In celebration of Korean New Year soon approaching, Lisa from Korean American Mommy asked if we'd like to be part of her Around the World Feature on Korea, and anytime I get to eat make Korean food, I'm more than happy to participate. Check out her adventures cooking through mommy-hood (with her adorable lil' one) and get a look at what other featured bloggers, Eating and Living and Beyond Kimchi, are making for this Korean virtual meal!
One of my favorite Korean treats, hoddeok, is a lesser known street snack here that is very popular in Korea especially in the cold winters. Hoddeok is a sort of yeasty pancake that is filled with a variety of fillings such as sugar, cinnamon and nuts and pressed on a hot oily griddle until flat and crunchy on the outside and perfectly gooey hot on the inside. Sometimes and if you're lucky, a bit of the sugar oozes out, creating a crisp and sticky doily of caramelized heaven. To. Die. For.
I was introduced to hoddeok by a friend who took me to a truck in Koreatown in Los Angeles that sold these exclusively. Which was the worst and best thing that had ever happened to me, as my daily commute at the time passed right by this street. This truck became a common pit stop for me and I'd jump out of my car on the way back from work and buy one (and if I was feeling particularly careless, two).
The smell of hot hoddeok is one of those things that induces temporary amnesia and sudden lapse in judgment, causing it's victim to scarf down the piping hot sugar napalm. But, hoddeok is worth every burnt palate and additional pound. It's the sacrifice we humans make for something this damn good.
– 2 cups of all purpose flour
– 2 tbsps of granulated sugar
– 2 tsps of yeast
– 1 cup of room temp water
– 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
– 1/2 tsp of salt
– 1/2 cup of brown sugar
– 2 tbsps of pine nuts, chopped
– 1 tbsp of cinnamon
To make the dough, mix the cup of water, yeast, sugar, salt and oil together until dissolved. Add in the flour and mix with a spatula just until incorporated. Cover the bowl, and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. I put mine on top of my stove, heat off of course, to help it along. While you wait for your dough to rise, make the filling by mixing the sugar, pine nuts and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Punch down the dough and let it rest again for another 20 minutes. Pour the sticky dough onto a floured surface and knead for a while with well floured hands until the dough comes together. Roll into a ball and cut in half and then cut each half into four smaller pieces. Again with floured hands take each ball of dough and pat it flat with your hand and fill the middle with a heaping spoonful of the sugar mixture. Slightly push with the back of a spoon so the sugar sits nicely in the dough. Fold each end up and pinch slightly together so it seals shut.
Here's a video tutorial to help you fill your hoddeok. This was a last minute idea, so please excuse my horrid nails!
In a well oiled cast iron skillet/griddle (or any pan if you don't have one) pour in a little vegetable oil so there is a thin coating and heat on medium flame. Put the ball of dough pinched side down and cook for about 30 seconds until browned. Flip over push the ball down into a flat pancake with the back of your spatula and cook for another minute. Flip again and cover with a lid and cook for a minute until the sugar is nice a melted.
Enjoy right away while intolerably hot! And for more Korean sweets check out our sikhye, a rice and malt drink.
Recipe adapted from Maangchi
(Second image from here, rest from Globetrotter Diaries)