How to make sweet Korean pancakes, Hotteok (호떡)
Would you like a piece of hot, crispy, and chewy fried dough with sizzling brown sugar syrup oozing out? I don't know about you, but I can't say "No!" to these sweet Korean pancakes. We call these sinful treats Hotteok(호떡)! It is probably the most popular sweet treat from the street food vendors in Korea. If you are planning to visit to Korea, you shouldn't miss these pancakes.
There are several varieties of Hotteok, and this recipe I am sharing with you would be the most common and easy one that you can make at home.
All you need is some bread flour, sweet rice flour(glutenous rice flour), milk, yeast, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of nuts of your choice. Of course oil is also needed to fry up these irresistible treats.
The dough is simple to make. The mixture of plain flour and sweet rice flour will bring the sticky and chewy factor on your bite. Once you try them, you will be making again and again.
Of course the best Hotteok would be the one from the street vendors in Korea, but I will show you how easily you can create at your own kitchen. Now, did I save your $$$ for a plane ticket to Korea? ^ ^
First, you want to mix bread flour, sweet rice flour, yeast, granulated sugar, and salt. Whisk all together.
Note: I use instant yeast, which you can mix directly with the dry ingredients. If using the active yeast, you will need to proof in warm milk first before adding to the dry ingredients.
Heat your milk to lukewarm, add some oil, about 1 tablespoon.
Pour the milk to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Mix it for 1-2 minutes. It will be quite sticky. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
When the dough is risen and double in volume, you should be able to see the spiderweb-like texture when you pull it from the outside. Punch the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile let's make brown sugar filling. In a small mixing bow, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and some finely chopped nuts. Typically we use peanuts in the filling, but I added a little bit of walnuts and sunflower seeds. You can use almonds or pecans, or any nuts of your choice.
Tear a piece from the dough and flatten on your palm, about 3/8-inch thick. You will need to oil your hand so that it won't stick to you. The size is about 4-inch in diameter or a little bigger.
Place 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoonful of brown sugar filling in the middle.
Bring the edges of the dough toward the center and pinch together to secure the filling. Make sure you don't have any gaps or holes.
Heat generous amount of oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Drop the dough. I usually make one at a time.
This tool is called Hotteok press. Unfortunately, it is hard to find in outside of Korea. You don't need to have this tool. Use your everyday spatula to press down the dough. Or if you have a bowl with smooth round bottom, you can use it as well. Make sure you oil the surface so it doesn't stick to the dough.
Press gently to flatten down, to about 1/2-inch thickness. Don't press too harshly. It can tear the dough on the edge, and the syrup might explode to the side.
Let the dough fry up in oil over med-low heat, about 2-3 minutes. When you see the side of the dough is bubbly and looking dry, flip to the other side carefully.
As you see it should have a beautiful golden brown crust. Don't touch the dough. Just let it cook in oil for another 2-3 minutes. You might need to adjust the heat level so that you don't burn it.
You want to serve these when hot. Be very careful, though. The brown sugar filling will be very hot, especially to young children, so please, be mindful!
When serving, Koreans use a folded card stock paper (like the index card kind) to hold the hot pancakes, and in a cup (to catch sugar filling drops) . But you can certainly serve with a folk and knife on a plate.
The dough is pleasantly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy inside. The sizzling hot cinnamon-y brown sugar filling is just divine! You won't be satisfied enough for eating just one. And I never said these were healthy. ^ ^
The recipe is below. Enjoy!
If you have any questions regarding this recipe, please leave in comments below. Also, please visit my site, Beyond Kimchee, for more delicious Korean dessert recipes.
Sweet Korean Pancakes (Hotteok)
makes 8 pancakes
- 1-3/4 cups bread flour
- 1-1/4 cups sweet rice flour (glutenous flour)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 packet (2-1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4-6 tablespoon of oil for frying
For the filling:
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped nuts of your choice
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, yeast, and salt. Whisk all together to mix.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the lukewarm milk, pour the milk to the dry mixture. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for 1 hour in a room temperature.
- When the dough rises double in volume, punch down in the middle and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the brown sugar filling by mixing all the filling ingredients.
- Tear a 1/8 portion of the dough and flatten down on your palm (You will need to oil your hand so the dough won't stick), about 3/8-inch thick and 4-inch in diameter. Place 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoonful of brown sugar mixture in the middle and pull the edges of the dough toward the center and pinch to secure. Make sure there are no gaps or holes.
- Heat generous amount of oil in a skillet over med-low heat. Drop the dough and press down gently with a hottek press or spatula, about 1/2-inch thickness. If you see any holes on the surface, patch with a little bit of extra dough to cover to prevent the sugar syrup oozing out. Fry for about 2-3 minutes until you see the side of the dough is somewhat looking dry and bubbly. Flip the dough to the other side and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. Adjust the heat level if the dough browns too quickly.
- Serve the pancakes hot, but be very careful since the filling would be sizzling hot. Enjoy!
Would like other Korean desserts? Click the images below!
Want a sweet series to go with your sweet treat? Check out Sensory couple, starring Yoochun and Shin Se Kyung: