Hotteok is one of my favorite Korean street food. Let’s briefly talk about what it is.
The dough for hotteok is made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and yeast. The dough is allowed to rise for several hours. Handful-sized balls of this stiff dough are filled with a sweet mixture, which may contain brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. The filled dough is then placed on a greased griddle, and pressed flat into a large circle with a special tool with a stainless steel circle and wooden handle as it cooks.
In Korea, ready-made dry hotteok mix is commercially available in plastic packages. The mix also comes with a filling consisting of brown sugar and ground peanuts or sesame seeds.
Traditionally hotteok are fried in oil on a grill. The amount of oil used can vary greatly but many way people believe that the best are made with enough oil that they are almost deep-fried. Also, health concerns have prompted the sale of hotteok fried in much smaller quantities of oil than earlier versions. There are also special molds in which the individual pieces can be cooked over gas heat without frying.
The types of hotteok have been changing continuously although many flavor the traditional cinnamon and peanut filling. Many variations have developed since the early 21st century, such as green tea hotteok, pink bokbunja hotteok, corn hotteok, and more products. Commercial “hotteok” products are developed and sold by companies “Samyang”, “Ottogi” and “CJ”. Readily available hotteok is commercially available to purchase in plastic packages at local Korean supermarkets. The products are designed to be able to cook at home.
Hotteok is usually eaten during the winter season, but you still could easily find it on streets. Due to its high sugar content, a single hotteok may have as many as 230 calories. Anyway, it’s worth eating when you visit Korea! 🙂
See more hotteok pictures here.
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