey Poached Pears) - Korean Royal Court Cuisine | MyKoreanKitchen.com

A few weeks ago, I was sick for a week. I had a deep chesty cough that I couldn’t shake off easily.

My husband asked me to consider some natural cough remedies and I thought of Baesuk immediately.

What is Baesuk

Baesuk (배숙, 梨熟) – poached pear or steamed pear is known in Korea to relieve cough or cold related symptoms.

When I was a child, my late grandma used to hand out a bottle of Korean pear essence to me. She called this special drink, Baemul (배물, pear water).

The colour of the drink was as dark as espresso coffee, but it had a very sticky consistency like honey, and it had a bit of a bitter sweet taste.

Baesuk (Korean Steamed Pears) Recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

To this date, I have no idea how she made this pear essence, and I couldn’t find any recipes that resembles her Baemul formula on the internet yet.

(I presume that the pear would have been boiled or steamed at a very high temperature then blended and strained. It’s also probably mixed with other herbs, fruit or vegetables that are good for relieving coughs / colds as well.)

But instead, I found a few different variations of Korean pear cough remedies that can also be served as a dessert.  And, one of them was handed down at the Korean royal court. I’m definitely intrigued!

So, today, I have two different Baesuk recipes for you. They both are popular and use similar ingredients, but the cooking techniques are quite different. – One is poached and the other one is steamed. Accordingly, they taste different as well.

My family’s preference is honey poached pear over steamed pear and we like having it cold as a dessert. I can’t vouch for its effectiveness as a cough remedy since I wasn’t sick anymore when I tried this recipe. 🙂

Anyway, hope you give these recipes a try soon and let us know which one you liked more! Enjoy!

Baesuk (Korean pear dessert) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Pear Dessert – Part I

Ingredients for Baesuk (Honey Poached Pears, 향설고) – Korean Royal Court Cuisine Style, 3 to 4 Servings

  • 1 Korean pear (490g / 1 pound), peeled
  • 3 cups water
  • 15g / 0.5 ounces ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or honey
  • (Optional) 24 black peppercorns
  • (Optional) some pine nuts to garnish

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 cup = 250 ml

**Recipe adapted from Korean rice cakes, traditional sweets and cookies, and drinks [한국의 떡 한과 음청류, 제 5판]

How to Make Baesuk (Honey Poached Pears) 

1. Put the sliced ginger into a pot and add the water. Boil over medium high heat until rolling boiling (7 to 8 mins).

Boiling ginger water for Baesuk

2. (At the same time as step 1) Cut the pears into wedge shapes (about 8 pieces). Push through the black peppercorns on the back of the pears (typically 3 peppercorns per slice). You may want to use a chopstick or an equivalent tool to push them deep, so that they don’t fall out. Though, if you don’t like this additional peppercorn flavour, it can be omitted.

Preparing Korean pears for Baesuk

3. Discard the ginger from step 1. Add the sliced pears and sugar / honey into the pot. Boil them over low heat for about 10 mins.

Poaching Korean pears in honey ginger syrup

4. Remove the pot from the heat and cool down. Chill in the fridge for a few hours. Garnish the drink with some pine nuts before serving. Serve cold or warm.

Baesuk (Honey Poached Pears) Recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Note

While it is common to serve the drink with poached pear slices, it’s usually only for decoration. Typically, only the drink is consumed. (You will notice that the pear won’t have much of its sweet flavour left after being poached!)

Korean Pear Dessert – Part II

Ingredients for Baesuk (Korean Steamed Pears, 배꿀찜), 3 to 4 Servings

  • 1 Korean pear (490g / 1 pound), rinsed
  • 5g / 0.2 ounces ginger (more can be added per your liking), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 dried jujube, pitted, thinly sliced
  • (Optional) some pine nuts
  • Some water (enough to simmer for 1 hour in a steamer pot)

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 cup = 250 ml

**Recipe adapted from Cookand Magazine

How to Make Baesuk (Korean Steamed Pears)

1. Boil the water in a steamer pot.

2. (At the same time as step 1) Make a pear bowl and lid by slicing the top 1/5 of the pear to use it as a lid. Using a melon baller (or a small tea spoon), dig out the seeds (to discard) and flesh of the pear (to keep). Make sure you don’t dig out too much of the pear as it can collapse during steaming.

Making Korean pear bowl using melon baller

3. Fill the pear bowl with the sliced ginger, flesh of the pear, honey, jujube, and pine nuts. Close with the pear lid. Put the pear into a deep bowl to catch any liquid overflow during steaming.

Korean pear stuffed with pear, ginger, honey, dried jujube

4. Place the pear into the steamer and cook it on low heat for about 1 hour. Serve warm. (Can be served cold as a dessert. It tastes more like a medicine when served warm.)

Steaming Korean pear

 

How to Make Baesuk (Korean Cooked Pears) | MyKoreanKitchen.com


Baesuk (Honey Poached Pears) - Korean Royal Court Cuisine | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Baesuk (Honey Poached Pears) - Korean Royal Court Cuisine Style

Baesuk (Honey poached pears). Korean pear dessert recipe.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 29
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 Korean pear (490 g / 1 pound), peeled
  • 3 cups water
  • 15 g ginger (0.5 ounces), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or honey
  • 24 black peppercorns (optional)
  • Some pine nuts (optional) to garnish

Instructions

  • Put the sliced ginger into a pot and add the water. Boil over medium high heat until rolling boiling (7 to 8 mins).
  • (At the same time as step 1) Cut the pears into wedge shapes (about 8 pieces). Push through the black peppercorns on the back of the pears (typically 3 peppercorns per slice). You may want to use a chopstick or an equivalent tool to push them deep, so that they don’t fall out. Though, if you don’t like this additional peppercorn flavour, it can be omitted.
  • Discard the ginger from step 1. Add the sliced pears and sugar / honey into the pot. Boil them over low heat for about 10 mins.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and cool down. Chill in the fridge for a few hours. Garnish the drink with some pine nuts before serving. Serve cold or warm.

Notes

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 cup = 250 ml

Nutrition

Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.
Baesuk (Korean pear dessert) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Baesuk (Korean Steamed Pears)

Baesuk (Korean Steamed Pears). Korean pear dessert recipe
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: pear
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 59
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 Korean pear (490g / 1 pound), rinsed
  • 5 g ginger (0.2 ounces), (more can be added per your liking), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 dried jujube ,pitted, thinly sliced
  • Some pine nuts (optional)
  • Some water (enough to simmer for 1 hour in a steamer pot)

Instructions

  • Boil the water in a steamer pot.
  • (At the same time as step 1) Make a pear bowl and lid by slicing the top 1/5 of the pear to use it as a lid. Using a melon baller (or a small tea spoon), dig out the seeds (to discard) and flesh of the pear (to keep). Make sure you don’t dig out too much of the pear as it can collapse during steaming.
  • Fill the pear bowl with the sliced ginger, flesh of the pear, honey, jujube, and pine nuts. Close with the pear lid. Put the pear into a deep bowl to catch any liquid overflow during steaming.
  • Place the pear into the steamer and cook it on low heat for about 1 hour. Serve hot. (Can be served cold as a dessert. It tastes more like a medicine when served warm.)

Notes

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 cup = 250 ml

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

 

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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11 thoughts on “Baesuk (Korean Pear Dessert, Two Ways)”

  1. I have for many years made a cold medicine that I learned from a Chinese friend…..then I put my own twist to it. Boil 4-5 garlic cloves, several chucks of ginger, some pieces of lemongrass in a quart of water for 45 minutes in a slow, low boil, until it evaporates to about a cup. I then add honey to make a syrup…..for flavor you can add cloves or cinnamon during the boil. You can also drink it and keep adding water and more ingredients during the day. You can drink it with mint or squeezed lemon. The whole idea is that when you first get the cold symptoms, you want to sweat it out. These ingredients are good for just one day……if you still are sick, begin a new batch. I’m going to add black peppercorns, jujubes and pears to my recipes. Sounds really great and yummy.

  2. This might be what you’re looking for… The sweetness of the honey and pear, mixed with ginger, cinnamon, garlic cloves and lemon juice… and likely browning it a bit with the way Daniel Lee described maybe? – https://thesoftlanding.com/natural-cough-remedy-honey-cinnamon-poached-pears/

    It basically seems to be some of the same ingredients used in the “nature’s penicillin” recipe but with a pear…

    Anyway, hopefully that is what you are looking for or helps in your search (^_^) Thanks for the recipe.

  3. 안녕하세요! thanks for your recipes and stories that make the cooking come alive! I’m not positive that it’s how your grandmother made it, but if you simmer down the excess water at the bottom of a pot all the way down (i used a colander with no bowl to catch anything, so it all went to the bottom) and you leave the pot on, then you can get a brown sticky patch on the bottom if you time it right (low heat helps with timing). then if you just add a little bit of hot water and swish it around, you can make your 배물 as dark as you like! I just made some by accident and thought of your post

  4. Will have to try the cold remedy……………..
    Love that you have some Royal Court recipies….after the beautiful food that I see in Korean Historic movies (era movies) I want to try all the food….so colorful and beautiful to look at !!!!

  5. Thanks for this post. I had no idea that pear dessert could also be healthy. I was under the impression were unhealthy because of high sugar content. Thanks for proving me wrong! I love your blog and I’m glad that subscribed to it.

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