Korean-Style Roasted Rice Tea

Korean roasted rice tea

 Naomi Imatome-Yun

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 20 servings

Knowing how to distinguish between ​teas is a must for anyone professing to have an interest in Korean cuisine and culture, but you can go a step further by using a recipe to actually learn to make popular Korean teas, such as roasted rice tea. If you're too intimidated to try to make a traditional Korean meal, finding out how to make common drinks can still make you look impressive.

This recipe for roasted rice tea, which is also known as sungyung, is quite easy. You can't go wrong by using these easy-to-follow directions as a guide. Before you set out to make the tea, you should know what sungyung is. Simply put, it is a popular Korean grain "tea," which means that sungyung is just well-roasted rice steeped in hot water. It has a nutty, smoky flavor, so if that doesn't appeal to you, try out another Korean-style tea instead. 

If you do enjoy a nutty taste, keep in mind that this recipe for sungyung requires you to make a large batch of roasted rice so that you can have a cup of ​sungyung whenever you feel like it. If you just want to make a few cups of tea, you can also fry some rice in a dry (no oil) pan.


  • 3 cups rice (cooked, warm)

Steps to Make It

  1. To make this nutty flavored tea, preheat the broiler in your oven.

  2. Spread the rice onto a cookie sheet, in a layer that is about 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick.

  3. Put cookie sheets in the oven but not too close to the broiler. The sheets should remain there for at least five to ten minutes per side.

  4. You'll know the rice is ready when it's brown and very crisp on each side. To give you a better idea of when this rice is done, consider that the drink is traditionally made from the roasted rice that sticks to the pot after Koreans make rice. This scorched layer of rice is called nurungji. The popularity of rice cookers, however, has meant that there are ​not many pots with crusts of rice stuck to them anymore.

  5. The great thing about this recipe is that once you've made enough sungyung, you won't have to keep making more batches repeatedly. Instead, you can store your roasted rice in the breadbox for a week or in the refrigerator for a longer time.

  6. To make sungyung (sungyung) tea, take about 2 tsp of the roasted rice and steep for a few minutes in a cup of water.


More About Sungyung

Roasted rice tea is hardly a new concoction. It reportedly dates back to the 12th century during the Song period of China. The Japanese drink a similar tea, known as genmaicha.

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