Hotteok is a popular Korean street snack. You can make hotteok at home with a few basic ingredients. It’s delicious with lots of healthy seeds and nuts!
Who wouldn’t love biting into a golden fried dough filled with a gooey brown sugar syrup and nuts from a street cart or stall on a cold winter day? Eaten hot off the griddle, hotteok (호떡, hodduk or hoddeok) is extremely popular during winter months.
What is hotteok?
Hotteok basically is a pan-fried yeast dough stuffed with a brown sugar and nut filling.
There are many variations, but the classic hotteok we grew up on is made with a simple yeast dough with a brown sugar and nut filling and pan-fried in a little bit of oil. This recipe is my modern take on the classic version.
The types of hotteok continue to evolve — thanks to street food vendors! It seems like every time I go to Korea I learn about a new variation or two. There are all sorts of different sweet and savory fillings such as red beans, cheese, vegetables, japchae, etc.
The dough has become very complex, as vendors strive to achieve the best flavor and texture. Many vendors now deep-fry their hotteok. Of course, deep-frying makes everything more delicious, but I prefer pan-frying.
When my daughter and I visited Busan (a southern coastal city) a couple of years ago, we were told that we had to try ssiat hotteok (씨앗호떡). Ssiat means seeds in Korean. The round dough with a simple brown sugar filling was first deep-fried. Then, the lady cut one edge open and stuffed a couple of spoonfuls of the seed and nut sugar mix before folding it to serve in a small paper cup. Delectable! This variation of hotteok created in Busan has become very popular all over the country.
Having had ssiat hotteok, I decided to tweak my classic hotteok recipe to add lots of seeds and nuts to the filling. So, there’s actually a healthy element to this sweet treat! The seeds and nuts give lots of nutty flavors and textures to the brown sugar filling.
You can use any seeds and nuts you like and adjust the amount to your liking. I used a combination of regular sugar and dark brown sugar. You can simply use light brown sugar instead.
The dough is basically made with wheat flour, sweet rice (glutinous rice) flour/powder, sugar, and yeast. The ratio of flour and sweet rice flour varies depending on preference. While you can make the dough with only all-purpose flour, the sweet rice powder is what makes hotteok soft and chewy. You can simply use water to make the dough, but milk is typical. I sometimes use almond milk, which is a good milk replacement for vegan hotteok.
More Korean Street Food Recipes
Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes)Dessert, Snack
Yeast for the dough:
- 1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons) or instant yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (no need for water if using instant yeast)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (no need for sugar if using instant yeast)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour/powder)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1-1/4 cups milk (or almond milk) or water Start with 1 cup and gradually add more) - See note
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 10 tablespoons of assorted roasted seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, almonds, etc.
- cooking oil for pan-frying
- Skip this step if using instant yeast. Warm a bowl or cup by rinsing it with warm water. Add 1/4 cup of warm water to the bowl (100 to 110°F ). Stir in the sugar and yeast. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast has foamed and grown.
- Sift the flour, sweet rice powder (if using), sugar and salt together. Add the yeast water (or instant yeast), oil, and warm milk (or water) to the flour mix.
- Knead until everything is well incorporated and a dough is formed. The dough should be a bit sticky, but still comes off the hand.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place and let it rise until it doubles in size, about an hour.
- Prepare the filling by chopping the nuts and mixing all the filling ingredients well.
- Bring the dough down by reshaping it into a round. Let it sit for another 20 to 30 minutes until it doubles in size again.
- Heat a pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Lightly oil your hands. Tear a big enough piece of the dough to make an about 2-1/2-inch ball. Flatten the ball into a thick disk, creating a shallow well in the middle. Add one and a half tablespoons of the filling and lightly press it down with the spoon.
- Carefully gather the edges together, pinching to seal. (This might take some practice.)
- Put the sealed side down on the pan, flattening a little by pressing it down with your oiled hand or spatula. Cook for a minute, and then flip over. Press down for a few seconds to flatten. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.