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Hoetteok (Korean Sweet Pastry) #APlaceattheTable #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Vilcek Foundation and publisher Prestel.
I received a complimentary book for the purpose of review, but all opinions are honest and they are my own.
No additional compensation for this post was provided; this page may contain affiliate links.

I was instantly intrigued by the premise of this cookbook - A Place at the Table: New American Recipes from the Nation's Top Foreign-Born Chefs.* Editors Rick Kinsel and Gabrielle Langholtz share that this is "a celebration of forty of the leading foreign-born chefs in the United States...lauded leaders, and dozen of rising stars, who are changing American food - for the better."

Until the end of the year, several of my blogging friends will be sharing recipes and thoughts about this book as well. As the links go live, I'll add them here...

"Immigration is Delicious"
Chef José Andrés pens, in the foreword: "There are forces in our country that view immigrants as a danger and immigration as a problem - forces of exclusion hoping to drive the nation apart. To me, immigration is not a problem to solve but an opportunity to seize, and each and every one of us can benefit. ...I am proud to be an immigrant, and I am proud to be an American" (pg. 5).

And Padma Lakshmi's introduction is titled, aptly, 'Immigration is Delicious." She writes, "At its best, our country has been admired as a beacon of hope because of our tradition of welcoming people from all around the world and from all walks of life. ...I believe what truly makes America great is our culture of inclusion. We are a superpower not because of capitalism or our military. ...It's because we've managed to take the best of each immigrant culture over time and create our own uniquely American culture. ...That's what makes us a vibrant society" (pg. 7).

Both my paternal and maternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from the Philippines when my dad and mom were children. And, as a teenager, I was fortunate enough visit the areas from which they came. That was an eye-opening experience; I remember traveling home and thanking everyone for coming to America and giving our family that incredible opportunity. And now that both sets of my grandparents are no longer with us, I use my grandmothers' recipes to share stories and our culinary traditions with my own kids.

The forty chefs featured in this tome include Fariyal Abdullahi who grew up in Ethiopia and now lives in Dallas, Texas; Erik Bruner-Yang who was born in Taiwan, but now lives in Washington, D.C; Daniela Moreria is also in D.C., but spent her childhood in Argentina; and Miroslav Uskokovic who emigrated from Serbia and is regarded as one of the top pastry chefs in America.

adapted from Korean Sweet Pastry by Peter Serpico

There were a plethora of recipes that appealed to me. But I decided to make a share a recipe that Peter Serpico shared. He was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to Maryland when he was adopted by American parents. After graduating from the Baltimore International College Culinary School, Serpico worked with Chef David Chang in several Momofuku sites before opening his eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia. Serpico offers Steamed Egg Custard and Hoetteok, a Korean Sweet Pastry. It's the latter that I decided to make and share.

Serpico tells the reader that this is a popular street food during the winter and is often made with walnuts or almonds. He opts for coconut and I followed his lead for delicious results. I made this one morning when a few of the robotics kids were here for a meeting. "Do you have more of these?" they asked. Sorry. One each! I would have doubled or tripled the recipe had I know how well it would be received. Next time!

Ingredients serves 8


  • 2 t dry active yeast
  • 2 t organic granulated sugar
  • 1 C lukewarm milk
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 t salt


  • 2/3 C organic dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 t ground cinnamon


  • canola oil


Pour the milk into a medium-sized mixing bowl, then sprinkle the sugar and yeast over the milk. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Add in the flour and salt. Mix till a craggy dough forms, then knead until smooth. Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm spot for 1 to 2 hours - or until doubled in size.

In a small bowl mix together all of the ingredients. Set aside.

Pull the dough apart into eight pieces. Roll the dough into small balls, then flatten the dough into a pancake that fits into the palm of your hand.

Place 1 T of filling in the middle and enclose the filling inside the ball. Gently flatten the balls into a small disc. Set aside. Repeat until all eight are completed.

Once you're ready to cook, heat the oil on a skillet. Cook each pastry for 3 minutes on each side - or until nicely brown.

Serve immediately while still hot.

I have already tried several different recipes and you'll be seeing them in the upcoming weeks. But Shuai Wang's Coconut Beef Curry was a surprising match with a sparkling wine. And, as soon as I can get my hands on some fresh sea urchin, you can bet I'll be trying Charles Olalia's Sea Urchin Lumpia!

You may find The Vilcek Foundation on the webon Facebook, and on Twitter.
You may find the publisher, Prestel, on Instagram.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

I have also added this to #FoodieReads.
Click to see what everyone else read in December 2019: here.


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