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Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, with a syrupy and crunchy filling made with sugar and dried fruit. Sweet Korean Pancakes are truly a typical Korean street food delight, eaten especially in winter.
Origins Of Sweet Korean Pancakes
The word Hotteok means “Rice Cake of the Barbarian” and they were invented in 1927 by Chinese workers who landed in Incheon. Settling in Korea, they began to create foods that could meet the tastes of the Korean people of the poorer class and invented these pancakes initially filled with salty ingredients. The Korean people, however, preferred sweet flavors, so they were adapted to suit their tastes. During the period of Japanese colonization they were called “Jina Bread” or “Chinese bread”.
Nowadays, different flavors of Korean Pancakes are born, with different sweet fillings such as matcha, with bokbunja (Korean black raspberries) or bubble hotteok cooked on the flame instead of being fried, not to mention that there are also various savory Korean Hotteok pancakes.
What They Are, And How To Prepare Hotteoks
The Sweet Korean Pancakes are prepared with a simple yeast dough made from wheat flour and glutinous rice flour that gives it that sort of chewiness. Inside them, there is a filling made from a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and seeds. The buns is then crushed by a special plate to make them round and cooked on a plate greased with oil.
The preparation at home, is really simple also because it’s basically a street food that is also served from kiosks on street corners so they are simple preparations.
In many recipes, only all-purpose flour is marked and not glutinous rice flour. I advise you to use it, if you find it, because it will give them their typical texture, but if not, they will still be delicious, don’t despair! The dough is a simple leavened dough, the filling is a mix of sugar, cinnamon and nuts and seeds to taste. Personally I have used peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, cashews, sesame, watermelon seeds and sunflower seeds. As I said, the mix can be customized using other seeds and dried fruit, the only ones I suggest you do not replace are sesame and peanut seeds because they are the more traditional ones and which give the classic and distinctive flavor to Hotteoks.
When making the Hotteoks, make sure to close the dough tightly around the filling so that they don’t open. If small holes form during cooking, do not despair, the caramelizing sugar will close it, the important thing is that the pancake doesn’t open completely and the filling comes out.
For cooking I used a non-stick pan and corn oil, but any seed oil is fine. It will not take long to cook them, when they are golden brown then they will be ready to taste! Serve them hot but be careful because they are really hot inside!
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Sweet Korean Pancakes: Hotteok
- 2 – ¼ tsp Instant Yeast
- 340 g All Purpose Flour
- 75 g Glutinous Rice Flour Shiratamako (optional, if not available replace
with the same g of All Purpose Flour)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 g Caster Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Corn Oil or other vegetable oil
- 280 g Almond Milk lukewarm or cow's milk
- 60 g Sugar Cane dark
- 60 g Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 30 g Peanuts coarsely chopped
- 25 g Almonds coarsely chopped
- 25 g Pine Nuts
- 20 g Cashews coarsely chopped
- 20 g White Sesame Seeds
- 15 g Watermelon Seeds
- 20 g Sunflower Seeds
- Corn Oil to Cook
- Sift the flours. If you use Shiratamako you can pulverize it in a mortar or leave it in grains, they will melt with milk.75 g Glutinous Rice Flour, 340 g All Purpose Flour
- In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.2 – ¼ tsp Instant Yeast, 340 g All Purpose Flour, 1 tsp Salt, 4 g Caster Sugar, 75 g Glutinous Rice Flour
- Create a hollow in the flour and pour in the oil and warm milk. Knead until you get a smooth dough. The dough must be sticky but still detaches from the hands.1 Tbsp Corn Oil, 280 g Almond Milk
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in a warm place.
- Coarsely chop almonds, cashews and peanuts.30 g Peanuts, 25 g Almonds, 20 g Cashews
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon.60 g Sugar Cane, 60 g Caster Sugar, 1 tsp Cinnamon, 30 g Peanuts, 25 g Almonds, 25 g Pine Nuts, 20 g Cashews, 20 g White Sesame Seeds, 15 g Watermelon Seeds, 20 g Sunflower Seeds
- Take the dough and deflate it, reshape it into a sphere and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
Preparation and Cooking
- Start heating a pan or smooth non-stick plate.
- Grease your hands with a little oil and divide the dough into 6 equal balls.
- Flatten the ball into a disc, leaving it a little thick. With your fingers create one dell in the center and put about 1 ½ Tbsp of filling in the center.
- Close the edges well by pinching them (like round Chinese dumplings) creating a ball again.
- Grease the pan and place the ball on the pan with the sealed side down, then flatten it using a flat, smooth meat beater. Alternatively, you can flatten it with your greased hand always with the closure down before putting it in the pan.Corn Oil
- Cook for about 1 minute / 1 – ½ minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat for each Hotteok.
- Serve them hot
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