I made these as part of a larger Korean meal last night and they were so delicious that I made them again for breakfast. And—hallelujah—I have been using my own homemade kim chi! The kim chi making post is for another day though.
The fun thing about Korean food for vegetarians is the pretty much endless vegetable side dishes that altogether comprise a wondrous feast. Last night along with the kim chi pancakes and dipping sauce, we had sticky rice, fried tofu, kim chi, bean sprouts with minced garlic and sesame oil, marinated khaenip leaves and of course go ju chang and soy sauce. On other occasions we’ve had mandu, ramen, Korean sushi, jap chae, Korean style spinach, carrots, mushrooms… It’s so heartening to see a big table laid out with a multitude of small bowls of tasty goodness; kind of like tapas or dim sum.
To this simple, basic batter can be added all kinds of vegetables such as spring onion, carrots, zucchini, chilies (and yes, even shrimp and other seafoods). These green onion and jalapeño pancakes are worth a try too.
makes 3 medium pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water
1 cup chopped kim chi
1/2 cup kim chi juice
1 beaten egg (optional. If you’re a vegan, it is fine without egg)
1 green onion, chopped (optional)
1 green chili, deseeded and chopped (optional)
salt and pepper
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1 tsp rice vinegar
chopped chili and onion (optional)
toasted sesame seeds
1) Mix the flour and water and kim chi liquid together. Add the egg if you like. I have tried with or without and the egg helps a little with the binding but it tastes good regardless.
2) Add a heaping cup of kim chi, the chilies and green onion and a good dash of salt. Mix together.
3) Heat up plenty of oil in a small-medium frying pan. You need enough oil for the pancakes to be crispy.
4) Drop about a cup of the kim chi pancake batter and swirl around for an even thin pancake. Fry on one side about 4 minutes on med-high heat or until crispy and brown. Flip and cook the other side another few minutes until brown and crispy. Continue cooking the other pancakes in the same way and pile them onto a plate.
5) Mix the dipping sauce together and enjoy cold or hot. Cut the pancake into triangles or strips and let people serve themselves.