Hotteok is a Korean street food that transcends any language. It is a puffy yeasted pancake donut stuffed with sweet nuts or fruit. In this version I fill hotteok with cinnamon scented apples and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. And Dear Reader, this is definitely a pushy recipe it's THAT good! I ate two hotteok hot off the pan!
Traditionally hotteok is filled with a sweet mixture of nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar but I wanted to make a version that tasted like apple pie, hence this caramel apple version. Hotteok are usually eaten during winter and they are said to be based on a Chinese savoury pocket. Apparently its history goes back to 1882 when Chinese merchants emigrated to Korea. Nowadays in Korea you can find packets of hotteok premix at the supermarket. And I will be making a savoury version too because I just want to eat hotteok all through winter!
I tried my first hotteok at a restaurant in Surry Hills called Soul Dining. While hotteok usually uses plain flour, their version used sweet glutinous flour and that added so much fantastic, stretchy texture that I made my version using the glutinous flour.
Street vendors press it down using a circular metal hotteok press with a handle. The owners of Soul Dining even showed me the one they use that they had brought over from Korea. A hotteok is best eaten hot which is why it's popular in winter. I had to stop myself at two they were that good (that's a warning, make these with people around)!
Someone asked a question on twitter the other day that went a bit viral. It was "What would your cookbook be called?" I thought about it for a moment and I thought mine would be called "Totally random eater". Because one night I will be eating Korean food, the next night I'll be eating Lebanese and then the night after I will be eating Pakistani food and then the day after I'll spend the whole day eating fried chicken. I think Totally Random Eater sums it up and I'll raise a third hotteok to that! ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, what would your cookbook be called? Have you ever tried hotteok? What sort of savoury filling would you suggest for my savoury recipe?