Misugaru was my absolute favorite summer drink when I was little. An icy bowl (yes, a bowl, not a cup) of this wonderful wholesome goodness cools you down like no other on a hot summer Korean day – while filling you up just perfectly with the nutty and nutritious multigrain powder.
What is Misugaru?
Misugaru 미숫가루 is a multigrain powder that has been eaten by Koreans for over a thousand years. This wonderfully delicious and filling powder was traditionally made simply with either one or a combination of cooked and roasted sweet rice flour, regular white rice flour or barley flour. And this was even had as a meal substitute back in the days when food was scarce in Korea.
But now, as you all know, everyone is trying to eat more healthy and want to eat less carbs.. so.. Misugaru now is mostly made with many different grains and labeled as 5곡 (gok = grains), 7, 12 or as many as 17 or even 20곡 미수가루!!
History books date Koreans consuming this powder all the way back to 800 AD in the Three Kindgom period of Korea. Misugaru has also been used as military food during wars because once grain is cooked and dried, it doesn’t spoil easily and will provide most of the essential nutrients for survival. And so it was also a popular snack drink for all Koreans when I was growing up. Now, there are so many other drinks, it has kind of become one of many snack options.
Misugaru is also called Seonsik 선식 禪食 in Korean Temple Cuisine and is now often called by this name. Seonsik was typically made with 7 ingredients – Brown Rice, Sweet Rice, Job’s Tears, Black Soy Beans, Barley, Perilla Seeds, Black Sesame Seeds. And Korean monks prepared this before they went into meditation training and believed it helped their minds stay clear and more zen.
In Korea today, the words Seonshik and Misugaru are used interchangeably but the word Seonshik predominantly is being used to market the powder as a healthy meal substitute, especially as a shake for breakfast more than a simple snack drink.
WAYS to EAT it?
The most popular way to eat this powder is to make a drink with it (as I will show you below) either with honey or sugar water or with milk. It’s a great snack drink because it’s a little more than just a drink. Think smoothie. And It’s also nutritious and easy to digest, so it’s great for kids and the elderly.
Misugaru is a favorite topping for Bingsu which adds a great nutty and savory flavor to it.
My favorite memory of Misugaru is of me sitting on the floor – in front of a fan on hot and humid summer days (there were very few air conditioners in Korea back then when I was a kid) – drinking a whole bowl of this absolute goodness, feeling so refreshed!
The other memory regarding Misugaru is how I hated 👿 it when someone mixed all the powder into the water and serve as a thick soup consistency. I guess I was a bit picky when it came to food – even when I was a kid.. lol.. 🤣🤣 Some people either don’t seem to mind it or actually even like it when the powder is fully mixed in to make a thick slurpy drink – but to me, mixing all the powder fully into the liquid vs just sprinkling it on top made a HUGE difference in texture and taste!!
And so I would be quietly frustrated whenever someone did that…hehehe.
And honestly, a big reason why I am sharing this post is because most online recipes seem to just mix everything together and did not show the delicate method of partially mixing and enjoying the drink through different textures!! I even asked my husband and my sisters about how they remembered drinking Misugaru when they were young and they all confirmed it!! So good to know that I’m not the only one remembering this!!! 😂🤣
Now, I know… there’s no right or wrong way to make or cook things, if you like the style where the powder is all mixed with the liquid, please don’t hate me for saying it. Everyone has their own taste preference I know.. but I just felt compelled a little bit to share how my husband and family grew up eating it.
!CHOKING HAZARD WARNING!
When you drink my recipe, please be careful!~ Especially when you are drinking from a bowl with the dry powder floating on top, PLEASE DO NOT INHALE as you drink. When you drink and inhale at the same time, you are likely to get the powder tickling your throat or even worse, you can even choke (although that never happened to me I did have to cough a few times..haha). Drink without breathing in or while inhaling.. if you can’t do it, I would recommend that you use a spoon instead of drinking directly from the bowl.
What grains are in Misugaru?
Every recipe makes it differently but here are some of the common grains used to make Misugaru (in both Korean and English.
- Sweet Rice (찹쌀 chapssal)
- Short Grain Rice (멥쌀 maepssal)
- Job’s Tears (율무 yulmu)
- Millet (좁쌀 jobssal)
- Brown Rice (현미 hyeonmi)
- Oats (귀리 kwiri)
- Sorghum (수수 susu)
- Black Soy Beans (서리태 seoritae)
- Barley (보리 bori)
- Brown Sweet Rice (현미찹쌀 hyeonmi chapssal)
- Black Rice (흑미 heukmi)
- Soybeans (메주콩 meju kong)
- Black Sesame seeds (검정깨 Geomjeong kkae) – not a grain but added for flavor
- Perilla seeds (들깨 deulkkae) – not a grain but added for flavor
How is the Multigrain powder made?
Korean multigrain powder is made either by first steaming the grains or beans, drying and roasting them and then ground into powder. Sometimes you can directly roast the grains themselves without cooking them first.
How to make Misugaru Drink – traditional way!
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 Tbs honey or 2~4 tsp sugar
- 3 to 4 Tbs Misugaru Multigrain Powder
- 5 to 6 ice cubes
- Make Honey or Sugar water. My favorite is honey water but you can make sugar water or even do part honey and sugar. Use room temp water to make dissolving honey or sugar easier. Icy cold water makes it hard for honey or sugar to dissolve so add ice later. BTW, I gave you a range of sweetness but note it should be pretty sweet in order for it balance with the ice and powder being added but it’s up to you.
- HONEY WATER – for 1 cup of water, add 1 1/2 Tbs (for less sweet) up to 2 Tbs of honey (if you like sweet). Mix until dissolved.
- SUGAR WATER – for 1 cup of water, add 2 tsp up to 4 tsp sugar. Mix until dissolved.
- Get a bowl or a cup. Bowl works better if you are going to follow my recipe and not mix everything. Add the honey or sugar water and some ice cubes. 4-6 ice cubes per bowl.
- Sprinkle 3 to 4 Tbs Misugaru on top of the ice honey/sugar water. Swirl it around a few times with your spoon until some of it gets mixed in, BUT DON’T MIX ALL and then enjoy!! Use your spoon or drink directly from the bowl or cup but becareful not to inhale the powder because you can kind of choke on it.. 😉
How to make Misugaru with Milk
- To 3/4 cup cold milk or almond or soy milk or any other milk alternatives, add about 2.5 tsp sugar or other sweetener and mix in about 3 Tbs Misugaru. Mix it thoroughly with a whisk or a shaker or leave little lumps like in the picture below if you want. You can still top with some additional dry Misugaru powder and ice for extra flavor and chill but this one is best when everything is mixed in.
And that’s it!! It’s such a simple yet fabulous summer drink and now you know different ways to drink it!~
If you want to see how I make this drink and also see how my husband drinks this the way we grew up drinking – please check out the video! Turn on sound to hear my narration!!
Follow along on social for more Korean recipe inspiration!
5 from 1 vote
Misugaru (Multigrain Powder Drink)
Misugaru is a traditional Korean Multigrain Powder Drink that's made with various grains and beans. It's a popular icy summer drink that's slightly sweet with great nuttiness from the powder. Recipes with honey water or milk are both included.
Prep: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 Tbsp honey or 2 tsp sugar per 1 cup water
- 3 Tbsp Misugaru
- 5-6 ice cubes
Make Honey or Sugar water. My favorite is honey water but you can make sugar water or even do part honey and sugar. Use room temp water to make dissolving honey or sugar easier. I gave you a range of sweetness. In order to balance with the ice and powder, it should be a little bit on the sweet side but it's up to you.
HONEY WATER – for 1 cup of water, add 1 1/2 Tbs (for less sweet) up to 2 Tbs of honey (if you like sweet). Mix until dissolved.
SUGAR WATER – for 1 cup of water, add 2 tsp up to 4 tsp sugar. Mix until dissolved.
Get a bowl or a cup. Bowl works better if you are going to follow my recipe and not mix everything. Add the honey or sugar water and some ice cubes. 4-6 ice cubes per bowl.(Video) Korean Multigrain Powder Drink - Misugaru
Sprinkle 3 to 4 Tbs Misugaru on top of the ice honey/sugar water. Swirl it around a few times with your spoon until some of it gets mixed in, BUT NOT ALL and then enjoy!! Use your spoon or drink directly from the bowl or cup but becareful not to inhale the powder!
Tips & Notes:
- Nutrition facts are calculated for 1.5 Tbs Honey Water.
- To make Misugaru with Milk –
- To 3/4 cup cold milk or almond or soy milk or any other milk alternatives, add about 2.5 tsp sugar or other sweetener and mix in about 3 Tbs Misugaru. Mix it thoroughly with a whisk or a shaker. You can still top with some additional dry Misugaru powder and ice for extra flavor and chill but this one is best when everything is mixed in.
- Store Misugaru in refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness longer but can be stored at room temp for 2-3 months.
Calories: 216kcal (11%)| Carbohydrates: 51g (17%)| Protein: 3g (6%)| Fat: 1g (2%)| Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)| Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g| Sodium: 113mg (5%)| Potassium: 16mg| Fiber: 1g (4%)| Sugar: 26g (29%)| Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)| Calcium: 9mg (1%)| Iron: 1mg (6%)
Author: JinJoo Lee
Did You Make This?I love seeing what you’ve made! Tag me on Instagram at @Kimchimari or #kimchimari and don’t forget to leave a comment & rating below!
Misugaru (미수가루) or Misutgaru (미숫가루) is a mixed multi-grain powder that is ground, roasted and/or steamed. It is high in protein with relatively low calories, so it is popular among people on a weight loss diet.
Because of its protein content, fiber, calcium, and vitamins and minerals, misugaru is also regarded as a healthy – and still tasty – option. Misugaru can be found in Korean grocery stores in instant packets (which you can mix directly into water or milk for a ready-made drink) and bags of pure powder.
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Misugaru (Multigrain Powder Drink) Misugaru is a traditional Korean Multigrain Powder Drink that's made with various grains and beans. It's a popular icy summer drink that's slightly sweet with great nuttiness from the powder. Recipes with honey water or milk are both included.
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