Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hotteok and Bungeoppang

Hotteok and Bungeoppang
"Ho Duck" stall, $1 each

Look to the left as you enter the Boo Han Korean Market in Edmonds and you'll get one of the best deals in town on dinner and a show--assuming you can justify having waffles or pancakes for dinner. 

While you wait and watch, the cook in the "Ho Duck" stall crafts two of Korea's best-loved street-style sweets.  The eponymous hotteok (above) are crusty, golden pancakes of yeasted wheat and rice flours, filled with caramelized sugar and nuts.  It's a simple enough operation but made mesmerizing by the cook's practiced moves and enviable patience.  

The hotteok start out as a ball of sticky, bubbly dough.  The cook kneads it a little, then fills a dent in the center with a a mixture of brown sugar and crushed nuts.  He pinches the dough closed to seal in the filling, then uses a special metal tool to flatten the ball on a well-oiled griddle.  

Once the hotteok are underway, it's time to get going on the bungeoppang.  "Fish bread" is really more of a fish-shaped waffle, cooked a whole school at a time in fancy high-volume griddle.  To get exactly the right amount of batter, the cook spoons a little into each fish-shaped void, then tops it up with a seam applied with a squeeze bottle. 

On top of each batter cloud goes a dollop of sweetened red bean paste.   

Then the lid is closed up to seal the waffle around the filling.  As soon as the cook deems them ready, he uses a small metal hook to flicks them out of the iron and into a waiting box; it's not at all unusual to order six or a dozen at a time.  

Boo Han Korean Market 

22618 Hwy 99
Edmonds, WA

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