Many cultures are defined by their street food. Or maybe their street food is defined by their culture. Think hot dogs, tacos, pizza, dumplings, turkish bagels, etc. In Korea, there are too many to count…
My own memories of my last stay are studded with happy incidents of streetside ricecakes, bright tangerines, savory fishcakes in sauce, and funny fish-shaped pastries filled with bean paste. Coming home from either school or work, you always pick up something. Sweet potatoes roasted in a black metal wood oven, fresh blocks of tofu, or even squirmy live sea cucumber (no joke)! Once on the way to school, my bus driver stopped and bought all the kids walnut cookies roadside. Yes, Korea is a culture defined by its street food.
Hodduk is one of the more popular street snack items. A good-natured matron commands a hot griddle laden with flat hotcakes filled with a sugary syrup and crunchy walnuts. These hotcakes are best eaten fresh, or at least within the hour. Surprisingly, they aren’t so difficult to make at home! A yeast dough, some brown sugar and nuts, along with a dependable spatula will yield about 8 of these sweet disks much sooner than you could fly to Korea!
Street food in Korea. I think comfort food runs on the streets here.
Photo Courtesy Jason Truesdell.
Notice fore-mentioned matron. Except this one looks kind of pissed-tired. haha. See the hodduk at the bottom center. Okay, time to make them!
First mix filling ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Once the dough is mixed and risen for 1 hour, cut into 8 pieces and fill with the brown sugar mixture.
Flatten the dough with your hands and put onto a hot pan with 1-2 TB of oil.
Flip it over when it starts getting golden brown, and squish the pancake with your spatula/pancake flipper. Hahah..Squish. Such technical terms.
The brown sugar mixture melts into a cinnamony sweet syrup filling, all encased in a hot chewy bun.
The hubby ate these for dinner. That’s how good they are. Try them!
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TB chopped walnuts
Mix together in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 TB vegetable oil
2 cups all purpose flour
Mix water, yeast, sugar, salt, and vegetable oil into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until well combined. Add flour and mix well. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise 1 hour. It should be doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and let rest for another 10-20 minutes. Punch dough down again. On a well-floured surface gently knead the dough. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Take one piece and flatten it, add 1-2 TB filling in the center and seal it to make a ball. Repeat with remaining balls.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 TB of vegetable oil. Place a ball on the pan and let cook for 30 seconds. When the bottom of the ball turns golden brown, flip over and press the dough with a spatula to make a flat disk about the size of a CD. Let it cook about 1 minute until the bottom is golden brown. Flip over again and turn the heat down to low. Cover the pan with the lid and cook 1 minute more to melt the brown sugar.
Makes 8 hot cakes.