My husband and I love to frequent food trucks. Although we both are very selective eaters, we like to try the different and often creative foods that food trucks offer. It’s fun, and it’s great to support local small businesses! Last summer, we were at an event featuring a variety of food trucks. Normally, I play it relatively safe and stick with things I know I will like. You know. Stuff like gourmet grilled cheese, massive slices of pizza, and burritos the size of your head. All very exotic foods. Ha!
On this day, though, I actually checked out the menu for a truck selling Korean street food. Okay, I admit, most of the stuff was a bit too adventurous for my unrefined palate. But here’s the one thing that jumped out at me: Hodduk – sweet and chewy griddle cakes stuffed with brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon that melts into syrup when cooked. Does anything in this description sound awful to you? The correct answer is NO. It sounded amazing! Certainly too good not to try!
And try we did. And devour we did! These things were every bit as amazing as they sounded! First, fried dough. Really, I think you just cannot go wrong with fried dough. (I never have anyway!) The pancake definitely was a bit more yeasty than a “normal” pancake, but that’s not a bad thing in my book. The piece de resistance, though, was the syrup. Syrup on the inside of a pancake? Genius! Not just syrup, though. A piping hot cinnamon brown sugar syrup full of walnuts. Inside fried dough? O. M. G. Where had these pancakes been all my life?! That’s what I get for being a picky eater!
I thought about these Hodduk for days after eating them, and I knew I needed to make these tasty little griddle cakes! They didn’t seem like they would be that difficult, but what does an American chick of European descent know about Korean street food? Could I even do these things justice? Luckily, we have this thing called the Internet, so. . .
Not gonna lie. The first time I ever made Hodduk is for this blog post. Yeah, a bit ambitious, but I’m not really one to shy away from a challenge. After reading through a few tutorials, I knew I could make these fantastically delicious dessert pancakes. Not just make them, but share their deliciousness with all of you, as well! And since this was my first time making these, I did learn a few things along the way:
- Don’t stretch the dough too much when making the dough balls, or the dough will be too thin. When you smash the ball to make the pancakes, the filling will come out if the dough is too thin. Ultimately, we want the syrup to stay inside the pancakes, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t totally. I definitely had leakage on some of mine, but it certainly did not ruin these incredible treats!
- If you’re going to make up all of the balls at once (as opposed to one at a time) before frying them, the surface on which you place the balls must be very well floured! I had two casualties that made me think of the green army men in Toy Story. “Man down! Man down!” Basically, my marble slab wasn’t floured enough, and when I picked up the balls, they stuck to the slab. The dough ripped, and all of the delicious brown sugar mixture went everywhere. So sad. I think I shed a tear or two. They were lost forever to the trash can. But not before I ate a few pinches of the dough. Yeah, I did it. I’m not ashamed.
- Hodduk most definitely should be served hot, but be very careful! The syrup is crazy hot, and it’s easy to burn your tongue! Best to let the pancakes cool just a tiny bit before eating.
All in all, I think did do justice to these Hodduk. They were just as delicious as I remembered those we had gotten from the food truck! My husband ate two and said he had to stop himself from eating more. High praise, indeed! Maybe it’s not so bad after all to branch out and try something new! 🙂
- 1 cup very warm water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Vegetable oil
Pour warm water into medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the sugar, oil, yeast, and salt. Stir well to combine.
Add the flour to the bowl and mix until dough comes together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place bowl in a warm location for 1 hour, or until dough doubles in size.
Punch down the dough to deflate it. Re-cover and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.
Spread ½ cup flour on a cutting board or flat surface. Turn dough out onto surface and knead until a smooth lump is formed. Cut dough into 8 equal-sized balls.
Flatten 1 dough ball. Place about 1 tablespoon (about 15 grams) of brown sugar mixture in the center. Pinch the edges of the dough up toward the center to close and create a ball. Repeat with remaining dough balls and filling.
Heat several tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place 1 filled dough ball in the pan and cook for 30-45 seconds, until bottom is light golden brown. Do not flatten.
Flip dough ball over and press dough with a large spatula to flatten to about 4” in diameter. Let cook for about 1 minute, until bottom is golden brown.
Flip pancake again and cook for 30-45 seconds more until the edges brown.