Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kimchijeon (Korean Kimchi Pancakes)

I'm on a savory pancake kick lately. After concocting the world's greatest zucchini-feta pancakes a couple weeks ago, I found some over fermented kimchi in the back of the fridge. It was so far gone, it smelled as though my adorable black lab with a sensitive stomach ate a wheelbarrow of rotting cabbage and bottled the resulting flatulence for me as an early Christmas gift. It was rough stuff.

But the beauty of kimchi is that you can take a batch that's super overripe and turn it into all kinds of cool things, like kimchijeon--savory Korean pancakes. In fact, using overripe dogfart kimche is actually preferable (though the fresh stuff is good too). So next time you find a biohazardous science experiment fermenting in the back of the refrigerator, don't pitch it, pancake it!

Bonus points, you can whip this up in 15 minutes flat!

Prep time: 1/2 cocktail

Dipping sauce:

2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1 tsp untoasted sesame oil
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame seeds

Whisk all this stuff together in a small bowl and set aside.

Kimchijeon:

1.5 cups white flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup kimchi juice
1 tsp sugar
Red chili flakes to taste
1 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped up coarsely (use either store bought or homemade), ideally overripe
A few TBSP oil
1-2 chopped scallions (optional)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until all the lumps are gone. Stir in kimchi.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat with about 3 TBSP oil in it. When it's hot, ladle in enough batter to make a pancake about 6-8" in diameter. When the bottom gets a nice golden brown, gently flip. Remove when the other side is golden brown. Top with scallions.

Repeat until your batter is used up, adding more oil as necessary. 

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