"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kimchi Pancakes

Last night my friend and I were watching Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations: South Korea." All the food looked delicious and what really caught our appetites was the Kimchi. This Korean side dish has many regional varieties but the most popular is made with Chinese cabbage. On the show, we saw how kimchi was fermented underground for 6 months before being ready to eat. On a recent trip to Essex Market in the Lower East Side, we stumbled upon a young woman from Los Angeles who was selling jars of her mother-in-law's kimchi. She was debuting her special kimchi at the annual NY Pickle Festival. The Food Stuff section of the NY Times reported that the kimchi is made by Young Ja Chun and based on an old family recipe. Luckily, I bought a jar before she left to go back to California.

It had been siting in my refigerator for a week and after Bourdain's tour of South Korea, I was ready to cook with the kimchi! I searched the web for a recipe and ended up finding this one on Closet Cooking which I adapted to our tastes. I used whole wheat flour as the starch and amped up the spice factor ten fold! These pancakes were easy to make and delicious and healthy!

Kimchi Pancakes
(Makes about 10 pancakes)

1 cup kimchi, sliced
1 teaspoon kimchi juice
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup purple cabbage, sliced
2 eggs (fake eggs work perfectly!)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 small Thai chilis, diced
2 scallions, sliced for garnish

1. Mix together the kimchi, juice, flour, cabbage, eggs. cayenne pepper and chilis until evenly combined.
2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat.
3. Using your hands, gather small mounds of the batter and place in the oil, pressing down with a spatula to flatten. Fry until golden on each side, about 3 minutes per side.
4. Garnish with scallions.

These taste delicious alone or with Sraracha sauce or peanut sauce!

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