Sweet Pancake of Mine: Hotteok, or Sweet, Filled Pancakes

It occurred to me that I still have lots of Korea love to share despite doubling up with the Bibimbap and Galbi last post. That’s what I get for trying to cram both Koreas into one week. Not only that, I realized that I forgot to tell Tomato that Japan was coming up, and there’s no way she’d have time to ask Mama Tomato for her favorite home grown Japanese recipes in time for this week. Therefore, the plan is this:  more Korea fun, followed by the second edition of Holidays Around the World, and then Tomato’s favorites from her motherland. Lots about which to get excited.

You know what else is also worthy of excitement?

Pancakes.

pancakes

Duh. I think I talk about my Sunday morning pancake routine more than is appropriate and by now you’ve realized I’m always on the hunt to find international pancake swaps worthy enough to substitute for my peanut butter chocolate chip favorites.  While often times I’m left longing for my usual, today I was not.

Hotteok are sweet, filled pancakes. Typically pan fried, they are a popular street food in Korea.  Since sweet breakfasts are my jam, I was all about giving these a try.

However, the hotteok did give me pause since the recipe requires yeast, and my relationship with that particular ingredient has been tenuous as of late. However, I trusted my gut based on the success of the Belgian waffles and figured I’d give it a go.

The recipe I used from Beyond Kimchee was really easy and straight forward, and the prep was quick enough that I was chowing down less than an hour after my feet hit the floor for the morning.  I did make one change to the original recipe- I didn’t pan fry them, but used a just a bit of coconut oil on a cast iron skillet. Still crispy, still delicious, just not greasy, and that’s just how I like it.

Item of note:  Beyond Kimchee called for using a special press to flatten the pancakes on the griddle.

press

As a rule, I don’t like extraneous kitchen gadgets and certainly was not going to go out and buy this special tool to make pancakes…I mean, I use my mojito muddler to pound meat thin quite successfully, so I used the next best thing at my disposal.

Cans.

cans

All pumpkin, all the time

Be sure to wash them well before placing them on the pancake. Breakfast this morning made me look within and question my propensity to hoard canned pumpkin, enough so that I made the Tomato-pumpkin soup from Africa for dinner tonight.

These pancakes were so good that I when tried to think of a finishing touch to make them extra special, I could not think of anything to make them better. So I ate them as-is and love them just as they are.

They are my Bridget Jones.

breakfast

Recipe from Beyond Kimchee

Makes 5-6 pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)

½ cup glutinous rice flour

½ TB sesame seeds

½ envelope instant yeast (I used about 2 tsp)

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

¾ cup milk, lukewarm

1/2 tsp coconut oil, melted

Oil for the pan

For the filling:

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 TB finely chopped nuts (I used almonds)

½ tsp cinnamon

Directions

1. Mix flours, yeast, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the warm milk (not too hot- don’t want to kill the yeast) mixed with the coconut 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 until doubled in size.

2. Deflate the dough by punching it in the center and let it rest for another 5-10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, mix brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.

4. Tear a piece of dough (about 1 1/2 – 2″ in diameter) and stretch out with your hand. Place 1 TB of the filling mixture in the center and pinch the edges of the dough toward the center to close making a ball shape.

filling

5.  Heat the pan with oil over medium heat. Drop the dough and push it with spatula or something (like the aforementioned cans) to flatten it. When you see the surface puffs up slightly, flip to the other side and continue cooking until a nice golden brown crust forms.

filled pancake

Serve immediately.

I’m excited to try this with other things melted inside. Maybe chocolate and peanut butter? Mmmm….

CONFESSION:  While I try and make myself look all civilized about how I eat meals, Sunday morning in my house ACTUALLY looks like this…

real

 

Tastes better this way. I think.

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