Try Korean Hotteok, A Delicious New Take On Pancakes

What is your idea of the perfect dessert? Crunchy? Sweet? Warm? Comforting? Korean Hotteok is all of the above. The chewy, warm dough with the fried crispness on the outside, paired with the wonderfully sweet syrup with bits of nuttiness, make hotteok one of the country’s most beloved desserts. It can be eaten hot or cold, for breakfast, as a snack, or as a dessert.

These pancakes are part of Korean-Chinese cuisine and were introduced to Korea in the 1920s by Chinese merchants who had settled there. They used to be known as Tang Bing but the Koreans soon changed the name to hotteok which translated to ‘Barbarian’s rice cake’. It was also known as ‘shina pan’, meaning ‘Chinese bread’ in Japanese. 

The dessert is simple but delicious and is often enjoyed as street food. The fillings are primarily made with sugar and cinnamon but a variety of nuts or seeds like sesame or pumpkin can also add to the flavour and texture.


  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour 
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm milk
  • Some cooking oil


  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 Tbsp crushed nuts of your choice


  • Sieve through the flour into a large bowl then add the salt, sugar, yeast and milk. Mix them well into a dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment it at a comfortable room temperature until the dough doubles in size.
  • Once the dough is raised, release the gas by punching the dough with your hands a few times. Cover with the wrap again and rest for another 20 mins.
  • When the dough is ready, put some cooking oil on your hands and separate the dough to allow 6 medium-sized pancakes to be made.
  • Put one of the pieces of dough on your hand, and flatten the dough with your hands so that you can add about 1 Tbsp size filling onto it. Once it’s done, seal the dough by gathering the corners. Repeat this for the remaining dough.
  • Preheat a frying pan to medium heat and once it’s heated add a thin layer of cooking oil.
  • Place dough into the pan and cook it on medium heat for 30 seconds until the bottom side is lightly golden brown.
  • Flip it over and press the dough down with a heavily weighted object. Cook for about a minute until the bottom part is golden brown. 
  • Flip the pancake over one last time then reduce the heat to low. 
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the sugar filling fully melts.
  • Transfer the pancake onto a plate and repeat for the remaining dough. Enjoy hot!