Video: home cooking with Susan Jung - kimchi pancakes
A great way to use up your old pickled cabbage
This recipe for kimchi jeon (kimchi pancakes) is a great way to use up old kimchi - the stuff that’s been in your fridge for several months, where it’s had time to develop a very strong, sour, fermented flavour. You can use younger kimchi but the pancakes won’t be as good.
I usually make these pancakes with minced pork or shrimp, but you can also use tofu. Be sure to squeeze as much liquid as possible from the kimchi and tofu, or the batter will be too watery.
Kimchi jeon (kimchi pancakes)
150 grams cabbage kimchi
250 grams firm tofu (or 120 grams minced pork or shrimp)
1 large egg
70 grams potato starch (also called potato flour)
70 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
240ml ice water
Fine sea salt and finely ground white pepper
4-6 spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths
Red and green banana chillies, sliced about 3mm thick
Oil, for pan-frying
For the sauce:
30ml soy sauce
30ml Korean or Japanese rice wine
30ml rice vinegar
15ml sesame oil
1 tsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
A pinch of gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
Whisk the egg with the potato starch, plain flour, ice water, 1 tsp of salt and a pinch of white pepper to make a smooth batter. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Drain the kimchi in a colander, then wrap it in paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You’ll probably need to use several changes of paper towels. Do the same thing with the tofu - by the time you’re finished, it should be dry and crumbly. Add the kimchi and tofu to the batter and stir to combine.
Heat a skillet over a medium flame and rub it lightly with cooking oil. Stir the batter then ladle it into the hot skillet to make circles that are about 6cm in diameter. Arrange a couple pieces of spring onion and chilli on top of each circle. When the batter is starting to set - you’ll see it drying out slightly around the edge - flip the pancake over carefully and cook the other side. Flip the pancakes a couple of times as needed, so they’re pale golden, and when they’re ready, place them on a serving platter. Cook the remaining ingredients, stirring the batter each time before ladling it into the pan.
Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the kimchi pancakes.