Hodo kwaja is a popular snack food sold by street vendors throughout Korea. Walking through the markets in Songtan-si, Kunsan, Suwon, or Seoul, the aroma of fresh cooked walnut cakes would stand out.
My young sons would drag me to the vendor’s cart and demand that I purchase “wad ja” for them. These treats are baked in a walnut shaped mold and were usually filled with red bean paste and chopped walnuts, but could contain various fillings.
Specialty mold pans are now available for home cooks to re-create these treats.
Yield: 50 pieces
Recipe Type: Holiday, Korean, Snack, Street Food
1 2/3 cups All purpose flour
1 cup Milk
3 1/2 Tablespoon Butter
3 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sweetened red bean paste
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Walnut Shaped Mold Pan (Taiyaki Pan)
Gas Range or Butane Camp Stove
Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add salt, sugar flour, baking soda, and milk, and gently whisk into a smooth batter.
Add the melted butter and whisk into the batter.
Lightly oil the cooking pan on top and bottom.
Pre-heat both sides over very low flame.
Leave the pan on the stove over very low flame and add batter to each depression, filling it to just over half.
Place a few walnut pieces into the batter, then add a small portion of the bean paste, and top with more pieces of walnut.
Dribble some batter on top, close the pan and turn it over.
Cook on very low heat for about one to one and a half minutes and turn the pan. Attempt to lift the lid – the walnut cakes should release and stay in the bottom half.
Cakes are done when both sides are golden brown.