Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hotteok: Korea's Answer to Caramel Filled Donuts

Winter means hotteok for me. I like to wait until my face feels like it will shatter into infinite pieces and my fingertips feel like guitar knobs. Then I will get a fried hot disk of leavened dough filled with sugar, cinnamon and bits of ground peanut. The first time I did this, the hot caramel oozed out on my first bite and burnt the roof of my mouth and then burned my fingers as it dripped down. It's the most delicious napalm you can ever have. My favorite place to get it is on street food street outside Jongno 3-ga exit 6. There are different types of hotteok. One that is white and crispy, another that is yellow and pillowy (the dough has cornstarch to make it crispy), and a third that is chewy and white (made from sweet, sticky rice). It's an amazing treat and something that I think is quintessentially Korean.
A Hotteok vendor in Jongno 3-ga