A few days ago I was watching a Korean Street food video video and I saw Hotteok, which is a sweet Korean pancake, being made.
In that moment I had no idea what it was BUT IT LOOKED SO CRISPY I wanted to learn how to make it.
So here we are. This is my new favourite kind of pancake, it’s so sweet, crispy and chewy I love it.
What is Hotteok?
So from what I’ve learnt from all the videos I watched, hotteok is a popular street food snack in South Korea.
It’s essentially a pancake that is made with a yeast dough, filled with a sweet filling, that is made up of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Then it is pan fried.
This leaves you with a super crispy pancake, that is also slightly chewy. And also the sugar in the filling melts as the pancakes cook, which makes the centre nice and gooey.
It’s sooooo good, if you’ve never tried hotteok, you need to immediately.
It’s also extremely easy to make, I’ve made it so many time in the past few days!
The first thing we are going to make is the dough for the pancakes.
This dough is made with yeast, so it does need some time to rise.
We’re going to leave the dough to rise until it doubles in size, this will take around 1-2 hours. Then give it a mix and leave to rise again, just for 30 minutes this time.
I feel like this waiting is the hardest part of the recipe, everything else is quick and easy.
Here are the ingredients I used to make the dough:
- Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
- Glutinous rice flour – this is going to give the pancakes some chewiness. MAKE SURE to use glutinous rice flour (also known as sweet rice flour), regular rice flour won’t give you the same results.
- Instant yeast – I like to use instant yeast for everything, it’s easier because you don’t need to activate it. If you are using active yeast though, you will need to activate it. So just mix it with your warm milk, along with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Leave this for about 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy, then it is ready to use.
- Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
- Salt – to enhance the flavours.
- Vegetable oil – or just any flavourless oil.
- Milk – make sure to use whole milk, it gives the best results.
All you need to do is mix all these ingredients together until a dough forms, you don’t even need to knead it.
Just mix everything, cover and leave to rise in a warm place.
For the filling, all I used was soft light brown sugar, some ground cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
You could use whatever kind of nuts you want, I just went with walnuts because the first video I saw of these had walnuts in them, so I also wanted walnuts in mine.
But any kind of nuts do work.
Also if you don’t like nuts, or if you’re allergic, I guess you could leave them out.
But anyway, you just mix these 3 ingredients together and leave this aside until you’re ready to use them.
Filling the hotteok
Once your dough has risen twice, and the filling has been made, you can start filling them.
The main tip I have, is that you should have some flour next to you. This dough is STICKY, so you will need flour to help.
Some people actually use oil instead. I tried, but I found it easier to use flour.
I digress, all you need to do is get a 100g piece of the dough. Flatten this out, then add some of the filling into the centre.
Now just fold the edges of the dough over the filling and form it into a ball.
Make sure that the filling is fully sealed, you don’t want it to leak out as they are being cooked.
Also I wanted to mention, I used 100g of dough for each hotteok, but if you want smaller ones, use less. Or if you want bigger ones, use more. It’s totally up to you!
Cooking the hotteok
To cook them, you want to get a pan and add a generous amount of oil.
Let this heat up on medium heat for a few minutes and then you can start cooking them.
Here’s how to do this:
- Add them into the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan, I recommend just cooking 2 or 3 at a time.
- Get a spatula and slightly grease this, I just dipped it into the oil that was in the pan.
- Slightly press down the pancakes, using this spatula.
- Once the bottom of the pancakes turn golden brown, flip them over and slightly press them down on this side too.
- Now just cook until they’re golden brown and crispy on both sides.
Repeat with the rest and then they’re ready to be eaten!
(Sweet Korean Pancakes)
- For the dough:
300g plain flour
100g glutinous rice flour
12g instant yeast
40g granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
320ml whole milk, warm (just heat it in your microwave for 30-60 seconds)
- For the filling:
150g brown sugar
100g walnuts, finely chopped (you could use whatever kind of nuts you want)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Some more vegetable oil, to cook the pancakes in
- Making the dough:
- In a large bowl, add the plain flour, glutinous rice flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix these together.
- Now add the oil and milk, mix until a dough forms. This will be a sticky, slightly lumpy dough, this is ok. Just cover and leave it to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This should take around 1-2 hours.
- Once the dough has doubled, give it a mix. Then cover and leave it to rise again, just for 30 minutes this time.
- Making the filling:
- In a bowl, add the sugar, chopped walnuts and cinnamon. Mix these together then leave this aside.
- Filling the pancakes:
- Once your dough has rested for 30 minutes, you can start making your pancakes.
- Divide your dough into 100g pieces, this dough is sticky so have some flour next to you to help.
- Get one piece of the dough and flatten this out. Add some of the filling into the centre, then fold the sides over the filling. Now form this into a ball, making sure that the filling is fully sealed inside.
- Repeat this until you've used all your dough.
- Cooking the pancakes:
- In a pan, add a generous amount of oil and let this heat up.
- Add a few pancakes into the pan, seam side down. Try not to overcrowd the pan, it will make it hard to flip them, only cook 2-3 at a time.
- Slightly flatten them using a spatula, then once the bottoms of them have turned a golden brown colour, flip them over and slightly flatten them again. They're done once both sides are crispy and golden brown.
- Repeat until you've cooked all of them, then enjoy whiles they're still warm!