There’s a special word in the Korean language for “heaven”. More specifically, an edible embodiment of heaven consisting of an incredibly chewy wheat flour pancake stuffed with a molten medley of brown sugar, cinnamon, honey and peanuts that combine to form one of the most delicious sweet things a human can put in their mouth. That word is hotteok (or hottoku in Japanese), and in Tokyo it is spoken at Jonno Hotok in Shin-okubo, the city’s version of Koreatown.
Jonno Hotok is a series of franchise food stalls which dot the neighborhood that dish out this Korean street food to the throngs of hungry pedestrians cruising the neighborhood’s streets in search of even more food (of which there is plenty to choose from). In addition to the traditional brown sugar and honey version, they offer several stuffing variations such as corn with cheese, adzuki bean jam paste, and chapchae (glass noodles), all for 200 to 300 yen in pocket change. Likewise, although hotteok is usually a wintertime snack in Korea, Jonno Hotok sells them every day year-round from 11 in the morning until 10 o’clock at night, so there’s really no excuse not to treat yourself (except your pants size, perhaps) to one or three of these little pieces of oral paradise.