The Hwajeon Hw-onehundred

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for folks, my 100th Pancake Blog Post!!!  At SYTYCP hq, we celebrated by having a no-holds barred pepsi challenge (I’ll explain more later).  And, we’re inviting everyone to join in with us by participating in a give-away – details also at the bottom. image

Without further ado, here are my Hwajeon, Korean flower pancakes.  (Oh, if you just want the recipe, here’s mine, and the original at Maangchi – definitely check hers out, there’s even a video!)

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So, Hwajeon are made with sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour) which is made from short grain sticky (glutinous) rice, although there’s no gluten in it.  I, of course, did not have any sweet rice flour (even though I have about every other specialty flour in my pantry).  So, on Saturday, I tried my best to track down down sweet rice flour, I really did (I went to 2 whole foods and called about 3 other grocery store chains to no avail).  By the time I found an Asian grocery store that carried it, it was too late and they’d closed.  So, I tried to make hwajeon with what I had, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and a 50/50 mix of the two.

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(from left to right: brown rice flour — 50/50 mix — tapioca starch).  

(note, everyone on the internet agreed that there really is no substitute for sweet rice flour, but obviously, I had to find that out for myself).

Right away, I found out the pure brown rice flour would not work.  The dough was incredibly dry, sandy, and just…no.

imageOh well, less cooking for me.  I pressed onward with the 50/50 mix and the tapioca starch.  I noticed that the 50/50 mix definitely felt drier to begin with but that the tapioca starch dried out faster while they waited to be cooked but also got oilier once they were in the pan.  Of course, the tapioca starch hwajeon were much closer in color to real hwajeon than the 50/50 mix ones were.

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Frankly, neither of them were that good.  The 50/50 ones were salty, a bit dry, grainy, and just not something you’d want to eat.  The tapioca ones tasted better, more mild, but were very very chewy.  I thought about just letting the hwajeon go.  But I was fixated on these pancakes, and I would not rest until I did them justice.

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(post-flip sweet rice flour hwajeon)

So, early this morning, I went on a journey. A sweet rice flour journey, long story short, I went, I got it,  I came home, I pancaked…AND IT WAS GOOD.  For reals, folks, these pancakes were totally worth it.  If you’ve ever had a mochi, the consistency was very similar to the outside of a mochi (in fact, sweet rice flour is the main ingredient in both) but a little crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Deee-licious.

image(sweet rice flour dough, cut and ready to be shaped)

Oh, and as far as the flowers go, I’m a bit out of season for edible flowers, but I decided to go with some young pea tendrils, they’re very tender, have a light fresh taste, and pretty cute.  You can also make these plain, but I think they’re cuter with a little leaf or flower on them.  

4.75 out of 5 stackies: imageimageimageimageimage

AND NOW FOR THE GIVE-AWAY!! In celebration of this, my 100th blog post, I’m giving away 1 custom pancake mix.  Just leave a comment on this post, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a winner next Sunday at 10am.  Happy Pancaking!

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