Korean Potato Cheese Pancake
These Korean Potato Cheese Pancakes are crispy on the outside, fluffy and chewy on the inside, with a stretchy mozzarella cheese filling.
What are Potato Cheese Pancakes?
Korean Potato Cheese Pancakes are crispy and fluffy, handheld savoury and sweet pancakes, made with mashed potatoes and mozzarella cheese. They are a trending street food snack that can be found in Korean night markets. Better known as potato cheese hotteok, they are a twist on the classic Korean hotteok – a pancake with a brown sugar filling.
These Potato Cheese Pancakes are vegetarian and can be vegan-friendly with the substitution of vegan cheese. They are the perfect snack to make when you have a couple potatoes laying around, and can be made with only 3 main ingredients – potatoes, cornstarch, and cheese.
From its crispy crust through shallow-frying, to its stretchy and stringy, cheese filling, this is a potato snack you would not want to skip out on making. If you’re looking for a fun cooking activity to do with your friends and family, Potato Cheese Pancakes will surely fulfill your every need.
Please watch my Potato Cheese Pancake video, as I walk you through how to make them, and hopefully entertain you with my witty sense of humour.
Now let’s get Korean Potato Cheese Pancake-ing!
What is Korean hotteok?
Hotteok is a Korean sweet pancakes, and is one of the most popular street snacks in Korea. They are a warm, pan-fried, yeast dough, stuffed with a syrup-y, brown sugar and nut filling.
In recent times, hotteok has also been served savoury style, stuffed with cheese, meat, or vegetables. These Potato Cheese Pancakes are a sweet and savoury alteration of the famous hotteok.
Where did the hotteok originate from?
Hotteok is inspired by China’s tang bing – “sweet pancake”, and was brought to Korea in the 1920’s by the Chinese, who sold these sweet pancakes in Korea.
Through the introduction of tang bing to Koreans, it became such a cheap and popular snack, that Koreans made their own version called hotteok.
Why is there sugar in this Potato Cheese pancake?
You may have never heard the word “sugar” in the same sentence as “potato” and “cheese”, but the addition of sugar helps enhance the flavours and balance the savouriness of the other ingredients.
These pancakes are not overly sweet, but you can taste a subtle sweetness, which, paired with the savoury flavours, takes your tastebuds on a ride.
Do I need to add sugar to these Potato Cheese Pancakes?
Yes, you do, unless you cannot eat sugar for health reasons. The subtle sweetness is what makes you keep coming back for more bites – trust me.
What does Korean Potato Cheese Pancake taste like?
When you first take a bite you get hit with that crisp outer layer, with the fluffy and chewy potato on the inside. Then you chew a little, and there is a lovely sweet and salty combination from the potato dough. The iconic cheese pull from the mozzarella cheese will also keep you smiling for days.
The texture of the potato dough is similar to potato mochi – imo mochi in Japanese. You could also compare it to gnocchi, but much softer and fluffier.
Ingredients for Korean Potato Cheese Pancake
Russet is the perfect potato to envelope the cheese around, as it has a high starch content. This gives us a crispy shell and fluffy interior – the two elite textures.
Cornstarch will help bind the potato and make a formable and chewy dough. You can also use potato starch.
Sugar gives a slight sweetness to the pancakes, and helps enhance the flavours of the potato and cheese.
Mozzarella cheese will give you that stringy and stretchy cheese pull that you are looking for.
How to make Korean Potato Cheese Pancake
Mix mashed potatoes with cornstarch and sugar to make dough
Boil the peeled potato chunks with 1 tsp of salt water for 15-18 mins, or until tender. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a bowl and mash until smooth.
Add the cornstarch and sugar to the mashed potatoes and mix until a solid dough is formed. The dough should still be a little wet, but your finger should come clean when you poke it.
Note: If the dough is too wet, place it in the fridge for 30 mins.
Fill dough with cheese
Roll 1/4 cup of dough into a ball, flatten it with your palms, and place 1 tbsp of cheese in the centre.
Note: Mould and compact the shredded cheese into a 1 tbsp measuring spoon so it’s easier to wrap in the dough.
Gradually squeeze the perimeter of the dough into the middle, while making sure the cheese stays down. Mould and compact it into a sphere, making sure all the cracks are sealed.
Flatten the cheese-filled ball with your palms, and round the edges to make it a perfectly circular shape. The final product should measure 1.5 cm thick and have a 6 cm diameter.
Note: If you are having trouble visualizing the steps, please watch my Potato Cheese Pancake video.
Shallow-fry pancakes until golden
To a non-stick pan, fill it with vegetable oil until the entire pan gets coated, turn the heat to low, and shallow fry these them for 4-5 minutes on each side.
We want to cook them low and slow to allow the cheese on the inside to melt, while the crust on each side turns a lovely, crisp, golden brown.
Note: The pancakes should start sizzling in the oil after 30 seconds, but if it sizzles immediately, then your oil is too hot.
Garnish with a pinch of dried parsley on each Potato Cheese Pancake, and enjoy!
There we have it, Korean Potato Cheese Pancakes, and while they’re still crispy, let’s dig in!
Korean Potato Cheese Pancake
- 2 medium russet potatoes mashed
- 1 tsp salt for boiling water
- ⅓ cup cornstarch 45g
- 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 100 g mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp dried parsley garnish
Make potato dough
- Wash, peel, and chop potatoes into chunks. Transfer potatoes to boiling water with 1 tsp of salt and cook for 15-18 mins, or until tender.
- Drain and mash potatoes until smooth. Add cornstarch and sugar. Mix until a solid dough is formed (Note 1).
Form into potato cheese pancakes
- Roll 1/4 cup of dough into a ball, flatten it with your palms, and place 1 tbsp of cheese in the centre (Note 2).
- Gradually squeeze the perimeter of the dough into the middle, moulding and compacting it into a sphere.
- Flatten the cheese-filled ball with your palms, and round the edges to make it a perfectly circular shape (Note 3).
Shallow-fry the pancakes
- Fill a non-stick pan with vegetable oil until the entire pan gets coated, turn the heat to low, and shallow fry the pancakes for 4-5 minutes on each side (Note 4).
- Once golden and crispy on both sides, transfer to wire rack to cool.
- Garnish with dried parsley on each pancakes, and enjoy!
- When you poke the dough, there should be no residue on your finger. The dough should still be wet, but if it’s too wet, then place in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up.
- Mould and compact the shredded cheese into a 1 tbsp measuring spoon so it’s easier to wrap in the dough.
- The final product should measure 1.5 cm thick and have a 6 cm diameter.
- The pancakes should start sizzling in the oil after 30 seconds, but if it sizzles immediately, then your oil is too hot.
Just the best things in the universe convined. My little sister loved them and now wants to eat them every day!
I love this potato recipe! I have made it 2 times now, not as perfectly as yours, but I will practice my spheres! Thank you for sharing.
hi geeta! aww this makes me so happy! im glad you enjoy 🙂
When do you put the sugar in? Did I miss that?
Hi MKB! thank you for reminding me, I have updated the recipe instructions. the sugar would be added when you add the cornstarch/potato starch to make the dough.