Don’t save the pancakes only for pancake day – in Korea, the sweet pancakes known as hotteok are a street food that’s good any time of year.

Although there are stalls that sell different flavours, the classic hotteok pancake is stuffed with cinnamon, honey, peanuts and brown sugar. To try one in Seoul, just amble down the main shopping streets in Myeong-dong and it’s easy to spot street vendors flipping the mini treats. They’re a cheap – around 1,500 won – and yummy way to stave off hunger while you shop.

If you’re still saving for your flight, no worries. Hottoek can be made easily using some basic ingredients. Here’s a simple hotteok recipe by Judy Joo that was published on The Telegraph’s website last year. Here’s another version on tumblr with some helpful pictures of the process.

If you’re time-poor but cash-rich, you can always invest in some helpful ready-made mix from ebay. (The box even has English instructions)

Whichever way you make them they’re best eaten hot off the pan, Korean-street style, but do as the vendors do and pop them in a paper napkin and nibble with caution, as the filling can become like molten lava. Gloriously gooey.


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.