This isn’t your standard hotteok with cloyingly sweet sugar and artificial syrup filling, this is the good stuff filled with japchae (glass noodles) and haemul japchae (spicy seafood), respectively. The savory ingredients are seasoned aggressively (salty, peppery, and curried?) while being encased in a soft, chewy, doughy pancake that’s surprisingly non-greasy despite basically being deep-fried. One bite of these guys and you’ll regret having wasted precious stomach space with the normal varieties.
As mentioned in the previous post, I make sure to stop by Namdaemun whenever I’m in the area, so I made the short trek over after my appt. in City Hall yesterday. It must have been my lucky day because the line was minimal (arrived at 11 am) and one of the owners was kind enough to explain why theirs was better than their copycat competitors. With a proud look on his face, he stated with confidence, “Well, we sell over 1,000 every day and we believe it’s because of our batter. We mix in a certain ratio of corn and glutinous rice flour, which keeps the filling moist and flavorful while creating an outer crust that’s chewy and crispy at the same time. Others use wheat flour as their base ingredient, and that will soak up any oil you fry it in. Also, the hotteok will become dry and hard over time if you don’t eat it right away, which is never a good thing. We are thankful to our regular customers who can distinguish the difference, which has allowed us to thrive for over 20 years.”
If that wasn’t good enough–despite their success and long lines–the prices have relatively remained unchanged. The japchae hotteok and haemul japchae hotteok are an unbelievable 1,000 and 1,500 won, respectively, while their original ggul hotteok (honey-stuffed pancake) is 1,000 won. Grab a few of these delicious street foods and make your way into the always fun, vibrant market.
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
Namdaemun Myungmool Hotteok 남대문 명물 호떡
Namdaemun-ro 3ga 27-2, Jung-gu (서울 중구 남대문로3가 27-2)
Hours: Open every day 9:00 am ~ 6:00 pm except Sundays
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/5FJHZORt