Hoddeok is one of the tastiest things I’ve had in Korea. This stuffed pancake is a great street-food to eat on a cold winter’s day. The dough can be sweet or savory and the filling is made from brown sugar and nuts. Beware fellow girls with long out-of-control hair: ONLY EAT HODDEOK IF YOUR HAIR IS UP! The filling tends to ooze out and before you know it, you will have hardened sugar clumps in your hair if you don’t pull it back. It happened to me on multiple occasions; don’t let it happen to you!
While Dave and I were grocery shopping a couple weeks ago, we came across a hoddeok mix. I was ecstatic because we love hoddeok and thought it would be nice to make it whenever we get a craving. I was going to make it a week ago, but I realized that I needed someone to interpret the directions on the back of the box for me.
School was pretty crazy this past week because there was graduation and the new school year started. Long story short, I never got anyone to interpret all of the Korean for me. One of the other teachers interpreted the amount of water we needed to add to the flour, but she didn’t tell us how long the yeast needed to rise. I found directions for our particular brand of hoddeok mix online. Although they were in broken English with typos like East instead of yeast, we understood vaguely what we needed to do.
The box contains one yeast pack, one pack of flour, and one pack of sugar and nut filling. Taped to the outside of the box was a round paddle used to flatten the pancakes on the pan. For anyone else trying to make Ottogi brand hoddeok using the mix, here are my instructions.
How to make Ottogi Hoddeok
1. Put 260ml of warm water in a bowl and stir in the yeast or East (as the directions I found online said). We used a 500ml beer mug to guestimate the 260ml of water since we are lacking in kitchen supplies.
2. Add the flour package to the bowl and stir until mixed, for about five minutes.
3. Cover the dough mixture with plastic wrap and allow dough to ferment for at least 30 minutes. The plastic wrap we have is terrible and doesn’t make an effective seal. Luckily, we don’t own a mixing bowl yet and did our mixing in a pot that had a lid. After the dough was mixed, we put plastic wrap over the pot and then put the lid on top of that to make a tight seal.
4. Once the dough is ready, put a good amount of oil in a pan and heat it up. Pour the sugar filling into a bowl. Rub oil on your hands so the dough doesn’t stick to them too much and grab a palm-full of dough. Flatten the dough in your hand and add a heaping spoonful of filling to the center. Then fold the dough over the filling, encasing the filling in the center…ideally.
5. Place the ball of dough in the pan and flatten it with the round paddle. Flip it once it starts to turn a nice golden brown color. Be gentle while you are pressing and take care so as not to forcefully eject the sugar filling (which turns from a dry sugar powder to a hot gooey syrup inside the dough). We are beginners at making hoddeok, so we had a few pancakes that oozed in the pan.
6. Enjoy! The box makes about ten pancakes. We had three people over and everybody got two pancakes, which is more than enough hoddeok for one day.
We successfully made the hoddeok, but it wasn’t as easy as the people cooking it on the street make it look. I don’t think ours had enough filling inside, but I don’t think I could have gotten any more in without having a hoddeok disaster. Hoddeok is a great treat, but I don’t recommend going on a stuffed pancake binge. After having the option to eat as much as we wanted, we’re both a little over it for the time being. We need a couple weeks to work up a craving again. Next time we won’t O.D. on it.
For those of you without access to hoddeok mix, I found many recipes online. Just type in “hoddeok recipe” into google and find a recipe that suits you. If you make it from scratch and have a good recipe or link, please post it in the comment section!
Some of the pictures used in this post were compliments of Dave Domalgalski. Check out Dave’s hoddeok post on his blog.