Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hoddeok Korean Sweet Pancake Recipe

I have been on a Korean food kick again around here.  Today I made Hoddeok.  It is a wonderful street food served from carts in Korea.  It is served hot and gooey fresh from the frying pan.  I love this so much!  It is not overly sweet but it has just the right amount of sweetness to it.  I make another version that is a bit different than the fabulous Emily Kim at    She uses walnuts and her version is fabulous.  If you have never been to her site, please go and visit it.  I used to spend a fortune at the Korean market on pre-made foods because I did not know how to make some of my favorites.  She took the mystery out of it and it has been a love affair ever since I discovered her wonderful site.

Here is one that I have ripped open so you can see the hot sweet filling waiting inside as you bit into these pancakes.  There is nothing better than eating one.

The recipe follows:  

1 Tablespoon of yeast (or one packet is fine) added to 1 cup of warm water and 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil.  In another bowl put 2 cups of all purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Whisk the dry ingredients together and after about 5 or so minutes after the yeast is activated and bubbling, mix the dough with your hands until all the ingredients are incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap until doubled in size.

Filling:  Mix equal parts of chunky peanut butter and brown sugar. I use Adams natural style peanut butter.  If you use a thicker type you might need a little more to make the filling so it is not too crumbly  (I just eyeball this but you want about a cup of filling)  then add 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon to taste.  You want the dough/filling to be a bit crumbly but still moist enough that you can form a ball when you pinch it together.  

Punch the dough down and then dump onto a floured surface.  I just pat it down with my hands and use a knife to cut into 8 pieces.  I find it easiest to just take a knife and cut it like a pie.  

Flatten a piece of dough and then take about a Tablespoon or two of the filling and place into the center.

Pinch the dough to form a ball of dough with the filling inside.

This is a little addition I came up with on my own.  Hoddeok traditionally does not have sesame seeds on the outside but I like the toasted sesame flavor added to this and I find that having the sesame seeds on the dough helps keep the spatula from sticking to these when you flatten them, when you fry them. 

Place in a frying pan with oil on about medium.  You want the oil to be hot enough to fry them and not absorb into the dough, but you don't want them to fry too quickly as they need time to cook through so the filling gets hot and gooey.  I put them in the frying pan and flatten right away with my spatula.  Try to flatten them until they are very flat and about 5-6 inches wide.  Some people place the dough in to fry, and do not flatten them until they flip them, and then turn them back over to re-fry the edges.  Whichever is easiest for you.  I like to flatten them right away.  The sesame seeds help you to do it this way, otherwise the spatula will most likely stick to your dough ball.  

Fry until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from oil and place on a paper towel.  Repeat this process with all of the dough pieces. 

I usually get one started in the frying pan and continue to make the stuffed dough balls while one is frying to save time. 

Serve them while they are piping hot!  These are so delicious!  Give them a try...  You will be hooked on the hoddeok.  (Pronounced Hoe-Dook! or Hoe-Took!  It is kind like half T and D in the middle there).  

Have fun and enjoy! 

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