Cycle 12 – Cycle 239
1 (Wed) September 2021
from Hodu Gwaja
(Gyeonggi Gwangju Rest Stop)
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Over the next few weeks, we’re making various repairs to the cabin. Today, I made a day trip to oversee the removal of floorboards.
On the way home, I dropped by a highway rest stop and left with a bag of hodu gwaja.
Hodu Gwaja is a Korean dish. Walnut-shaped, flour-based cakes, stuffed with sweet bean paste plus bits of walnut – the somewhat misnomeric name means “walnut (hodu) cracker/cookie (gwaja).” It is the definitive snack at rest stops, available at all rest stops across the country; curiously, despite its overwhelming popularity on the road, hodu gwaja are virtually impossible to find at regular stores.
Generally not a fan of sweets, I’ve never been a fan of hodu gwaja. But the family likes them.
The hodu gwaja were pretty good. Warm and crispy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside. Traditionally with thicker cakey breading, these were thinner, almost like pastry. In lieu of the standard jammy red bean paste, the bean paste here was lighter and creamier. Same scant showing of walnuts, maybe 2 or 3 bits per cake – despite the name, the dish isn’t really about walnuts. I could get used to these.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)