Recently, Saveur magazine did a whole center spread on Kimchi with recipes to make your own at home (an odoriferous and arduous undertaking) and recipes utilizing said kimchi. There is a cucumber kimchi that looks very intriguing and I really want to try, they aren’t appropriate for this application. So I chose to purchase a high quality traditional cabbage version to make these kimchi pancakes with. The first go around with these left me unimpressed…too much pancake, not enough kimchi. Thankfully that was easily fixed by cutting back on the flours used and adding a bit more from my lovely jar of fermented cabbage. These also have little bits of ground pork in them that make for a very unique taste but if you’re not a pork eater they will still be very good without it.
I also had made two different dipping sauces for my little cabbage cakes. I found the recipes for those in “Growing Up In a Korean Kitchen” by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall. She recommends serving either one or both as an accompaniment. The sauces were quite good but none of us particularly cared for them with the pancakes and opted for a drizzle of our lovely albeit ubiquitous Sriracha instead. YUM!!! I would love either of these sauces with an Asian dumpling of some kind to be sure and you and yours may very well enjoy them with the kimchi pancakes so I’ve included the recipes for both in case you wish to try them. Enjoy!
Recipe: Kimchi Jeon
Adapted from Saveur Magazine; Issue #124
Serves 4-6; Makes about 18-20 small pancakes
Note: You can also do bigger pancakes that cover the bottom of your skillet and cut them into triangles before serving. I found using that approach to be more difficult in terms of flipping them over so opted for the little ones.
1/4 lb. ground pork
2-2 1/2 cups chopped Cabbage Kimchi
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rice flour
6 scallions, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
10 ½ tbsp. canola oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Combine ground pork, kimchi, flour, rice flour, scallions, egg, and 1 cup ice-cold water in a bowl; whisk to combine. Set aside to let rest for 10 minutes.
Working in 7 batches, heat 1 1/2 tbsp. oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; scoop four 2-tbsp. portions batter into skillet; flatten each portion with the back of a spoon. Cook until edges crisp, about 2 minutes. Flip pancakes; cook until set, about 2 minutes. Transfer pancakes to paper towels and wipe out skillet after each batch. Serve sprinkled with salt.
Recipes: Allspice Sauce and Vinegar Soy Sauce
From “Growing Up In a Korean Kitchen” by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall
Makes 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ch’ongju (rice wine) or vermouth
1 tablespoon sugar, corn syrup or honey
1 green onion, white and pale green part only, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 walnut half, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon koch’u karu (hot red pepper powder)(I used Korean chile flakes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for at least a week.
Vinegar Soy Sauce
Makes 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ch’ongju (rice wine) or vermouth
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped pine nuts or toasted sesame seeds
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Before serving, sprinkle the pine nuts and black pepper on top. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for at least a week.