Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Around the World With Pancakes: Korean Hotteok

We're trying out pancakes from around the world, looking beyond fluffy pancakes and beyond breakfast food
This past weekend, we had Hotteok, a Korean pancake made with yeast dough and stuffed with a brown sugar, cinnamon and nut filling. It's a popular street food, best eaten fresh that warms you up on a chilly day. And we are having the perfect weather for it! We actually enjoyed these as an afternoon snack, and they were a big hit. 

This yeast dough does need to rise for 1 1/2 hours, so if you want to enjoy these, be sure to set aside some time. 


Recipe (barely) adapted from Maangchi
Makes 8 pancakes


2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil + more for cooking
1 cup lukewarm water
2 cups all purpose flour + 1/2 cup for shaping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chopped nuts (walnuts, peanuts or even sesame seeds)

1. In a large bowl, stir together the white sugar, yeast, salt, and oil. Pour the lukewarm water (make sure it isn't too hot or it could kill the yeast) over the yeast mixture. Let sit for 10 minutes.

2. After yeast has proofed, stir in 2 cups of flour. Use a rubber spatula to get it well combined. This will make a very sticky dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot for 1 hour. (It should at least double in size)

This is what it looks like after one hour of rising
3. After one hour of rising, punch the dough down, and let sit for another 30 minutes.

4. While you wait, make your filling. Stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. We used walnut pieces. 

5. Cover your workspace with 1/2 cup of flour - this dough is sticky and you will need that extra flour on the space and on your hands to work it. Knead the dough 4-5 times and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. This was the softest dough Elle and I had ever touched!

6. Each ball will be one pancake. Take a ball of dough, and flatten it in your palm. You may want to stretch it out a bit - because you'll want to be able to put in 2 tbsp of filling in it. Pinch the ball back together - gather the "corners" and pinch it back together as a ball. An easier way that Elle used was to fold it in half, pinching the sides together, then rolling the dough in a ball. This way is easier, but you won't have the best distribution of filling, which might be disappointing when you eat it - or a tasty surprise when you get to it :)

As demonstrated by Elle
7. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in your griddle or pan on medium. Add one ball of dough, seam side down. Cook for 30 seconds, until slightly golden, and flip. Flatten the dough with a spatula (and even using your fingers to weigh it down) for a thin, wide circle. I got better at this with practice. Let it cook for about 1 minute. Flip it over again and turn the heat down to cook for an additional minute. 

Serve hot and fresh, and enjoy the oozing filling :)

Find more multicultural recipes with Around the World in 12 Dishes, a group of bloggers that explore a set of countries, one per month, through food and activities. Find their roundup of Korean dishes and activities here. 

Find more pancake recipes on our page:


  1. They look really good. I love the traditions you guys have and this one would be a winner in our house. You're going at the rate of knots at the moment, with activities and other wonderful learning stuff. Is that because it is coming to the end of the year? Do you always stop your study of a particular study as soon as the year is up?
    I'm so looking forward to what you will do next year. I'm hoping it will help me decide what we will spend the summer on!

    1. I do start to panic every year around October about how much I still want to do and knowing we just won't have the time - and admittedly, this year I am feeling even more pressure - all self induced of course! We usually have a new years "party" themed around the culture, but this year I decided to extend our China travel until the Chinese new year - giving us a bit more time :)


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