The last time I was in Korea, it was late December. I had just spent the past few years living in West Africa, and was woefully underdressed for a real winter chill. Enter 호떡… the world’s most perfect street food. OK… I’m biased. When other families used to eat poptarts, we would put frozen hoddoeks in the toaster and have a warm, sweet and gooey korean treat for breakfast or a snack. So there is nothing better than buying steaming hot hoddeok from street vendors while walking around Seoul. It’s the snack of my childhood and what got me through a frigid winter wearing only jeans and a t-shirt.
Yesterday, after a weekend of being snowed in in the mountains, it felt like a perfect time to make hoddeok. Of course when I asked my husband if he wanted any, he heard “do you want a hot dog?” and said “no.” Until he saw what I was making, and proceeded to eat the hoddeok I made for myself, and then then next two that came out of the pan. So I would say that you don’t have to just be nostalgic for a childhood treat to enjoy a hot hoddeok.
Some of the recipes I’ve found use just plain old wheat flour. I like to substitute in some sweet rice flour; I think it makes them a bit more chewy. If you can’t find sweet rice flour, you can just use all AP flour instead.
1 c warm water
2 tbs sugar (I used turbinado)
2 tsp active dry yeast (if you use rapid rise, just skip the proofing step)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 c AP flour
1 c sweet rice flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs chopped walnuts
Make the dough:
- Mix warm water, yeast, salt, sugar, and oil in bowl; stir to dissolve
- Add both AP and sweet rice flour, mix well (the dough will be very wet)
- Let rise until dough has doubled in size
- Punch down and allow to rise for another 30 min
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl
- That was easy!
- Knead dough gently
- Place dough onto generously floured surface and divide into 8 equal parts
- Roll out or flatten one dough portion and fill with 1 tsp of filling. Gather dough at top and pinch closed
- Heat a pan with vegetable oil and place filled hoddeoks seam side down
- After the first side is golden brown, flip hoddeok and flatten with spatula
- Continue cooking second side until golden brown
- Flip hoddeok over again and turn heat down to low. Cook gently over low heat for a few minutes to allow filling to melt and turn syrupy. Serve immediately.
There is nothing like warm hoddeok on a cold day. You have to eat these right off the griddle, while the filling is still warm and gooey. I think nutella would make a great, non-traditional hoddeok filling. You can also fill hoddeok with red beans, cheese, or anything else crazy. It’s really just a stuffed pancake, after all.