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.
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 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!