Last week, The Korea Blog began a series showcasing easy ways to make great tasting Korean food at home. This week, Featured Writer, Steve Miller, continues the series by attempting to make one of Korea’s most beloved Street Foods at home: the hotteok (호떡). Just what is a hotteok (besides delicious)? Let Steve show you:
It’s believed that hotteoks made their way into Korea with Chinese immigrants near the end of the 19th Century. While the Chinese variety is often stuffed with meat and savory fillings, Korean hotteoks usually have a sweet center. The most common filling is cinnamon and sugar, but sometimes honey and nuts are added. Recently new varieties have been popping up using vegetables, green tea, bokbunja (raspberry), and other sweets to liven up this traditional treat. There are two kinds of hotteoks that can be found on the streets: a fried variety (which is what Steve will be making) and a baked variety named “bubble hotteok” or “Chinese hotteok.”
Trying to make authentic street food at home can often present itself with a series of challenges. Thankfully, the love for hotteoks is almost universal and therefore has led to the creation of mixes sold at local markets.
Inside the box home cooks will find everything they’ll need to complete the delicious treat. The box has the batter, yeast, and filling. All that is needed is a small amount of water, a pan, and oil to fry the deliciousness in.
On the back of the box (and batter bag), one will find the cooking instructions. While in Korean, the accompanying pictures make everything clear and just about foolproof.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add 280ml of warm water. Mix for 5 minutes (or until you have a good dough).
Take a good size portion of the batter (about a handful) and make a ball. Then flatten it out. In the middle, place one spoonful of the filling mix. Then seal the doughy batter.
Place the filling enriched batter onto a pan with heated oil. Wait for about 10-15 seconds before flipping it. Then wait another 10-15 seconds. Now you can flatten out the hotteok by pressing it down for about 10 seconds. Total cooking time is about 2-3 minutes (allow for extra time if it is a thicker one. Flip it halfway through the process.
The box makes about 10 hotteoks. If you follow the recipe and run into no problems, you should find yourself with some tasty treats to share with friends and family. However, here are some helpful tips to get the most out of making your hotteoks at home.
First, you may want to have a little extra flour on hand when balling up the dough. It is incredibly sticky. The extra flour will help smooth things out a little easier. Second, when spooning in filling, you might want to create a pouch in the dough. This allows for better spooning and makes things easier to seal up. Finally, the smaller the batter ball, the easier and faster it is to cook. Don’t go large!
Have you every tried making your favorite street food at home? If so, what did you make? Are you going to try to make hotteoks at home?
Next week, Steve continues his series by making one of his favorite Korean beef dishes at home. It is one meal that shouldn’t be missed!