Kimchi Pancakes, two ways.
A few days ago I must be possessed by the kimchi spirit because I made a buckload of kimchi. We’re talking two heads of Napa cabbage and three cups of gochugaru - ye much:
And now I’ve been challenged by the sister to eat kimchi for the rest of the month which in comparison should be a breeze than trying to eat daal for a whole month. I’ve got nothing against daal, but the lack of texture did make for a swift surrender.
I slightly modified the recipes from the great Korean food goddess with multicolored wigs, Maangchi. I watched the recipe video for this and got to the part where she was cutting the onion
and had a nasty flashback when I myself did the same thing and, um, forgot to move my thumb resulting in one of the worst cuts in the history of my kitchen escapades (worst than the time I cut myself with a serrated knife - them teeth!). So yeah, moral of the story - watch out for them appendages and thou shalt be rewarded with delicious, crispy and tangy pancakes. I served these with the onion pickles I made yesterday and used the pickling juice as the dipping sauce. To make the pickled onion, roughly chop a large onion and boil 1/3 cup each of vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Put the onion in a jar and pour the boiled pickling juice over it and put the lid on. Leave at room temperature for a day before refrigerating until ready to use.
CHOPPED KIMCHI PANCAKES:
[ 1 cup chopped kimchi + 2 tablespoon chopped onion + 1/4 cup water + 3 tablespoon kimchi juice + 1/4 cup flour all purpose flour + 1/4 cup rice flour (can be substituted with all purpose flour) + 1 tablespoon chopped green onion + 1 Korean green chili pepper, chopped + 1 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon salt + vegetable oil ]
Mix all the ingredients except the vegetable oil in a bowl, mix until combined.
Now you can choose to either make one huge pancake or several little ones. I went with the latter. If you’re going for big, then depending on the size of your skillet, heat enough oil to cover the entire surface (about 1-2 tablespoon) over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, put enough batter to cover the entire surface for a pancake about 1/2 inch thick. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly.
If you’re going for smaller ones, also heat up enough oil to cover the skillet, and drop 1 tablespoon of batter for each pancakes.
Cook for 1 minute and check if the bottom has crisped up. Flip the pancake over to cook the other side. Add a bit more oil if it’s not getting crispy enough. Cook for an additional 2 minutes and flip again if necessary. Take off the heat and serve with pickled onions.
The next kimchi pancake makes use of whole leaves of kimchi and stuffing it with a mixture of meat and tofu. I’m actually stuffing mine with a mixture of mushroom, shrimp and tofu because it has been a continuous downpour since last night here and I really can’t be bothered to drive my recently washed car through muddy puddles to go grocery shopping. You can use minced pork, chicken, beef or shrimp. Or a mixture of them - the more the merrier.
STUFFED WHOLE LEAVES KIMCHI PANCAKES:
[ 6 kimchi leaves, about 6-7 inch long, more if needed + 2 tablespoon chopped shiitake mushroom + 3 tablespoon minced shrimp (can also use pork, chicken, beef etc) + 2 chopped tablespoon tofu + 1 teaspoon sesame oil + 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon black pepper + 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon kimchi juice + 1/2 cup all purpose flour + vegetable oil ]
Combine the mushroom, tofu, the onions, sesame oil and seasoning in a bowl. Mix well to combine.
Set up a shallow plate each for the beaten egg and flour.
Take the kimchi leaves and dab in the flour until well covered. Take a kimchi leaf and try to fit as much filling as you can along the length, but not overdoing it. Do the same to the rest of the leaves. If you’ve got some stuffing leftover, simply grab another kimchi leaf and repeat.
Heat enough oil in a skillet to shallow fry. Gently roll the stuffed leaves in the flour and then in the beaten egg.
Fry with the stuffing side down. Cook for 1-2 minutes and flip, cooking another minute on the other side.
Cut into bite size pieces and serve with some pickled onions.
Made some onion jang ah jji to serve with the recipe post tomorrow. It involves buckloads of kimchi, a bit of meat and a bit of tofu.
*Kimchi fun fact: Kimchi made without green onion, garlic or ginger inhibited the growth of S. typhimurium, but not the bacteria E. coli and S. sonnei. However, Kimchi without red pepper powder do not inhibit the growth of all tested pathogens. All ingredients of Kimchi did not inhibit the growth of L. plantarum and L. mesenteroides.This suggests that Kimchi ingredients can synergistically inhibit the growth of pathogens and Kimchi may be a selective medium for lactic acid bacteria.
Orange you glad I read food research journals?
Making Kimchi Fries
I was faced with a dilemma while making this - sweet potato fries, or fries, fries? Honestly, I would’ve opted to go sweet potato all the way. Aside it being somewhat healthier, I also like prefer the taste. But my biggest concern was, will it photograph well enough? Imagine for a second; bright orange-y sticks under caramelized, brown bulgogi and stir-fried, well ripened kimchi. Too much orange, no? So I threw my health concern out the window and found some sort of middle ground by using both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. And you know what? I don’t think they look too bad together.
KIMCHI FRIES (serves 4):
[ 1 pound rib eye or sirloin, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup soy sauce + 1/8 cup sugar + 6 cloves garlic + 1 small onion or 3 shallots + 1/2 of a small Asian pear + 1/4 cup of water + 2 tablespoon sesame oil + 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + 2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil ]
[ 1/4 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons Korean pepper paste (gochujang)
+ 2 tablespoons soy sauce + 1 cup kimchi + 1/2 an onion or 2-3 shallots, chopped ]
FRIES & OTHER TOPPINGS:
[ 1/2 cup (kewpie) mayonnaise + 3 tablespoons Sriracha + 1 pound french fries (or sweet potato fries) + grated cheddar or your preferred cheese + toasted sesame seeds + chopped onion + chopped scallion ] OPTIONAL: Sour cream.
In a food processor or a blender, add all the beef marinade ingredients except vegetable oil and combine. Transfer to a large bowl and add more sesame oil or black pepper to taste. Add the rib eye or sirloin and toss to coat. Seal in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil until smoking. Add the meat and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and keep warm. Rinse out the skillet and wipe dry.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, gochujang and soy sauce. Add the kimchi and toss to coat. Heat the skillet until very hot. Add the onion and kimchi and cook over high heat until the liquid is thickened and glossy and the kimchi has browned a bit.
In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the 3 tablespoons of Sriracha.
Fry your preferred fries. Scatter the still hot fries on a platter and sprinkle with grated cheddar. Top with bulgogi and kimchi. Drizzle with some of the Sriracha mayonnaise and sprinkle onion, sesame seeds and scallion. Top with a dollop of sour cream, if using. Serve with additional Sriracha.
Making Buldak (불닭) / “Fire” Chicken
Rumor has it that the dish Buldak - “Bul” translating to fire and "dak" to chicken, is so spicy that even some Korean have trouble swallowing it down. The truth? Well I guess it depends on how brave you are with your spices. Let’s be honest here, why attempt to make something called “Fire chicken” if you’re not up for the burn that only the fieriest ingredient can provide? In my recipe I’m using a combination of red pepper powder, red pepper paste, bird’s eye chili, dried chili pepper flakes, black pepper and mustard to concoct a gastronomy atomic bomb. The copious amount of honey or corn syrup might lessen the blow, it might even trick you to thinking that it’s not spicy enough, but just you wait, the [somewhat pleasant] burn is coming for you.
BULDAK (불닭) / FIRE CHICKEN:
CHICKEN & MARINADE:
[ 1 whole chicken, cut into bite size pieces + 3 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 tablespoon corn syrup or honey + 1 teaspoon ground black pepper + 1 scallion, sliced ]
Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour all over chicken pieces. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
[ 3 tablespoon red pepper powder + 2 tablespoon red pepper paste + 2 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 tablespoon sesame oil + 1 tablespoon honey or corn syrup + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 teaspoon yellow mustard + 3 garlic cloves + 1/2 of an onion + 1/2 of a Korean pear + 1/2 tablespoon dried chili flakes + birds eye chili, to taste ]
In a blender, blitz all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste, adjust the seasonings according to your preferences and set aside.
Lift the chicken pieces from the marinade and fry the chicken pieces in enough oil to shallow fry. Work in batches to make sure the chicken brown and caramelize properly. Drain and set aside.
Remove the excess oil from the pan and return the chicken pieces. Over low flame, add the sauce into the pan and allow to caramelize a bit. Increase to high heat and cook, turning often, until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken pieces.
Arrange the chicken on a serving plate. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seed and serve immediately.
Making Dakjjim (닭찜) / Braised Chicken with Noodles & Vegetables
The good thing about having a food blog is you rarely eat one dish on repeat. The bad thing about having a food blog is you don’t eat one dish often enough. I can count the number of recipes on this blog that I’ve cooked again and tweaked for my own eating pleasure - the hotteok (stuffed with mozzarella this time), ginger ale, kongnamul-bap (sans minced beef), cherry cheesecake, devil’s food cake and the breakfast pizza. That’s about it, I think. It i’m not sure why it has come to that, but perhaps it’s because other recipes require quite a hassle to gather all the ingredients and takes some time to make. Which is why I’m striving to change that, starting with this dish of braised chicken with vegetables and noodles. The shops around our area are not yet open due to the Eid festivities, so this was done with whatever vegetables could be dug out of the fridge. Simple, yet satisfying.
DAKJJIM (닭찜) / BRAISED CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES (serves 4):
[ 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can also use chicken breast or thigh with the bone in) + 2 tablespoon vegetable oil + 2 medium potatoes + 1 medium carrot + 1/2 large onion + 1 cucumber + 3 -4 mushroom caps (shiitake, button mushrooms etc) + 2 spring onions + 3 - 4 dried whole red chili peppers + half each of red, green and yellow (or any colour) bell peppers + 3 ounces starch noodles ] FOR GARNISH: spring onions, thinly sliced across the length and put into cold water until ready to use + sesame seeds + 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
[ 4-5 garlic cloves, minced + 1 teaspoon grated ginger + 1/3 cup soy sauce + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar + 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (if not available - use a little more soy sauce) + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper + 2 tablespoons corn syrup+ 2 1/2 cups water ]
Soak the noodles in cold water and set aside.
Combine all the sauce ingredients except the minced garlic and ginger in a bowl. Set aside.
Heat up a wok or a shallow skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Cut 2-3 dried red peppers into ½ inch long pieces. Add them to the heated oil and stir-fry for 10-15 seconds before taking them out. Set aside.
Add the chicken. Stir the chicken with a wooden spoon a few times. Let it cook with the lid open for about 3-5 minutes.
Turn the chicken over, give it a quick stir, and let it cook with the lid open for another 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and ginger and stir for a minute.
Add the potato chunks, the sauce, and 2½ cups of water. Cook for 10 minutes over high heat with the lid closed. Open the lid and add carrot and onion and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Keep the lid open.
Add soaked and drained starch noodles, sliced red pepper, green chili peppers, mushrooms, and cucumber. Keep stirring for 7-10 minutes over high heat until the braising liquid has thickened and the noodles look translucent.
Turn off the heat and season with ground black pepper to and sesame oil to taste. Mix it together
Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with chopped green onions and sprinkle some sesame seeds over top before serving.
Making Korean Summer Noodles, Three Ways
Technically, the noodles used in this post is the wrong kind of noodles. The correct noodles would be the naengmyeon; made from the flour and starch of various ingredients like buckwheat (메밀, memil), potatoes, sweet potatoes, 칡냉면 and a variety made with the starch from arrowroot (darker color and chewier than buckwheat noodles). I’m using noodles made from sweet potatoes, but I’m sure any other type will be acceptable.
The one thing you must know about the recipes to follow is that they have three ingredients in common:
2. A variety of crunchy vegetables like carrot and cabbage.
3. Hard boiled eggs. Slice ‘em, dice ‘em, halve ‘em - whatever. I personally sometimes think what’s the point of adding half a boiled egg on top. Do you eat it at the beginning? Do you eat it at the end? I mean, it’s consistency is too hard to be mixed into the noodles therefore not wouldn’t really play a part, flavor-wise. So I slice mine, and sometimes quarter them just so that it’ll be easier to be incorporated into the noodles. Whichever way you decide, these three cold noodle recipes will definitely help you get through the summer heat wave.
MUL NAENG-MYEON (물 냉면 ) / KOREAN COLD NOODLES IN ICY SAVORY BROTH: (serves 2):
[ ¼ lb Naengyeon Noodles (thin noodles made from buckwheat and sweet potato) + 2 cups chicken broth + 2 cups beef broth, unsalted + 2-3 tablespoon brown rice vinegar + Eggs, hard-boiled and sliced in half + ½ of a cucumber, seeded and julienned + 1 small Asian pear, julienned or cut into thin slices + 1/2 teaspoon sugar + ice cubes + 1 teaspoon sesame seeds ] OPTIONAL: ¼ cup pickled radish + cooked brisket or beef shank + Korean hot mustard
Mix the cooled chicken and beef broths together with vinegar. Add more salt or vinegar to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes if possible.
Cook noodles according to package directions, about 4-5 minutes in boiling water. Drain noodles and rinse well in cold water to stop cooking and eliminate some excess starch.
Distribute noodles into bowls, pour a generous amount of chilled broth and a few ice cubes to cover almost of all of noodles. Place the cucumbers, pear slices, and pickled radish on top of the noodles and then top everything with the hard-boiled egg.
BIBIM-NAENGMYEON (비빔 냉면) / KOREAN COLD SPICY NOODLES(serves 2):
[ ¼ lb Naengyeon Noodles (thin noodles made from buckwheat and sweet potato) + 1/2 teaspoon water + 2 tablespoon sugar + 1 tablespoon vinegar + 1 tablespoon Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) + 2 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) + 1 asian or Bosc pear + 1/4 of an onion + 2 garlic cloves + 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled + + 1 tablespoon sesame oil + 1 tablepsoon soy sauce + eggs, hard boiled + 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced ]
Thinly slice the cucumber on the diagonal, then toss with 1 teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, vinegar and a pinch of gotchukaru, and set aside. Peel the pear and thinly slice one quarter, then cover with water mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar.
In a food processor, combine another quarter of pear (roughly chopped), onion, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon each of gotchukaru, gotchujang, vinegar, sesame seeds and soy sauce. Process until nearly smooth. Add sesame oil and stir well, then refrigerate.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. When at a full, roiling boil, add the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes (it should be very al dente). Rinse the noodles repeatedly with cold water to stop the cooking process. Repeat as many times as needed so that the noodles become very cold.
Divide the noodles between the cold bowls and either place them back in the refrigerator for another 15-20 minutes or serve immediately. To serve, pour sauce over the noodles (enough to evenly coat all of the noodles), top with cucumbers, pear slices, and half of an egg.
KIMCHI BIBIM GUKSU (비빔국수) / SPICY COLD NOODLES WITH KIMCHI (serves 2):
[ 8 - 10 ounces somyeon (somen) noodles + 1 cup thinly sliced kimchi (fully fermented) + 1/4 cup juice from kimchi (use a little more soy sauce and vinegar if unavailable) + 1 tablespoon Korean red chili pepper paste, gochujang (adjust to taste) + 1 tablespoon soy sauce + 2 tablespoon sugar + 2 tablespoons rice or apple vinegar + 1 tablespoon sesame oil + 1 tablespoon sesame seeds + 1/2 of a cucumber, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup sliced cabbage + eggs, hard boiled and sliced ]
Combine the sliced kimchi and of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (3 - 4 minutes). Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water again. Repeat until the noodles become cold. Drain well.
Combine the noodles with the kimchi sauce, and toss everything until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste, if necessary. Garnish with the vegetables and serve cold.
Making Gahmja-Jeon (감자전) / Korean Potato Pancakes
Some days all I wish for is to have someone to help me in the kitchen. I don’t mean to chop or to wash the dishes, but someone with nice looking hands (and forearms) who’ll be patient enough to act out the stirring and pouring actions while I take pictures.
One would say that the logical thing to do is to ask my sister for help, but since I like to get an early start on things while she chooses to snooze half the weekend away, it’ll be about noon when I can actually ask her to pretend to chop some onions without her grumbling. Her hands are not exactly of the dainty variety, but beggars can’t be choosers.
But then again, as I listened to her sing Bublé’s “Home” in what she believes is Michael Bolton’s voice while I’m trying to concentrate on getting the right photo, I say to myself that things are not so bad the way they are right now.
[ 2-3 medium sized potatoes + a small handful of chopped Chinese leeks or spring onion +1 chili pepper, thinly sliced + ¼ teaspoon salt +1 tablespoon flour ]
Peel the potatoes and grate them on a fine grater or cut into cubes and throw in a food processor.
**If you want it to be chewy and soft, thoroughly process it so it’s very soft. If you want it to have some more texture, grind a little bit coarse. But either way, it has to be a pretty creamy texture when you grind it.
Put the grated potatoes in a strainer and let the water drain out into another bowl. The less watery it is, the crunchier it will be.
Let the liquid sit for a couple of minutes. You’ll find that some potato starch has settled at the bottom of the bowl of the liquid. Throw out the water and then mix the settled potato starch back into your batter. Add the Chinese leeks or some spring onions, pepper slices, salt and flour to the pureed potato. Mix well.
In a generously oiled and heated pan,put a scoop of the potato mix in. You can adjust the size of the pancake to your liking. Use a spatula to spread it out and make a nice flat circle.
Cook the pancake until the bottom is browned and then flip and cook the other side. You want your pancakes to be golden yellow or brown so they are crispy.
Serve warm with a dipping sauce - I used a mixture of chili oil, soy sauce, vinegar and some chopped spring onions.
Making JjolMyeon (쫄면)
It is now a little more than two weeks after the surgery and the restrictions on solid food is finally lifted. A little celebration is in order, and in my world the word celebration is synonymous with the word noodles; preferably those that are MSG-laden. But since my doctor made me promise not to eat any more of them (seriously, he might as well made me sign some form of agreement), I settled with this Korean noodle dish laden with vegetables and flavored with a spicy, sweet and sour sauce using red pepper paste. Also, just to kill two birds with one stone, I hope this will answer the food wishes of the many who asked if I could post more vegetarian recipes. Although you really needn’t worry, my dietary restrictions regarding meat is good for another two months.
JJOL-MYEON (쫄면): (Serves 1-2)
[ 1 packet of Jjol myun (I used egg noodles) + toppings: (1/2 cup bean sprouts + 1/2 cup julienned cucumber + 1/2 cup julienned carrots + 1/2 cup julienned cabbage + 1/2 - 1 hard boiled egg) + sauce: (2-3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) + 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) + 2 tablespoons vinegar + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic + 2 tablespoons Sprite + 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds + 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil) ]
Julienne carrots, cucumber, and cabbage using a mandolin or a really sharp knife. Set aside.
Bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the beansprouts (covered) for 5 minutes. You don’t want to be overdone, so keep an eye on it. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
Cook jjolmyun noodles in boling water 8 minutes or until tender. Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.
For the sauce, combine all ingredients listed above in a bowl.
Place the noodles in a bowl and add the toppings and sauce.
Mix thoroughly before digging in.