One of the best parts of Korean street food has to be the bread. During the winter months especially, vendors abound selling warm, freshly baked bread products such as hoddeok, gyran-ppang and the distinctive fish-shaped Bungeo-ppang.
Another popular bread snack is Gukwha-ppang. This small, flower-shaped bread is very similar to Bungeo-ppang, and involves sweet bean paste contained inside a light, pancake like batter. Like Bungeo-ppang, it requires a heavy, dimpled pan to cook, and you can often see Gukwha-ppang operations mounted on the back of small flatbead vans.
This one is located immediately outside the entrance to the Seoul Arts Centre. Despite having just dined on doncass at a nearby orange restaurant, the long line that was forming and the sight of silky, elastic dough being rolled out freshly for each order proved too much to resist!
We ordered a hoddeok and six Gukwha-ppang and promptly retired to a nearby bench with our spoils. Warm and fresh, the Gukwha-ppang was both light and rich. The batter tasted exactly like pancakes (western ones, not Korean ones) and the sweet beanpaste centre provided a bit of focus to the snack.
I have to confess however that it was the Hoddeok I was really impressed with. I love the contrast between the bready, slight crispy shell and the warm, sticky cinnamon mixture within.
I’m getting hunger ppangs just thinking about it!