Bibimbap Backpackers Event & Sweet Pancakes – NYC
A few days ago, I went to a Bibimbap Backpackers event in K-Town. The Bibimbap Backpackers are a promotional team from Seoul, sponsored by CJ Foods, traveling around the world teaching people about the deliciousness of bibimbap (비빔밥; mixed rice with assorted meats and vegetables) and Korean food in general. Think of them as bibimbap evangelists but less preachy and more fun to hang out with, especially at lunchtime.
At the event, there were seafood pancakes, dumplings, japchae, and of course, bibimbap. A spread of ingredients were provided and everyone assembled their bibimbap to their liking, DIY style. Sadly, there were no fried eggs, which for me is a key ingredient, but they did have…
roasted garlic slivers which tasted amazing in bibimbap. I probably ate too much of these considering I was chatting up a storm with Yen, Gordon, and Nicholas, but I’m sure their breath was just as bad or as good as mine. I hope so at least.
After the bibimbap, we were all treated to hodduk (호떡, sweet Korean pancakes), which many of you know I’m a huge fan of. And lucky me, after the event, I was sent home with a package of Sweet Korean Pancake Mix.
I’ve made hodduk at home before from scratch, and while not extremely difficult, the mix definitely makes it easier. Yesterday, I made an after-school project out of it with my nephew, Adam, who never had hodduk before and was pretty excited to make Korean pancakes. I mean, what kid doesn’t like pancakes?! First we mixed the dough (flour and yeast is included), which required extra flour (almost 1/2 a cup more!) because the dough was too sticky following the box instructions, and then we rolled balls and filled them with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and peanut mix (also included).
Frying was probably the most difficult as you have to press the hodduk balls down without breaking the skin. Having a hodduk press helps, which my mom not so surprisingly had hiding in her cupboard, but if not, a spatula works also.
The finished hodduk were, according to my nephew, “So yummy!” The flatter, thinner ones were better, and we discovered even if they did pop, it didn’t really matter because we dipped the pancakes in the leftover sugar mix if they weren’t sweet enough.
Thanks Bibimbap Backpackers for the bibimbap and the hodduk! It was a fun and tasty event, which are always the best kinds. And helping me score extra brownie/hodduk points with my nephew is always a good thing.
The Sweet Korean Pancake Mix from CJ Foods can be found at your local HMart in the States and at Tesco in the UK. To read more about the Bibimbap Backpackers, visit them at facebook.com/BibimbabBackpackers.