Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday and What There Was to Chop Up & Make into a Pancake!

Halp!  I've been sucked into some bizarre space-time continuum where it is Sunday every day!  Alright, you caught me in a lie.  Sunday has come and gone, but my blog writing general malaise seems to also contaminate other aspects of my blogging life: such as attempting a regular Sunday post about whatever it was that I fried, baked, stewed, butchered.

But this is too good and too easy to hold back until next Sunday, which is so far away! So many days away from next Sunday and with complete lack of restraint, allow me to share the kimchi pancake (or jeon).  The kimchi jeon is one of many variety of jeons that exist in Korean cuisine.  If you've eaten in a Korean restaurant, you've probably eaten the pa-jeon, with is a green onion (scallion) pancake.  Or you have had the seafood variety of the pa-jeon called haemul (seafood) pa-jeon.  A good restaurant will include more than a scant sprinkling of inexpensive squid, it may include plump oysters and shrimp and whatever delicious seafood morsels to include in the big flat pancake.  Those pa-jeons include a good portion of rice flour which allows for a very light and crispy pancake, but I will show you the home version using all-purpose flour and left over kimchi.

Ingredients are minimal and easily found, except for perhaps kimchi.  Kimchi I sometimes find in my normal Stop n Shop and Costco, so I hope you can find this near you.  The key to excellent kimchi pancake is the stinky.  That's right.  Have you ever had a jar of kimchi sitting in the back of the fridge until it becomes sour and full of such stink you cry to the heavens to clear the toxic substance from your fridge?  Yeah yeah.  That's the good stuff.

All purpose flour (cup and a half)
1 cup of kimchi chopped
Seltzer water (cup and a half) - or substitute with regular tap water.
4-5 bunches of chopped scallions/spring onions.
1 can of chopped clams including the clam juice (optional but worthy addition)
generous grinding of pepper
1 Tbsp of sugar (optional, but works to balance the sourness & heat)

The amazing thing about this is that apart from the water, kimchi and the flour, everything else is optional.  You can easily omit the clams, but it adds a delicious brininess and bits of chew so I recommend this.  Whatever bits of left over meats, vegetables (especially sliced onions) are welcome here.

Dump and stir all in a large bowl.  The approximate texture you are aiming for is slightly runny.  Adjust with additional seltzer water or flour.  You don't need to be precise, aim for thinner rather than thicker.  This recipe yields about 5 large pancakes.
"Bubble bubble..."

Heat up a large pan on high heat with a generous amount of oil.  You can use any pan that has a well seasononed surface (like my cast iron pan), a griddle or a non-stick surface.

You can make small individual pancakes which increases the surface area available for the edge which becomes beguilingly crispy.  Or a big giant pancake, like mine.  I spoon 3-4 Tbsps of batter into the pan and spread until it is somewhat roundish and is thin overall.
You want to let it cook until you can see the edges of the pancake turn brown and the top of the pancake become mostly dry.   Flip and cook until equally brown on the other side.

You can cut into wedges or tear into it with your asbestos hands and shovel it into your moth.  Goes well with an icy cold beer.

I joined Instagram the other day.  Apparently, I am obsessed with food there as I am over here on my beauty blog.  You can check me out what other dopey things I am pondering over there, too.


Hope you liked the spicy, crunchy & the greasy!

14 comments :

  1. Chopped clams in Kimchi pancakes! Sounds so yummy! Why didn't I think of this!
    Thanks for posting this, Belly. I will try this recipe soon. :)

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    1. All teh salty things! :) Hope it turns out well when you make it, Lena!

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  2. Isn't it a wonderful thing when people discover uses for near (or very much) expired/fermented foods and make deliciousness out of it? I will have to try this reciepe one day, but I dont think I've seen canned clams around here before.

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    1. I think Koreans eat super old kimchi, too. I love sour kimchi, but at some point (the point where I turn it into stew or pancakes) it becomes overwhelmingly sour! :D No clams required, but if you find it, it would be excellent to dump into the batter!

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  3. ooo that sounds good. i haven't really thought to make more savoury pancakes before. sometimes i make pajeon though but its been a while..
    Jenn

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    1. There are really nice appetizers to serve, or have with beer/soju!

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  4. We *love* stinky kimchi! The stinkier the better!! And yes, the batter looks quite runny, I would have thought it would be a consistency of pancake batter. If you were to make this with rice flour, would you substitute the whole thing? Hmm, can't wait to try this!!

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    1. I think try 1:1 flour for rice flour. The texture would be much lighter and crisper I would think. Sounds yum!

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  5. YUM! Which Costco has kimchi?!!!! I go to HMart for mine, but I'd have to drive all the way to QZ. Rather go to a Costco. Thanks!!

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    1. I get mine at HMart as well! I suggest going for HMart and stocking up there since it can sit in the fridge for a long long time. The no-MSG varieties are quite good from HMart. :)

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  6. Mmm, crispy edgesssss... *drool* :-D my favourite way to eat Kimchi is ice cold, with hot plain rice and room temperature, silky tofu. I have no idea if this would get me thrown out of polite Korean society or not, but I likes it! LOL at the weaponizable (pancakeable) stinky fridgeback kimchi though!

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    1. LOL! Those stinky old kimchi containers are a surefire weapon of mass destruction, upon which there is absolutely unrefutable evidence.

      There is a kimchi tofu dish (not a recipe, more of a pairing) of boiled tofu and cooked kimchi. It goes with makgeolli (another fermented yogurty tasting Korean liquor). I say you belong in the stinky family now, especially with your good smelly instincts.

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  7. Napoleon I am not. I hereby declare the end of my comments rampage through your recent posts. *hops off tiny internet horse*

    I made these circles of sin last night and consumed them with such gusto that Dante would have to come up with a new level of sin for my behavior! And that short clip is the food equivalent of a boss level hypno toad. I mean, just look at all those bu All HAIL THE GREAT PAJEON!

    -Josie

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    1. *makes inappropriate "CHARGE" toot sounds with my rear end*

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