Sunday, November 21, 2021

[Food] Hotteok (Sugar-filled Korean pancake, 호떡)


[Food] Hotteok (Sugar-filled Korean pancake, 호떡)

Hotteok is very popular and common street snack in Korea, chewy and sweet pan-fried bread can be seen any Korean downtown. It's origin is very old as much as Silk Road, China exchanged many culture (including gourmet) through merchants of Silk Road with Arabia and Central Asia, and hotteok which means 'gentile's cake' was one of them. Even there's a historical record which proves the first king of Tang Dynasty enjoyed it too. Then how this Chinese pancake came into the Korean peninsula and changed to hotteok, sugar-filled Korean pancake?

In 1882, the Im-O Military Revolt occurred in Korea so the Qing Dynasty dispatched its army with merchants for supply. On that time, the merchants of the Qing Dynasty brought hotteok and many Chinese gourmet (including jajangmyeon) with them, and the merchants didn't return to China. After the fall of Qing Dynasty, many of them opened Chinese-style restaurant and snack shop in Korea, and that's how Chinese-style gourmet became Korean food. In 1920s, Chinese laborers came into Korea for large construction business, and it ignited boom of hotteok in Korea.

Originally, hotteok was baked in oven but it was changed to pan-frying on huge iron pan since production of cooking oil in Korea. Since then, hotteok sellers used cooking oil or margarine to deep or pan-fry hotteok for better taste, and cheaper and convenient recipe :)

Today there are many variation of hotteok recipe, people stuffs nuts, seeds, vegetables, sweet potato noodle, brown sugar, cheese, ice cream and more into hotteok. Moreover they also changed recipe of hotteok mix which are using or adding stick rice powder, rice powder, green tea powder, mixed grains and more. I guess people of the world always find better, easier and tastier way of any food.

Hotteok is more popular in the winter because it's 'hot' cake with 'hotter' stuffing, it needs sizzling iron pan or pot to cook too. You never want to cook hotteok under blazing sun, do you?

Hotteok with vegetable and sweet potato noodle

Hotteok with ice cream and cheese

Instant green tea flavor hotteok mix

You may find instant hotteok mix at nearby Korean grocery shop, how about trying hotteok today? :)

Bon Appétit!

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