Kimchi pancakes (Kimchi jeon)

By Wendy Andresen | May 20, 2021
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

Our Korean-born daughter says this about kimchi pancakes: "Kimchi jeon are a staple of Korean homes and food culture. They are often eaten as snacks or as banchan, side dishes that accompany a main dish during meals.

An important aspect of Korean food texture is chewiness, and these spicy pancakes have a soft, chewy center complemented by crispy edges. I love kimchi jeon almost as much as I love East Asian dumplings. Serve this traditional tasty treat as is or with a simple dipping sauce.”

We rounded out our dinner with some edamame and prepared dumplings from the produce aisle.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. garlic powder

kimchi juice plus ice cold water to total 1 1/4 cup

1 cup kimchi, coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp. neutral oil (or more) for frying

1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish (or a handful of snipped chives)

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and garlic powder.

2. Add the kimchi juice and water and whisk to form a thin, smooth batter.

3. Add the kimchi and stir until combined.

4. Heat a teaspoon or two of oil in a 12-inch frying pan. When a few drops of water pop when tossed in the pan, you may proceed.

5. Pour 1/4 of the batter in the pan, using a spoon or spatula to quickly spread the batter to make the pancake as thin as possible. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes or so, until the surface is almost dry, the edges are beginning to look crisp and the bottom is golden.

6. Flip the pancake and cook for another 2 minutes or so on the other side.

7. Add a little more oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.

8. Cut the pancakes into serving-size pieces. Garnish with scallions or chives.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.

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