20th November 2020

Nothing feels home than eating street food and your native delicacies. In the Philippines, each provinces and regions has their own signature dishes and food specialties. The country is so rich with tradition and natural resources. Even if the 7,000 plus islands are separated by water, the community unites with food. This is evident in food gatherings during the holiday season. Living in another country makes us miss the food more and more. However, with a few help and magic in the kitchen, home is closer when you are able to recreate these delicacies and share it with the world.

What is Piaya? It is a muscovado-filled unleavened flat bread from the Philippines especially common in Negros Occidental in the Visayas region where it is a popular delicacy. It is made by filling dough with a mixture of muscovado and glucose syrup. (We didn’t use the syrup for this recipe) The filled dough is then flattened with a rolling pin, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked on a griddle. The traditional sweet filling made of muscovado has other alternatives, including ube and mango. (Wikipedia) The Visayas region is the main producer of muscovado sugar (unrefined cane sugar).


We all know how Filipinos love the Korean culture including the food. So, when we had the chance to taste the Hotteok (filled Korean Pancake), we can’t help but compare it to Piaya (sweet toasted flatbread). They’re similar in a lot of ways. They’re both sweet and uses sugar for the filling. The former usually use brown sugar while the latter muscovado sugar. Hotteok uses yeast for the bread while Piaya doesn’t, hence, it is a flat bread. We did a comparison taste test and while both taste really good, the Piaya taste even better after a few days while the Hotteok is best when consumed fresh.

What is Hotteok? Sometimes called Hoeddeok, is a type of filled Korean pancake; it is a popular street food in South Korea. The dough for hotteok is made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar and yeast. The dough is allowed to rise for several hours. Handful-sized balls of this stiff dough are filled with a sweet mixture, which may contain brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts and cinnamon. The filled dough is then placed on a greased griddle, and pressed flat into a large circle with a special tool with a stainless steel circle and wooden handle as it cooks. Many variaions have developed since the early 21st century, such as green tea, pink bokbunja, corn, pizza and more. (Wikipedia)

We love both of these snacks and we hope you do too! Now, home won’t be too far away when you can access this in your own kitchen. It is very easy to do and doesn’t need an expert skill in the kitchen. Tag us with your creation in social media. Happy eating!


PIAYA (Sweet toasted flatbread)



  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil


  • 1 1/2 cup Muscovado sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup All purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp. water

Sesame seeds for sprinkling on top

  1. Combine dough ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine all the dough ingredients starting with the flour and water. Mix together. Add in vegetable oil and water. Mix until well incorporated.
  2. When the mixture becomes lumpy, start kneading with the hands or use a dough mixer for easier kneading. Once the dough is no longer sticking to the bowl, set aside and prepare the filling.
  3. Combine all the filling ingredients. In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the filling starting with sugar and flour. Mix all together, add water and oil until the mixture moistens.
  4. Roll a ball of the Muscovado mixture about a spoonful size using your hands or an ice cream scoop. You can also use a tablespoon.
  5. Divide the filling into 15 equal portions. This results in a medium sized piaya.
  6. On a flat surface, sprinkle some flour and start kneading the dough then divide into 15 equal portions.
  7. Flatten each dough with a rolling pin or a wine bottle and stuff it with muscovado mixture. Close the edges then roll out again for at least 1cm thickness. Continue the same process for the rest of the portions.
  8. On a plate, prepare about 1/2 cup of sesame seeds. You can add more if you like. Press the flatten bread onto the sesame seeds or sprinkle on top and roll it again.
  9. In a medium heated skillet or griddle, grill the piaya until brown on both sides. Ensure that it is cooked through. Best served fresh and warm. Can be stored in an airtight container and lasts for up to 5-7 days.

Makes approximately 15 medium sized piayas.


HOTTEOK (Filled Korean Pancake)



  • 3 cups All purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp. active yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar


  • 3/4 cup Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. chopped nuts (you can use any nut you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Combine dough ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine all the dough ingredients starting with the flour. Then add warm milk, salt, sugar and yeast.
  2. Mix them well into a dough, then cover and set aside.
  3. Prepare the filling in another bowl. Mix all the ingredients starting with dark brown sugar, any choice of nuts (crushed or roughly chopped),vanilla and cinnamon powder. Set aside.
  4. After 1 hour, the dough is ready when it doubles in size.
  5. On a flat surface, sprinkle some flour and start kneading the dough then divide into 12 equal portions.
  6. Flatten the dough with your hands and add 1 tbsp. of filling in the middle. Seal by connecting the edges. Roll them into a ball. Continue the same process with the remaining dough.
  7. In a medium pan, heat oil. Place the dough and press it down for about 2cm thickness.
  8. Flip it over after 1 minute, once the bottom side is lightly golden brown. Continue to cook the other side for another minute. Hotteok is best served when it is still hot. Be careful of the hot filling though.

Makes approximately 12 medium sized hotteok.



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