Korean Food : Tongue Burning Pancake, Hotteok (Hoddeok) in Winter
Near my elementary school,
There was a Hotteok vendor with small students around.
I always stopped by there But not to buy one.
Just to look at it. To look at the hotteok making process.
I liked the sizzling sound when round dough met oil.
I liked the vendor’s hand technique to press it flat.
I liked the oil moving in waves when puffed dough turned over.
I liked the smell that notify me of cooking done.
Sometimes I had money to buy one, it was about 300won at those days as I remember, and then I straightly scurried to the vendor. I pay for one hoddoek. I started to observe the intriguing procedure in front of me.
When hotteok study was done, I was able to grab a cup of hotteok. (Why a cup? Hotteok is served being embedded in cardboards. But often served in a paper cup preventing sugar drops to clothes. Cups are more costly than cardboards. I assumed that the vendor near my school was thoughtful worrying us for being scolded about filthy clothes.)
I hurriedly ate a bite of hotteok with feeling of excitement. Ouch. Inside was too hot and I almost burned my tongue. I resolved not to hasten to eat it next time. I must do first bite after cooling it edible enough. But interestingly, I repeatedly burned my tongues having forgot previous learning.
I think I had to pay more for vendor’s hotteok making performance, since I really appreciate the whole play. I owe some to him for that, but he also owes me for product liability law. He’s never warned me to be attentive of hot filling. I’ve burned my tongues umpteen times. Tradeoff.
What is exactly a Hotteok?
Hotteok is a sort of brown-sugar filled Korea pancake.
Where is Hotteok Origin?
The name Hotteok is combination of ‘Ho’ meaning barbarian and ‘tteok’ meaning rice cake. In other words, it literally means ‘barbarian rice cake’.
It was believed to be originated from middle Asia including Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan or Turkey and India. Researchers assumed the hotteok was derived from ‘Nan’, the typical bread in those areas. It was introduced to China through the silk road and became popular in China. Later, in 1882, hotteok was introduced to Korea by chinese merchants who immigrated to Korea. They started selling it in Jemulpo, Incheon at the beginning, and then moved to Jongno and Myeongdong in Seoul. Now it’s sold everywhere throughout Korea.
First introduced Chinese hotteok contained savory meat fillings, but it was replaced by a sweet mixture to meet Korean tastes. The basic ingredients of sweet filling are brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, sunflower seed and cinnamon.
How Can I Make Hotteok?
1. Mix wheat flour, water, milk, sugar and yeast in the bowl.
2. Kneed the dough.
3. Let dough lie for several hours.
4. After dough arising, tear off handful sized balls from the dough.
5. Make it round shape and fill it with sweet mixture.
(brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon.)
6. Place the filled dough on a greased griddle.
7. Press it flat with a circle shaped metal spatula.
8. When one side cooked, turn it over and fry another side.
9. After both sides fully browned, let it off the pan.
10. Serve when it’s hot.
In supermarkets or discount stores, You can buy ready-made dry hotteok mix with a filling of brown sugar and ground peanuts or sesame seeds. Easy and Fast!
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