Maejakgwa (fried ribbon cookies)

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 1, 2012 - 18:19
  • Updated : Jun 1, 2012 - 18:19

Maejakgwa (Institute of Traditional Korean Food)
Maejakgwa is a type of cookie made by kneading wheat flour with salt and ginger juice. It is sliced thinly and slit, then flipped over after squeezing one end into the slit. The cookies are fried in oil, coated with sugar syrup, and sprinkled with pine nut and cinnamon powder. Maejakgwa gets its name from its shape, which is similar to a sparrow (jak) in an apricot (maehwa) tree.


● white dough : 70g wheat flour, 0.5g salt, 30g ginger juice

● pink color dough : 25g wheat flour, 0.2g salt, 1 g strawberry powder, 15g ginger juice

● mugwort color dough : 25g wheat flour, 0.2g salt, 1 g mugwort powder, 15g ginger juice

● yellow dough : 25g wheat flour, 0.2g salt, 2g (gardenia 2g, water 30g) gardenia water, 10g ginger juice

● syrup: 80g sugar, 1/2 cup water

● 6g pine nuts powder

1. Sprinkle salt on the each wheat flour and sieve.

2. Knead white wheat flour with ginger juice and add strawberry powder, mugwort powder, and gardenia water to the other three lots of wheat flour, mix them thoroughly individually, and knead with ginger juice.

3. Wrap each piece of dough with a cotton cloth and let sit for 20 minutes.

4. Roll the white dough until it is 0.2 cm thick, and divide it into three parts. Roll the three pieces of colored dough to the same thickness. Stick each piece of colored dough flat against one of the white dough parts, and roll them until they are 0.2 cm thick.

5. Cut the rolled dough into 2x4 cm strips, then make three slits lengthways, push one end through the center slit, then flip over.

6. Put sugar and water in the pot, boil it on low heat for 15 minutes to make syrup.

7. Pour edible oil into the pan and heat it up to 130 Celsius, put the cookies in the pan and let sit for two minutes. Turn over, and fry for another two minutes, and drain off the oil on a strainer.

8. Then put the fried cookies into the syrup to coat them. Place the cookies on a dish and sprinkle with pine nuts powder.


● The traditional twisted cookie is white and much bigger.

● These snacks are also known as “Taraegwa.”

● Saturated omija water (omija: water = 1 : 2) may be used for pink dough.

(Adapted from the Institute of Traditional Korean Food)