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Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes

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November 4, 2011

Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes


There is something about rain that makes you crave greasy sweet food.
It must be a global phenomenon thing... 
My American friends, Japanese friends, European friends, they all love to eat something sweet, something slightly greasy when there's water falling down from heaven.

It's been raining every single day here and I finally decide to make some Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes.
Besides I found a very special treasure the other day to make this sweet Goddess.

This is what we call "the Hotteok Press".  It is a simple tool to press 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.
"Behold, thou shall make Hotteok...!"
 And I did.

Here are my destiny children.
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, and...

mix with sweet glutenous rice flour. This will help the texture of Hotteok crisp chewy.

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 who feeds millions of people around the world everyday in the name of BREAD.

I am one of the million 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 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 globe because I'm tired of washing my hands 75 times a day.

Tear a piece of dough and flatten down. Put 1 Tbsp 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?
Honey, you are in a big trouble. Your life ends here...

Just kidding!
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.

 When your Hotteok puffs up slightly, flip to the other side. You will see the nice golden crust.

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 to young children.

Oh, Lord! Please, save me from these evil greasy sugary temptation...
But If thou let me eat them now, I shall eat carrots for dinner.

Well, It turned out that I ran out of carrots that evening so I ate broccoli instead.
Do you think I've sinned?


(Korean sweet pancakes)
makes about 10-12 pancakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup glutenous rice flour
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds (optional)
1 envelope (11g) instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2cup milk, lukewarm
1 tsp canola oil
More oil for frying

2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and etc)
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix flours, yeast, sesame seeds (if using), sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour lukwarm milk mixed with 1 tsp of oil to the flour mixture and mix everything with wooden spoon. The dough will be very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and keep the bowl in a warm place for 30-45 minutes depends on the temperature in the room. 
The dough should rise double in volume. Deflate the dough by punching it in the center and let it rest for another 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
Tear a piece of dough (about 1 1/2 - 2" in diameter) and stretch out with your hand. Place 1 Tbsp of filling mixture in the center and pinch the edges of the dough toward the center to close making a ball shape.

Heat the pan with generous amount of oil over medium heat. Drop the dough and push it with spatula or a bowl with smooth bottom to flatten it. When you see the surface puffs up slightly, flip to the other side and continue to cook adding more oils if needed. It will get nice golden brown crust.
Serve hot immediately but be very cautious. The brown sugar syrup will be very hot! Enjoy!

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At November 4, 2011 at 7:11 PM , Anonymous leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Yes... I do have trouble saying no to sweet and greasy foods. I wouldn't be able to say no to these!

At November 5, 2011 at 4:53 AM , Anonymous Arudhi@Aboxofkitchen said...

Good heaven! Raining or not, I would totally devour those sweet pancakes if I had them here! What I have in my pantry now is rice flour mixed with gluten and I hope that will work fine for the pancake....oh I`m so going to try this out!

At November 5, 2011 at 6:44 AM , Anonymous Maricel said...

I had this in Korea and instantly fell in love with it!  Googled for a recipe as soon as I got back home.  Will try out your recipe.  I am glad that you are back to blogging.

At November 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM , Anonymous shirley@kokken69 said...

Love that tool... and the pancakes, off course... I shall look for it on my next trip to Korea... :) 

At November 5, 2011 at 5:15 PM , Anonymous Joanna Sooper said...

Oh my! I am so happy I have found your blog! I am learning and tasting so many new things. I can't wait to try these!

At November 5, 2011 at 6:44 PM , Anonymous tofugirl said...

Ooh, these look so yummy with the peanut/sugar filling!  I will have to bookmark for the next time the weather is bad--could have used these during the freak snowstorm we had last weekend!

At November 6, 2011 at 1:40 AM , Anonymous Lisa L. said...

wow i'm from Kuala Lumpur. is nice to know you're here...gonna be here for long?
it takes a while to like here but i'm sure you'll adapt well. at least is not crazily cold!

mmm hotteok, i love it. i made it before and couldn't stop eating.  
i'm chinese, so there's another chinese version to this without using oil to fry. usually stuff with red bean paste, lotus paste, kaya (local eggy coconut custard), peanut minus cinnamon and even savoury as well. 

At November 6, 2011 at 8:06 AM , Anonymous Shuhan said...

yum yum, actually it reminds me of chinese/japanese style red bean pancakes! I guess almost all asian cultures have a version of this kind of crispy pancake with a sweet filling (:

At November 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM , Anonymous Shuhan said...

yum yum, actually it reminds me of chinese/japanese style red bean pancakes! I guess almost all asian cultures have a version of this kind of crispy pancake with a sweet filling (:

At November 8, 2011 at 3:11 AM , Anonymous Laure said...

Hotteok are delicious. I'm not a big fan of sugary things, but I can't resist the crispiness and the nuts filling ! I will try out your version, I've never tought of using black sesame seeds before.

At November 8, 2011 at 3:58 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

I like the nutty flavor of black sesame seeds bring to these Hotteok. Hope you can give these a try. Such a nice comfort sweet snack for cold chilly days.

At November 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

I agree. As Asian we all do have a similar taste buds, I think...
I love red bean buns. Koreans do have them, too.

At November 8, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Hi Lisa
My family loves Kaya toasts. Yes, red bean paste buns are my all time favorite!

At November 8, 2011 at 4:02 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Hope you will get another storm(?) soon so you can give these a try!  LOL!

At November 8, 2011 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

I am glad that you found my blog too. Please visit my blog again.

At November 8, 2011 at 4:04 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Do you visit Korea often? If you find one these get one. It is quite cheap and fun to play with.

At November 8, 2011 at 4:05 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...


Thanks, Marciel. Let me know how it turned out.

At November 8, 2011 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Thanks. Hope you like them.

At November 8, 2011 at 4:08 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Great! Then, you are one of my kind, ha ha!

At November 9, 2011 at 4:50 AM , Anonymous javapot said...

love your blog.  i'm from KL and wish to know where I can get my hands on that tool, tks.  can't wait to give this a try.

At November 9, 2011 at 3:28 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Can't remember the name of the street but it is in Ampang near Korean store called Galaxy mart. Across the street there is a shopping center with full of Korean shops and restaurants. There is a Korean household knick-knack store and I found it there.

At November 12, 2011 at 12:32 AM , Anonymous Jasmine Ng said...

Hi Holly, a quick question regarding the Korean shops you mentioned in KL. Are they open everyday? I'm seriously thinking of making my way down to KL to have a look and to get my hands on that Hotteok Press. Any idea how much it costs? Thank you so much!

At November 13, 2011 at 4:08 AM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

I am not sure if they will open on Sunday since the most Koreans here are Christians. It costed about RM12 if i remember correctly.

At November 22, 2011 at 10:28 PM , Anonymous Duncan said...

"sweet cinnamon brown sugar syrup" Wow this sounds so satisfying!

At November 25, 2011 at 11:18 PM , Anonymous Caroline said...

Hi Holly

I will be making Hotteok this weekend. I managed to get the Hotteok press from one of the Korean shop in Desa Hartamas for RM8.50.
Thanks for the recipe.


At November 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Hi Caroline
You got a deal for that press. I think I paid more for mine. What a bummer! :)
Have fun making hotteok and let me know how it turned out.

At February 15, 2012 at 8:27 AM , Anonymous Louise said...

First thing I have to say, is that I absolutely adore the way you lay out your blog and recipes. Your ironic comments make something that I already adore doing even more fun. (I lead an exciting life here[!])

Anyway, I was wondering whether there are any alternatives to the nut part since some of my family are allergic to them. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you :)

At February 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Hi Louise
I am very happy to hear that you like my blog. For the recipe in Hotteok, you can totally omit the nut. It won't change the flavor since the amount of nut in the recipe is very little, and it is mainly for crunch texture in the filling. Hope you can make them soon.

At February 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM , Anonymous jessicapark said...

Ahn-young haseyo! I am a Mee-gook ajumah married to a Korean man, and I recently discovered your blog.  I love your descriptions about the food, and the photos that help to explain the process.  It really helps me to visualize the how behind the recipe since I didn't grow up making K food.  Thanks!  I hope to make pumpkin porridge soon and the steamed egg, which is one of my husband's favorite dishes.  Keep up the good work!  :)

At February 29, 2012 at 3:18 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Thank you Jessica. I am glad that you found my blog, too. Hope you enjoy the recipes and let me know if yo need any assistance.

At April 10, 2012 at 7:15 AM , Anonymous Swan Sow said...

Wonderful recipe Holly! The glutinous rice flour made a HUGE difference. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe! :D


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