Hotteok is a popular Korean street snack and dessert filled with hot brown sugar syrup. You can easily make them at home. The dough is soft and chewy. Serve these pancakes hot!
There is something about rain that makes Koreans crave greasy sweet food. These hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes with sizzling hot brown sugar syrup, cure the craving.
Actually, it seems to be a global phenomenon. My American, Japanese, and European friends all love to eat something sweet and slightly greasy when there’s water falling down from heaven.
It’s been raining every single day here and I finally decided to make some hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes. Besides I found a very special treasure the other day to make this sweet Goddess of Desserts.
This is what we call “Hotteok Press.” It is a simple tool to press the hotteok to flatten. Who knew that I would be finding this rare Korean tool in the middle of Kuala Lumpur? Only God knows…, so it must be my destiny that I have to make Hotteok. And I did.
Ingredients You need
You will need flour, sweet glutenous rice flour, white sugar, light brown sugar, milk, yeast, peanuts, cinnamon, and black sesame seeds (optional).
Take your ordinary all purpose flour.
Black sesame seeds are optional. If you have them, use them by all means.
Mix all together and add white sugar and some salt.
This is instant yeast – the kind you can mix with flour right away.
You can certainly see the colony of unicellular fungi that feeds millions of people around the world everyday in the name of BREAD.
I am one of the millions today. Since it is instant I don’t need to proof the yeast. Loving it!
Now heat your milk in the microwave for a few seconds, about 15 seconds.
Stir the milk and stick your finger in. If it feels nice and warm it is good to go.
If it feels hot to touch, then it will murder your yeasts.
Drop in some oils…
And pour into the flour mixture.
Stir with your wooden spoon and…
mix until it becomes a monstrous sticky glob.
Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in somewhere warm. For me, I just put in the microwave and shut the door. Wait 30 minutes.
Voila! The dough has risen. He is truly alive!
Punch him to deflate. Let him rest for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile chop a little bit of your favorite nuts – I used peanuts.
Mix with brown sugar and cinnamon.
You will need to oil your hand.
I like to use disposable gloves because I’m tired of washing my hands 75 times a day.
Tear a piece of dough and flatten it down. Put 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon of sugar mixture in the center.
Pinch all the corners together toward the center. Make sure there is no gaps or holes. Play around first.
Drop it on the hot oiled skillet over medium heat.
Press it down to flatten the dough. Don’t have this Hotteok press? Use any bowl that has smooth round bottom. Something like this one below.
A typical corningware bowl that you can buy at Walmart. This will do the job just fine. Make sure you oil the bottom surface so it won’t stick. Or you can use any flat spatula you have in your kitchen.
Boy, can you resist this? If you can, you are not one of my kind. Crispy yet chewy texture with sweet cinnamon brown sugar syrup oozing out… Sooooo gooood!!!!
But you gotta be careful! The sugar syrup can be quite hot especially for young children.
Other Korean Sweets
Hotteok, Korean sweet pancakes
For brown sugar filling:
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and etc) finely chopped
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Mix flours, yeast, sesame seeds (if using), baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Mix lukewarm milk with 1 tbsp of oil and add to the flour mixture; mix everything with wooden spoon. The dough will be very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and keep the bowl in a warm place for 30-60 minutes depends on the temperature in the room.
- The dough should rise double in volume. Deflate the dough by punching it in the center. Let the dough rest for another 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the brown sugar filling. Mix brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- Tear a piece of dough (about 1 1/2 to 2-inch in diameter) and stretch out with your hand. Place 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon of filling mixture in the center. Gather the edges of the dough toward the center and pinch the seam to seal. You will get a ball shaped dough.
- Heat a generous amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop a dough ball and press it with a hotteok press or spatula to flatten it. Cook until the bottle gets golden brown. You will see the top puffs up slightly; about 2-3 minutes. Flip the dough to the other side and continue to cook; another 2-3 minutes. Add more oil if needed.
- Serve hot immediately but be very cautious. The brown sugar syrup will be very hot! Enjoy!